71. Happy Thanksgivin’ Day!

J.M.J.

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Thanksgivin’-time is mighty fine!

There are so many thanks of mine!

And right now I give thanks for you…

My Friend…you read and visit, too!

Thank you for comin’ to see me…

My thanks are for me and Nannie!

For all good things we pray for you,

And hope for laughs and fun-times, too!

For peace of heart and cheer of mind,

Lotsa blessings of ev’ry kind…

Happy Thanksgivin’ to you and yours!

Much Grace from Heav’n, we hope God pours!

And then some day when life is done,

Let’s hope we played and had some fun…

And when we are all home with God,

We’ll give grand thanks for this old Sod!

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Happy, happy Thanksgivin’ Day to You and Yours from Me and Mine!

God bless you is what I do say, in ev’ry way so grand and fine!

Note from Nannie!

On this wonderful day of celebration and thanks during harvest time, I would like to quote from a periodical I love to read, each day, called “Magnificat.”

“Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.  (1Cor 3:7)

God’s blessing is true light in the mind’s darkness, true rain for the soul’s earth, true life for the seed of everlasting life that lies buried in the soil of the human heart.  With God’s blessing the earth yields a rich harvest of generous thoughts, kind words, and good deeds.  For today’s harvest, we give thanks and praise.”

(Magnificat, November, 2015)

Happy Thanksgivin’ Day!

God bless you and thank you for stopping by!

70. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (12)

J.M.J.

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Hello, Friend!  Nannie here !

Little Finney just loves Thanksgiving time, or as he would say, “Thanksgivin’ time!”  Finney knows that lots of celebrations begin during this last week of November, and that Christmastime begins right after Thanksgiving!

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This wonderful Thanksgiving-time of year nicely prepares us for the birth of Our Little Lord, Jesus!

As we reflect on all we have to be thankful for, our minds are diverted (and thank God for this!) from some of the challenges and struggles that tempt us away from trusting that God’s Grace will always provide.  We all know that the world has much suffering and hardship occurring at every moment, but we also know that God hears our every prayer.  Given that all that is good comes from God, we know we can count on Him and be thankful to Him.    And every year, at Christmastime we celebrate the birth of The Child Jesus, Who changed everything…our Redeemer and our Savior.

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Finney loves to talk about Christmas, but Thanksgivin’ happens first and it is only a few days away, and, there are really some fun facts to know!

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At Thanksgiving time we can find ourselves in a much better mindset if we truly do reflect on all we have to be grateful for…Family, Friends and Blessings too numerous to mention.

 Of course, we all are familiar with the “Thanksgiving Story.”  One of the primary sources of the story that we have come to know is from a letter, written by Edward Winslow, to a friend about the rejoicing together in “a special manner, ” that occurred in 1621, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Edward Winslow praised God for the “good increase” in the harvest.  The letter explains that after the harvest had been “gotten in”, there was a desire to “rejoice together” in a “special manner.”  Mr. Winslow also tells us “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation (at Plymouth) and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

“Today’s national Thanksgiving celebration is a blend of two traditions:  the New England custom of rejoicing after a successful harvest, based on ancient English harvest festivals; and the Puritan Thanksgiving, a solemn religious observance combining prayer and feasting.”  (www.plimoth.org)

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Around 1789, “George Washington called for an official celebratory ‘day of public thanksgiving and prayer.’  While Congress overwhelmingly agreed to Washington’s suggestion, the holiday did not yet become an annual event.”  It wasn’t until 1863, “expressing gratitude for a pivotal Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on November 26, 1863.”  And that is why we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November.  (www.history.com)

Well said, about Thanksgivin’, at http://www.plimoth.org … “Despite modern-age turmoil — and perhaps, even more so, because of it  — gathering together in grateful appreciation for a Thanksgiving celebration” with Family and Friends “is a deeply meaningful and comforting annual ritual to most Americans.  The need to connect with loved ones and to express our gratitude is at the heart of all this feasting, prayerful thanks, recreation, and nostalgia for a simpler time.

And somewhere in the bustling activity of every November’s Thanksgiving is the abiding National memory of a moment in Plymouth, nearly 400 years ago, when two distinct cultures, on the brink of profound and irrevocable change, shared an autumn feast.”

