Daffodils Again, Please

My kind neighbor arrived at my home a few days ago with a daffodil plant. All in an effort to make me smile. Here’s a picture of the cheery and elegant gift.

A cheerful reminder in my kitchen

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of daffodils (taken a few years ago) in Cafe Rua’s window.

The daffodils are my way of thinking about spring, light, new birth, lengthening days. Whenever I’ve been fortunate enough to be in County Mayo, in February or March, the sight of daffodils pushing up everywhere put a lilt into my step and hope into my heart.

The feelings of hope are important to me right now. And, I imagine to many of us. For me, I’ve been most saddened to have to place my mom into a memory care home. I’m trying to face this with grace, courage, and strength. Thus, my neighbor’s act of kindness in giving me the daffodil plant.

So, on this first day of February, I wish you lots of daffodil moments in the coming months.

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Sneachta in Ireland

Sneachta is forecast in parts of Ireland today. No, I’m not talking about snacking or being snarky. Sneachta is the Irish word for snow. Snow rarely happens in Ireland’s fairly moderate climate. So, when it does snow, sneachta gets thrown around a lot. Because why not? If you live in a country where it rarely happens, you’ve got to make the most of the word when you can. Here’s a picture from a few years ago. We were in County Mayo in French Hill cottage. We woke up to sneachta!

December 2017 The View from the kitchen doorway

Later in the day when the temperature warms up and it’s safer to tackle the snow or ice covered roads, a brisk walk along Barney Road is most enjoyable. Just don’t forget to wear your wellies.

Barney Road with dusting of snow in French Hill

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Looking for Daffodils

It’s been a heartbreaking week so I thought I’d post something cheerful. Something positive. So, I went looking for daffodils. I chose this picture from three years ago. The photo is of Cafe Rua’s front window on Spencer Street in Castlebar, County Mayo.

Shop window of Cafe Rua
Cafe Rua’s Shop Window

Cafe Rua is one of my most favorite places to go to every morning when I’m in Ireland. The Americano coffee (with pouring cream) is excellent. The first floor of the cafe is a specialty store filled with all kinds of goodies from wine to cheese. And don’t forget the baked scones and brown bread. Upstairs is a cheerful restaurant where raspberry jam and brown bread accompany eggs and rashers.

Upstairs at Cafe Rua

Here in the United States, we have a ways to go until spring. But I hope that like the phrases displayed in the shop window, we soon begin to experience “Good Vibes” and know that “Anois teacht an Earraigh” (spring is coming). So, here’s to daffodils and new beginnings whether they come in Febuary or March. In the meanwhile, keep the love going. Yours truly, Martha.

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New Bridges in 2021

This picture, from a few years ago, popped up in my iPhone memories scroll. I think it pretty adequately depicts how I feel about 2020 and the hope for new bridges, new ways of moving forward in 2021.

Pocantico River, New York

Here’s to being able to hug each other again, go browsing through a shopping mall, enjoy a dinner in a restaurant with friends and family, and travel to County Mayo, Ireland. But most of all, I want to leave the fear behind.

The sights along Barney Road, French Hill, County Mayo

I recently stated to a friend that I am so looking forward to this pandemic being over. My friend replied, “That’s okay, provided you are working your bunnies off to prepare for the future.” Sounds like good advice and something to think about as I plan for a better and healthier year ahead. What about you? What are you planning and hoping for? What will you do differently?

Happy and Merry Christmas

Is it Happy or Merry Christmas? Here in the United States we wish a “merry”. Oftentimes in Ireland, I hear “happy”. 2020 has been a tough year for me and many of my friends and family. But today has been a day of peaceful reflection and gratitude. A day of thankfulness that we are all still together (figuratively). So I would say that this is a Happy Christmas.

Whether you are in the US or in Ireland, I want to wish you a happy and merry Christmas. Here’s some pictures from “Merrier” Christmas times:

I hope you have a day of peace, joy, and love. Happy and Merry Christmas. Nollaig Shona Duit.

In the meanwhile, keep the love going. Yours truly, Martha