The year 2013 in Ireland is known as “The Homecoming.”
If you have any Irish blood in you, you are greeted on arrival with “Welcome Home,” and as you prepare to say your goodbyes you are asked, “When will you be coming home again?”
It’s been a heartwarming trip and a very educational one, too.
They still speak of the troubles, meaning the civil unrest of the 1970s. There is an Irish flag but also a flag for each opposing side of the troubles that still causes some deep feelings. I could only compare it to our Civil War from over 150 years ago and the rebel flag, but much more raw for them as it only happened 40 years ago.
They have the same problems facing our nation such as home foreclosures, childhood obesity, too much government, farmers demanding their civil rights and so on. Yet all in all, they are happy, giving people.
I’ve mentioned some of the signs around and about that I find funny. Chemist is the same as our pharmacy, dual carriage lane is the same as our divided highway. They have eat in and take away instead of take out. At one small restaurant I was in charged 1 pound extra (about $1.70) to eat in because of limited seating. We chose not to eat there.
I was able to visit Irvinestown, a place named for my ancestors, who occupied the Necarne Castle for centuries. Yes, really, a family castle! It was built around 1626. The word Ne’ Carne is Gaelic meaning not there.
When under attack, the castle was hid from the invaders by covering it in moss so when they looked over the field there was nothing to see. Obviously, they weren’t too close. Pretty clever. The most recent use of the grounds is for an equestrian park.
It’s up for sale now. How I would love to bring it back into the family. If only I had enough spare change!
I had mixed feelings about leaving. I would have liked to explore more, but time ran out. We flew out of Dublin on Saturday, Oct 5, and arrived at Detroit Metro Airport at 5:30 p.m. Because of the time difference it made for a 29 hour day instead of 24. We were pretty tired when we hit the beds that night.
I’m happy to be on our soil again but so thankful for the chance to have made this journey.
Thanks for putting up with my wandering these last three weeks.
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- Lifestyles & Community
Bee on the lookout as beekeepers convene
Summer vacation season is in full swing, and I had the pleasure of spending the last week and a half filling in at the Farm Store while the store manager, Bethany Pratt, got a welcome respite soaking up the beauty of Ireland.
Cicada-killer wasps are here
The extension office has received numerous phone calls over the past couple of weeks about large wasps hovering in yards all over the county.
This insect is called the cicada killer, and despite its aggressive name, it is not something to be scared of.
Converting from year-round calving to a controlled breeding season
Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers.
Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short.
Paper boys learned life, business lessons
I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.
Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough
The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.
4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons
Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.
Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus
The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.
Warning labels needed on energy drinks
The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.
Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2
I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”
Thank the Lord for the rain
Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.
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