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In regards to Thanksgiving and Ireland…                                                                     An article written by John Fay can be found at http://www.irishcentral.com.  Mr. Fay tells us that in Ireland there is no “Thanksgiving Day,” but “many Americans here (in Ireland) shift their celebrations from Thursday to Saturday, when they have the time needed to prepare the dinner.  Also, for those who don’t have family here (in Ireland), a Saturday celebration makes it easier to invite over a few Irish friends to take part in Thanksgiving.  (Just because it’s not a holiday here (in Ireland), doesn’t mean Irish people will turn down a nice big dinner and a couple glasses of wine.)

In regards to a turkey, Mr. Fay tells us they have to be ordered in advance, and that the Americans in Ireland seem to be loyal to having Thanksgiving-time turkey!

Mr. Fay finishes his article with these words, “Who doesn’t need a day to take a time out from all the hustle and bustle?  A day with no card, no gifts, no nothing other than time”  Time to reflect?”  What’s not to like?”

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Watchin’ the sky!

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In order to close on a truly Irish Thanksgiving note…it appears, as is told in an article by John Cusack, also at http://www.irishcentral.com, that in February of 1621 (the February before the Fall of 1621 that we have been speaking of), “According to the ‘Observant Citizen,’ a columnist for the Boston Post, the Pilgrims in the winter of their first year were starving and faced the end of their project to colonize the new land when a ship arrived from overseas bearing the much needed food.  It turns out, from records at the Massachusetts Historical Society, that the wife of one of the prominent Plymouth brethren was the daughter of a Dublin merchant and that it was he who chartered the vessel, loaded it with food and dispatched it to Plymouth.

Thus, these records give “the Irish a fair claim to saving Thanksgiving!”  The name of the article?  Well…”How the Irish saved Thanksgiving.”  Thomas Cahill (author of How the Irish Saved Civilization would be cheering!  As are we!  Nice to know we played some part that had to do with making sure that great celebration happened,  almost 400 years ago!

God bless you and thank you for stopping by!

P.S. from Nannie…computer technology has been thwarting me these last several days…;)

69. Thankin’!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

This mornin’ me Mum called to me.

I heard her say “Finney! Finney!”

When I hear me Mum call my name,

Not to answer would be my shame.

Me Mum taught me I should be kind.

I know that, me Mum, I should mind!

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She prays and teaches me so well,

And there is something I will tell…

Me Mum and Dad take care of me,

So I can live each day safely.

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I’m thankful for all that they do.

I know there’s need to say “Thank You!”

And at this special time of year,

Thanksgivin’ Day is very near.

It’s a fun day to think of all

We’re grateful for, both big and small…

To think of blessings God has giv’n,

With His Love and Care from Heav’n!

Me Family and me Friends I love,

Are gifts from God, in Heav’n above.

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I do say “Thank You, God, for all

These loved ones who are tall and small!”

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I’m thinkin’ now of very much

That shows to us God’s Lovin’ Touch…

The breeze and sky and sun and moon…

The birds in flight…a pretty tune…

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The stars that shine all through the night,

And lovely scenes that come to sight…

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The small sand grains that glisten bright

When Sun’s fine rays beam them with light…

The grand green grass so thick and fun,

To play and run on ‘fore day’s done…

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The autumn leaves whose colors blaze,

As trees go through their changing days…

When all their leaves that once were greens

Change into bright, grand rainbow scenes…

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The orange, yellow, and red leaves

Fall to the ground with graceful ease.

The earth takes on leaves’ golden glow,

While bare trees let us know that snow

Might even not be far away,

To fall softly on a cold day.

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We’re grateful, too, for Winter fun,

When it is cold, but still there’s Sun…

When Winter’s air’s so cold and clean,

And snow might treat us to a scene,

Where each branch has crystal-ly shine

That comes when ice and snow combine…

When cozy warmth of fire’s glow

Helps us not be too cold from snow..

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When Mum’s dee-lish and steamy meals,

(That help us know how good it feels

To warm right up after a chill),

We so enjoy and we know will

Take care of hungries that we had,

And, if something made us feel bad!

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We’d be content then…feel so good…

These kinds of things quite nicely would

Help see us through to early Spring

When season’s change warms everything!

And then the fresh Spring rains do come,

And help bring flowers and bee’s hum!

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All colors, shapes, and different size,

Flowers bring comfort to our eyes!

