Granny Brings the Snow.

There was a meager amount of snow in Portaferry this week compared to other areas of N Ireland.

In Ireland we enjoy a temperate climate, not too hot in Summer and not to Cold in winter. We don’t have extremes of temperature. It means we can be outdoors all of the year. We don’t need air conditioning Summer or Winter. A fire in the hearth will get us through any unusual cold spell. We can gather there to keep warm.

N Ireland has been enjoying a cold spell with falls of snow this past week. The Christmas winter wonderland scene has come early. A log fire sounds so romantic. But a store of sticks have to be prepared beforehand. There’s nothing like a stack of logs neatly stacked away slowly drying. Thankfully Brendan and the boys get wood ready every year.

One can’t pass the opportunity to relax when it’s cold outside. It’s time for a crossword or a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve been working on one these last few days.

The cold weather can suddenly restrict one’s routine. I didn’t want to go shopping. Brendan was going to get some groceries for us. The roads would be slippy. It’s too cold. Then I remembered about my car. It was in the garage getting repaired. I rang the mechanic. Hey presto my car was ready. I forgot to ask how much the repair cost would be. Brendan helped me pick up my car, which meant a journey across on the ferry to Downpatrick and he kindly paid the not so small bill.

To cheer ourselves up we went for coffee. I received a text from a journalist to let me know she had published an article about me in the Belfast Telegraph that day. I bought a few copies. Brendan was distracted from the sting of the mechanic’s bill as we read the paper. I was delighted with the article and my retrieved car.

Brendan and I parted. He went shopping and I drove my car home. There was four inches of snow covering the back, top and front of my car from the snow fall the previous night. I wanted it washed off. I drove to the personalised car wash. It was closed. I went to a garage, it was closed. That snow was not going to budge. I drove back to Strangford to the ferry. I intended to go to the car wash to freshen up my car before I got home.

Strangford and Portaferry are on the edge of Strangford Lough in a micro climate. It’s effect keeps us warmer than inland. Some snow had fallen but it didn’t remain. One of the ferry men asked me where I was coming from. He was surprised to see so much snow on my car. This made me think. Here is my car covered in snow and there’s no snow around. I thought “I’ll drive to see my grandchildren and let them see the snow on top of my car. They’ll be happy to see it.” It was just getting dark.

The children came running out when I called them to see the snow. They coaxed their dad to make a snowman. All the snow was scooped off the car and a snowman built, eyes, nose and all. Their mum told me they had been talking all day about wanting it to snow so they could make a snowman. He still remains in the middle of the green grass of the lawn. God blessed the children with their hearts’ desire. I often say God gives us our heart’s desire. He is a good father.

I remembered Roy Woods’ Christmas song, ” I wish it could be Christmas every day.”
Here’s the first few lines.

When the snowman brings the snow
Well he just might like to know
He’s put a great big smile on somebody’s face
…..
Oh well I wish it could be Christmas everyday
When the kids start singing and the band begins to play
Oh I wish it could be Christmas everyday
Let the bells ring out for Christmas

Granny brought the snow and put a great big smile on the children’s faces even though there was a meager amount of snow in Portaferry.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/meager/

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Beside A Bubbling Brook.

Psalm 110 v 5 – 7 NLT
The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.
He will strike down many kings in the day of his anger.
He will shatter heads over the whole earth.
But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
He will be victorious.

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Out our window today the forest looks golden.

Brendan and I take a walk in the woodsimage in the High Tatras of Slovakia.  The sun is shining giving us a bright new morning.  The ground is covered in a layer of gold, brown and red leaves.  A brook flows below in the valley.  There are houses built there.  They are welcome retreats for summer visitors. The mountains and the trees give shade from the high temperatures of summer for the residents.
For us it is a short visit.  We will be back home in Ireland when the snow arrives and the bubbling brook freezes over.

I Miss the Ferry Today

Today in Northern Ireland the media is celebrating Red Nose Day.  Money is raised for charity by celebrities doing fun things.  There will be plenty of buzz on the radio and TV to distract people who are annoyed with others who go on strike.

It is also the day the Unions for Public Transport Workers, Teachers and Health Care Workers called a strike in protest for more pay.  Don’t we take for granted the services we enjoy, until they are not there and only then we appreciate the service they provide.

From the front of our home we look out on Strangford Lough.  We see the Strangford – Portaferry ferry cross over the channel ever fifteen minutes.  Today there is no sign of the boat.  I feel lonely and  bereft.  I miss the security of the ferry.  I love to see the boat cross, regular as clock work from seven thirty am till eleven pm.  When we are taking a trip into town we have to take the ferry.  We can leave the house a few minutes before the ferry is due to leave the port.  We get there on time.  No waiting around.

