Years ago, when we were living in Switzerland, some friends came to visit from Belfast.
It was January and with lots of snow on the ground I took them on a drive through the mountains.
As we arrived at the village of Chateux D’Oex we had an amazing experience..
As we turned a sharp bend we happened on the international hot air balloon festival. We had no idea this was taking place so it was even more special as it came as a complete surprise.
Yesterday all this flooded back when I saw a post on Facebook about a festival taking place right now in the USA.
These objects floating in the sky have a timeless quality like planets floating in our universe.
Blessing # 118 – Light as air
This morning my friend Kourtney posted a funny little message about bread.
It gave me a good giggle that is a blessing in itself.
It also made me think how wonderful bread is. Such a simple thing but transformational.
There are some people who unfortunately can’t eat bread but do you know anyone who really doesn’t like it?
Bread gives us ties to our homelands even to our cities as is the case for me with the beloved Belfast Bap.
My Granny Barr who lived with us would bake traditional Irish soda bread, wheaten bread and potato bread on the griddle every Tuesday.
She got me a little rolling pin when I was about three and when she baked she’d have me stand on a little stool beside her. She’d give me a little piece of dough to roll out and we’d bake it too. When it was done we’d put a big lump of butter on my little piece and share it. What a lovely life lesson she gave me.
That smell of bread baking or toasting evokes so many good thoughts of warmth and cosiness and so many good memories. What would the world be like without it.
Blessing # 117 – Bread in all its glory
Today is homecoming and Aaron is taking his girlfriend to the dance.
There has been great excitement getting flowers and candy and getting ready and all dressed up too.
He sure looks handsome and his girlfriend looks so beautiful.
They are going to have a little dinner first can you imagine.
Each milestone makes new memories that will last a lifetime as those of us who have past them can attest.
Blessing #116 – Always Enjoying the Dance
Yesterday my Ph.D supervisor Dr Kelvin McCracken who lives in Northern Ireland received the British Empire Medal from the Queen. This was in recognition of his services to the community.
This morning on Facebook I saw the photo of Kelvin and his wife and daughter just after the ceremony posted by their son.
The next post was from a friend here in the USA about the meaning of leadership.
The two posts go so well together. Kelvin gave his heart and soul to all his students and there were many of us over the years.
He also did so much for those in need in the community as the Queen herself endorsed. All this was done because he wanted to make life better for all that he came in touch with.
Well done Kelvin and thank you for your leadership!
Blessing # 115 – Those who invest in others
All around us the critters are running around like crazy. The squirrels and chipmunks in particular look like they’re on roller skates.
They are all working out in view as singles but there may be a leader directing operations back in the den.
You could say they are “going nuts” and it is entertaining to watch unless, as they did a few days ago, they start squirreling in our garage.
We are close to being able to say or sing that “all is safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin”
Blessing # 114 – Harvest Home
I got carried away yesterday and posted a title rather than a story.
The day was spent with my dear friend Lori in her hometown of Jackson about two hours south of Columbus.
We had such fun seeing the town because Lori was showing me all the shops and places that have been there for generations. It is the US as you’d see it in the works of Norman Rockwell. Simply lovely.
Lori had driven through pouring rain most of the way from Columbus to get us there. We thought our plans for the visit were in jeopardy but just as we arrived in Jackson and parked at The Tea Caddy for lunch the sun came out.
After lunch, we saw the old movie theater that the people of the town have lovingly restored and that now shows feee movies. They are running a series of Boris Karloff classics at the minute!
We went to the pharmacy that has been in the town since the 1890s and to the store where Lori got her wedding dress. We admired the homecoming and prom dresses sold there too and then moved on to the jewelers and music store.
Finally, we drove around the neighborhood where Lori grew up, visited her Mom and then we all went to Michaels ice cream parlor to indulge in their traditional BUBBLE sundaes.
The old saying surely rings true that « A sweet friendship refreshes the soul »
Blessing # 113 – Walking Around Memory Lane
Our dog Dibley loves his favorite human so much.
The boys have grown up together. They have played together and had the occasional fight too.
There is no place Dibley likes more than snuggled beside Aaron especially when he has taken off his socks.
Aaron’s feet are a source of delight and are licked like an ice-cream.
Socks are also considered a treat but only if they have been worn by a brother.
This show of affection and attachment might seem strange.
Just imagine though that you’re a caveman home from the hunt with raw and sore feet. Wouldn’t this be such a good reason to let that baby wolf come close?
Blessing # 112 – Observing Companionship
My husband Krishna is a great cook.
Having grown up vegetarian he is particularly gifted when it comes to spicing up the simplest things and transforming them into a dream dish.
He got a lot of practice with potatoes when my Dad would visit us because, as any good Irishman will tell you no meal is complete without a spud! I’m partial to one myself!!!!
So it was with relish that I looked forward to the chutney he made with some of the mint and chillies we have grown.
It was powerful and delicious.
Just a spoonful in any dish will enliven us, warm our senses in the middle of winter and remind us of the heat and heart of summer.
Blessing # 111– Spice In Life
The sky at sunset can be very special here at this time of year. The colors are blazing like the sky is on fire.
When this happens the filing cupboard in my head always sorts and pulls out the same references.
First up is Scarlet O’Hara and the posters of Gone With The Wind. Wonder did a sunset inspire Margaret Mitchell when she wrote the book?
Next up is The TYGER by William Blake. Those burning eyes that we can only dream of meeting in the forest at night.
Finally comes Walter Chalmers Smith’s hymn Immortal Invisible God Only Wise.
This is a favorite we often sing at church and coincidentally, after a spectacular sunset this Saturday, we did so this Sunday.
The reason for this connection in my mind is the ending that most of us know from the hymnal that is
However, thanks to a little digging into Wikipedia to find these lyrics to copy and paste I unveiled for myself something I had never known. The ending verses as written were in fact.
Blessing #110 – The Splendor of Light
After the heat of the past few days the promise of a cool down was welcomed here in Ohio.
With this cold front came some very severe storms. The rain was coming sideways through our screened porch and our poor dog Dibley was panicking as always.
We lost power too so everything became still.
No TV, no video games, no hum of the air conditioner that was in the background all summer. No need to water plants for days ahead. Best of all breakfast in the evening with a glass of bubbles beside and a game of UNO.
Time also though to think of all those in Carolina, Hong Kong and the Philippines who have seen such devastation in the past weeks and to be grateful that our storm passed quickly and power’s restored.
Blessing # 109 – Cards by Candlelight