The hawthorne blooms, and daffodils,

Bring beauty to the vales and hills.

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The crocus flowers and blackthorn,

Bring blessings on a Springtime morn!

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But best of all, with Springtime days,

Come grand breezes blowin’ all ways!

When Springtime passes…Summer’s here,

Four fine, grand seasons in the year!

The Summer brings us swimmin’ time…

With picnickin’ and trees to climb…

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Days at the beach and soft sea breeze…

Grand games to play with fun and ease,

While makin’ time, in the right way,

So work is done…most ev’ry day!

And Summer’s flowers!   Everywhere!

So many, many here and there!

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And all the creatures of the Earth,

They grow and live after their birth!

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And I could speak of so much more

That I could say I’m thankful for…

But I’m so hungry…need to eat…

And me Mum’s cookin’s hard to beat!

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I am so thankful I can say,

I see God’s blessings in my day!

And after I enjoy my meal,

I know so well how good I’ll feel!

I’ll play and laugh and maybe dance,

And watch the stars? There is a chance!

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I hope that you are grateful, too,

For all that God has given you!

I know that we each are so blessed!

What joy if this, we all confessed!

We’d all feel good in a fine way…

‘Twould make a grand Thanksgivin’ Day!

And speakin’ of, I’d like to say,

I am so glad you came today!

A fine Friend to Nannie and Me,

I hope you know how grand you be!

So thankful we are to know you,

God bless you grand, and keep you, too!

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And one more thing… I’d like to say

Have a Blessed Thanksgivin’ Day!

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68. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (11)

J.M.J.

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Kevin O’Hara tells us of his travels around Ireland with his princess of a donkey, Missie, in his more-than-wonderful book, Last of the Donkey Pilgrims.  I have a particular fondness for Kevin’s stories of his Grannie Kelly.

With Kevin’s permission, I will quote some words from his book…!

When Grannie knew that Kevin was going to embark on his great adventure, she had this to say…”I’m not going to allow a wayfaring grandson of mine to roam the earth with a donkey without first making a pilgrimage to Knock.”

After arriving at Knock, Kevin tells us that after obediently filling “two bottles with the holy waters of Knock,” he and Grannie went to Mass.  Kevin says that Grannie preferred the “off-season…she liked prayer without fanfare.”

After Mass and the Stations of the Cross, putting “two coins into an Offering Box,” lighting candles, and kneeling in prayer as well as writing her intentions on paper, Grannie then put “two more coins into the Offering Box,” did more lighting of candles, and put her written intentions “into a brass box beneath the statue of Mary, marked PETITIONS.”  Then, more prayers (“soft and sweet and endless,” as Kevin says!) with much contemplation!

Then Kevin says, “Finally, as though she had received a heavenly answer, she stood, genuflected, and walked back to join me.     ‘Now, then,’ she smiled, taking hold of my hand.  ‘Now you and your Missie can travel the Ring of Ireland.”

Would that we all began our endeavors with such spiritual preparation…Thank God for the Grannie Kellys of the world!

Kevin O'Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermott!
Kevin O’Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermot!

Another “Kevin” story, and one which has found a firm place in my mind’s treasure house of stories that have made quite an impression on me…

Kevin tells the tale of meeting Brother Malachy Daly, “a plump, jovial, middle-aged Passionist”, who smokes a pipe.  Kevin became acquainted with Br. Malachy when he (Kevin) was blessed with hospitality at Mount Argus Monastery, in the Dublin area.

Kevin tells us…(excerpt from his book)

After Br. Malachy made something for Kevin to eat, they “sat alone in the large kitchen” of the Monastery.  As Kevin told Br. Malachy about kindnesses he (Kevin) had received during his travels around Ireland, Br. Malachy said, “God has always provided the pilgrim…in Ireland, especially.  We have a long tradition of generosity, going back to the ancient kings of the Seven Provinces who set up countless ‘Houses of Hospitality,’ for pilgrim, tramp or wayfarer.  A blessing, that, for haven’t our roads been filled with the destitute over the centuries, with eviction, wars, and famines?  You’re living proof such benevolence continues today.”

“Many Irish, especially old country folk, believe Jesus takes up disguise and walks our road,” the kindly brother went on.  “Saint Caesarius of Arles tells us that ‘Christ comes as often as a poor man approaches you.’  You wouldn’t be Our Lord, now would you?” he smiled, watching me (Kevin) break bread.”