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We cross over on this ferry often.  When we were moving house here a few months ago, one of the workers on the ferry said to my husband, “You will soon own this ferry with all the money you are spending.”  My daughter stayed here a few weeks ago.  She said the ferry was company as she watched it lights as it moved to and fro across the lough. There were lights even though it is not Christmas.

There have been storms this week.  The ferry stills works even through gales, snow  and chilling winds.  Often the men’s hands and faces are blue from the cold, as they collect the fare.  The weather does not stop them being cheery and give a pleasant greeting. But today they are having a day off, even though they are taking unpaid leave. They deserve a reward for the service they provide.  Thank you.

The sea is calm, the sky is bright, no dark clouds or cold winds.  There is no activity beyond on the channel of Stranford Lough today. There is no chug chug from the diesel engines. Only the sound of birds shrilling in the warm sunlight. Today is one of only a few days that the ferry does not operate.  I am so thankful for this service.  God bless the workers today.

Hunting for Bear or Moose in Dawson Creek

Some men in Canada take a weekend off to go Moose hunting.  They travel miles, take camping gear and whatever is needed, in their four by four vehicles.  I did not have to travel far to go hunting.  Moose live wild in Northern Canada.  They normally live in the mountains and forage on food they dig out of the snow.  They come near towns in the winter when they are short of food.

I looked out the back window of the home in which we are staying.  I noticed big footprints in the snow.  Would it be the footprints of a Bear or Moose?  I wanted to take a closer look.  We are in Dawson Creek right now, enjoying the bright sunshine and the snow.  This afternoon I decided to go bear or moose hunting on my own.  I thought I was safe enough.  I didn’t stray far from the house.  I walked along the field at the back of the house.  Yes I found a large footprint.  I followed the tracks up the back .  There were fresh animal droppings, more evidence.  I was excited.  Here I was in the snow up in the North of Canada far from the green grass of home.  I took photos for my investigations.

I was wearing grips on my boots, but they came off in the snow.  I had to go back to find them, alas for they were borrowed.  I found the grips and returned to the house, thankful there was no bear or moose lurking.

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I looked up the internet using my evidence of footprint and droppings to find out what animal had passed by.  I was very happy with the result of my search for large footprints in the snow.  My investigations told me there were Moose about.

I heard a call from downstairs.   Our host told us some Moose were spotted a block away.  We pulled on our warm jackets and got in the vehicle.  We didn’t have to drive far.  There is the bushes was a mamma Moose and a calf.  I had never seen this animal before.  The Moose was well camouflaged in the brown bushes and grass.  When it stood up I couldn’t believe how tall it was.  It looked like a horse, had a hump like a bison and fur like a bear. The young one stood behind in the bushes.  The animals were not startled.  They did not run away.  They just keep a close eye on us.

We stood watching for twenty minutes, face to face with Moose.  Another once in a lifetime event in Canada.  We have had good days in Canada.  God is good.  I am alive.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (‭Psalm‬ ‭27‬:‭13‬ NIV)

Travel Thursday. Flying Across Canada

Brendan and I took a day off from our busy schedule in Canada. We walked in the midday sunshine.  The air was still and warm.  We laid a stone on the grave of a Holocaust survivor.  This is the week to remember the seventieth anniversary of release of Holocaust survivors.

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Two weeks ago we arrived in Toronto to a wintry fall of snow.  I loved looking out at the Christmas scenes from the warmth of indoors.  We walked along the cleared walkways in the winter wonderland.
After a week we travelled by plane to Vancouver over Canada.  I looked out from the aeroplane window to see frozen rivers, lakes and the white landscape below.
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Now we are in Vancouver where it is spring. The crocus open up in the warm sunshine. So I have travelled from Winter to Spring in five hours!

 

 

Weekly Photo Challlenge: Joy

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It is a new month, a New Year, and new beginnings.  I am getting rid of the empty boxes, bottles, wrappings, and cards.  The festivities are over.  It is time to recover

The Christmas preparations take their toll on ones strength.  One needs to be super strong to receive friends, family and give generously.
Did you know that joy gives one strength.  I was going through a difficult time and who does not have them, when I heard a voice say to me “The joy of The Lord is your strength.”
I built up my reserves of strength when I was in Canada in November.  I enjoyed seeing friends, making new ones and receiving love and kindness.  I enjoyed the beauty of Vancouver and the Rockies. We enjoyed the snow.
I particularly enjoy seeing the big trains at Whiterock as they trundle past and the whistle blows.  It is music to my ears.