“I’m afraid I’d fail miserably as one of His disciples, ” I (Kevin) demurred, stuffing my mouth.

“Nonsense!  You’re the last of the donkey pilgrims, humbling yourself before God and Man about our country.

I was reaching for another slice of bread when Brother Malachy intercepted my hand with a clasp of fervor.

“Tell me, have you been touched by His grace?  What has changed within you on this roundabout?”

I looked at Brother Malachy, his eyes fixed and watery.

“Well, I have had some hints of grace lately,” I replied, taking back my hand, “but I think it has more to do with being outside all the time, or meeting kind people who thank God for everything but the odd hole in their shoe.”

“Go on,” pressed Brother Malachy, topping off my tea.

“Sometimes I feel the exact moment of the evening Angelus.  It’s as if there’s a pause, a silence, a moment of thanksgiving.  And sometimes prayers just pour out of me, out of the blue, like I’m ready to burst or something.”

“A wellspring of grace.”  He (Br. Malachy)  nodded in satisfaction.  “Any other movements of Spirit?”

“I don’t claim to be any St. Francis, but whenever the road starts to seem particularly long and lonely, a pied wagtail shows up and hops before us, or a swallow goes zipping between Missie’s ears.  Just idle fancies of a wandering mind, I suppose.”

“Rubbish,” he admonished.  “You do a great injustice to dismiss these blessings from God as random occurrences.  You’ve tapped into a Higher Power that many strive for, but few attain.  Blessed birdbrain, don’t discard God’s boundless love as mere coincidence.  Remember, coincidence is simply God’s little miracle in disguise.  The Presence is everywhere for eyes that see and ears that hear.  Keep your journey on the way of the pilgrim.”

I (Kevin) nodded in thoughtful agreement, as my hand grabbled for the breadbasket again.

Grannie Kelly’s prayers had big-time results with this Br. Malachy incident!

Now, our Finney just loves the Missie and Kevin stories…especially the story of Missie being part of the Nativity scene as they neared the end of their Journey…Finney always makes sure the donkey figure is able to not only be sure to be included in his Nativity scene, but as close to Baby Jesus as possible!

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Last fun fact has to do with when Kevin was proud of Missie for being a real “little trooper” when she forged ahead “in spite of the elements.”   As he stroked her, he said, “You’re a credit to your noble breed, you are.  This day (Christmas Eve) two thousand years ago, one of your kind was on the long Judean road from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as reliable to its precious cargo as you are to me.”  I ran my hand over the dark marking on her back and said, “You wear your cross well, dear asaleen.”

A few years ago, I had the fun of being at a County Fair, and I saw among the animals at the Fair, donkeys which were of a smaller type and had a definite “cross” marking on their backs.  Here is a picture I took at the time…

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Of course, there was a story to go along with the unusual marking.  I have had to try to find the story again, so the following information (and a more complete presentation) can be found at http://www.mdresort/legend-christian-donkey

The idea of the “story” is a connection between the donkey that carried Mary to Bethlehem, and the donkey that carried Jesus to Jerusalem (which we celebrate on Palm Sunday).  “To ride on a donkey signified coming in peace…Many Christians believe that the donkey had known what Jesus was about to go through with His trial and suffering.  They say that seeing the tragic event of Jesus’ crucifixion, the donkey wished he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus, as he was the one who should carry such burdens.  The donkey turned his back on the sight, but he could not leave Jesus whom he had carried  He wished to stay until all was over because of his love and loyalty.  In reward for the loyal and humble love of the donkey the Lord caused the shadow of the cross to fall across his back and the donkey has carried the cross ever since…”

I believe you can see why Kevin’s comment to Missie brings this story to my mind!

God bless you, and thank you for coming to visit Finney and me!

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Kevin O'Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermott!     432

Claddagh Village, Galway City
Claddagh Village, Galway City
Galway Bay
Galway Bay
St. Brigid
St. Brigid
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
The Burren
The Burren
St. Enda's Cemetery (Inis Mor*, Aran Islands)where history records more than 120 Saints have been laid to rest!
St. Enda’s Cemetery (Inis Mor*, Aran Islands)where history records more than 120 Saints have been laid to rest!

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Lough Ree (Lake) near Clonmacnoise
Lough Ree (Lake) near Clonmacnoise

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Clonmacnoise is an early Christian site, on the banks of the River Shannon, founded by St. Ciaran in the mid-6th Century (www.heritageireland.ie)
Clonmacnoise is an early Christian site, on the banks of the River Shannon, founded by St. Ciaran* in the mid-6th Century (www.heritageireland.ie)

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Southwest Ireland
Southwest Ireland
Tralee Rose!
Tralee Rose!
St. Colman's Cathedral in Cobh (pronounced Cove)
St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh (pronounced Cove)
The Giant's Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway
“Pattern” of the Giant’s Causeway

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*should be written Inis Mór ; also  St. Ciarán

**Shamrock picture courtesy of Betsey Towne

67. Missie!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a fine way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I, Finney, have a tale for you

That you will love and laugh with, too!

Of Missie Mickdermot I will tell,

So ravishing — a donkey-belle!

A donkey beauty of reknown

Who tavelled Ireland up and down,

With Kevin O’, the donkeyman…

Irish blood…and American!

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Pretty girleen with dark brown eyes,

She looked smart and was small in size.

Black-crossed back and brown coat with shine,

This donkey-mare…Missie…so fine!

 

Kevin O'Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermott!
Kevin O’Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermot!

With “Fleetwood” cart to join the two,

The “loving couple” 😉 travelled new.

They went all ’round the Irish coast.

It took them a good year — almost!

The Sacred Isle - Ireland
The Sacred Isle – Ireland

‘Twas Grannie Kelly prayed and prayed,

While Kevin led and Missie brayed!

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Kilroosky was their place of start.

No day, from then, were they apart!

The happy pair travelled so far

Beneath  Sun’s rays and Night-time’s star.

     

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Start from Roscommon toward Galway…

That was the way on that first day!

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West Coast of Ireland

On to Clare and County Kerry,

Hope their spirits were still merry!

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Then on to Cork, and Waterford,

And then Kilkenny and Wexford,

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Then Wicklow, Dublin headin’ ’round

Louth, Meath, Armagh, and County Down!

The Hill of Tara

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To Antrim, Derry, Donegal…

So many places…That’s not all!

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The Giant’s Causeway and North Coast,

By then sure gave them cause to boast!

 

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Then Leitrim and County Sligo,

Almost done in County Mayo!

So many folks were kind in ways

That helped them thru so many days.

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Their stories are just great to tell,

Of course, Kev tells them very well…

Of Robert Shannon’s fine “thin place”…*

And Grannie Kelly’s prayerful space,

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Brother Malachy’s straight questions,

Conor Pass and its congestions…

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So many mem’ries, much to tell…

Birthday at Knock, St. Brigid’s well…

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Micho Russell, tin whistle champ…

Diff’rent setups for night-time’s camp…

The hedges for hangers were grand,

Such lovely places in Ireland!

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Grannie’s mints, Donal Honan’s cheers…

Rattigan’s Pub, black Guinness beers….

Cella’s dee-lish currant cake snack…

“Tub pneumonia” and Jimmy Mac…

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First April’s days of the old cow…

A pied wagtail on a tree’s bough…

Is sixty seven pounds enough?

With just that much things might get tough!

Three b’s reward’s enough, ’tis said,

Three b’s that are bath, beer, and bed!

Boiled oak bark and mushroom paste…

No need to hurry…nor to haste!

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Field for Missie…Kevin’s soft hay…

Not much quiet with Missie’s bray!

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Hazel sticks and some Irish rain…

Wasp’s dying sting causes some pain!

Mikey Joe’s and Rosary sayin’…

Glad for that! Much need for prayin’!

My Family's resting place in Cobh, Co. Cork!

Glenisheen gold makes collar shine,

Near 3,000 years and still fine!

Parade for Peace — ready for death,

But ’twas no threat to Kev’s life’s breadth!

Kevin O'Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermott!

So, even though we know it’s great,

To have bath, beer and bed as fate,

Great blessings our Kev did receive,

Which all did help him to believe

How God takes care of each of us,

No matter what our muss or fuss!

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When Kev met Brother Malachy,

There was no if or but or why…

But just a clear and certain “how”

Has our grand God worked for you now…

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And when Kev gave this question thought,

Something to do…he really ought…

He realized different helps had come,

Not really knowing just where from….

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A simple bird…a song would sing,

The fine Angelus bells would ring…

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Prayer would burst forth…a true wellspring…

God’s Presence is in everything!

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There’s so much more that could be told…

Of course, some tales of pots o’ gold…

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But mostly of fine folks who care,

Help Kev and Missie everywhere!

From place to place, on they did trod,

All over land on the old Sod.

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Inis Mor

At Sacred Heart Church…nearly done,

Soon home again, with everyone!

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We Leprechauns were glad for this…

That they were home,  Kev and his Miss!

We helped to keep them safe from harm…

With our good looks and wit and charm…

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Well…really was the Grace of God,

That kept them safe on this old Sod!

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We played our part when giv’n the chance,

And then we would play, laugh, and dance!

Kev may have seen us…caught a glance…

Most likely when we danced our dance!

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But glad to help, if truth be told,

We knew with Kev…safe was our gold!

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For Kev and Missie, that’s the tale,

They took the dare and did not fail!

Seventeen hundred twenty miles…

Kev and Missie…lots of grand smiles…

They sure did cover lots of ground!

Kev said she never let him down!

Kevin O'Hara, the Donkey-man, with his Missie Mickdermott!

So happy to be “nosing home,”

From all those days that they did roam!

Near journey’s end, though, it was so,

She had special place to go…

Our Missie found her way to be,

In a Christmas Nativity!

Fitting for her to be in sight,

In this Scene of that Holy Night!

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Though Bethlehem was far away,

In space and time on that fine day,

Dear Missie did her forebears proud,

By Baby Jesus…’twas allowed,

That she should stand so nice and fine,

Right in the glow of Christmas shine!

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 Of  Missie, there is just no way

That would make it easy to say,

How wonderful and fine is she,

Who walked with him on this journey.

She’s, Kev said, of his fine, grand steed…

A credit to her noble breed!

When times were hard and things got tough

She stayed by Kev…even when rough…

  Kev told her she wore her cross well,

Though hard times for her, he could tell.

I, Finney, know all this is true,

For me, this story is not new.

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Me Nannie told me it was so.

If she said this, then she does know…

That Missie Long Ears, Kevin’s steed,

Is mighty, fine, and grand, indeed!

And Kevin’s blessed, by God’s grand Grace,

To share with her, a holy place,

In minds and hearts, forevermore,

Like Leprecauns in Irish lore!

But now it feels like time to sleep!

This story, in my mind, I’ll keep.

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So, I can tell it many times…

But always I would tell in rhymes!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie…

Kevin O’Hara tells his story of the trip he and his donkey, Missie, took around the perimeter of Ireland in his book, The Last of the Donkey Pilgrims.    Kevin has said that one of the things God put him on the earth to do is to tell this story of their great adventure!  Missie was such a loyal and devoted companion that she has been described as “a living token of God’s favor and Grace.”  Kev and Missie took “one step out of the ordinary, trusting to grace and goodwill, and everything followed from that simple sacrament of spontaneity, so Irish at its heart.”  His  feeling at the end of their journey was “a prayer of thanksgiving.”  Any moment you may give to reading Kevin and Missie’s story will find its place not only in your mind, but in your heart!

66. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (10)

J.M.J.

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Hello Friend!  Nannie here!

While we are in the midst of Autumn and the beautiful colors and scenes of fallin’ leaves…

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trees and Ireland make for some very interesting thoughts.   Here are just a few…

www.forestryfocus.ie tells us that Ireland lost most of its flora and fauna during the Ice Age as plants and animals retreated south in the path of the advancing glaciers. When this cold period was eventually over some 10,000 years ago the land was recolonised by species that crossed via land bridges that existed between Ireland, Britain, and the continent. Some species, however, did not arrive in time as the land bridges disappeared under the rising seas from the glacial melt waters.”

The website www.libraryireland.com is a very fun resource! I find some of the older writings present a sense of authenticity that is both moving and inspiring….certainly to be always referenced with a great respect and consideration.  The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland (1841) by Stirling Coyne and N.P. Willis, tells us that “Noble forests once existed in every province, and even on these western shores, so exposed to the violence of the Atlantic gales, stately pines flourished in situations where it is now imagined that no tree can vegetate. The most authentic evidence of the antiquity of the forests and the nature of the trees which composed them, may be obtained from an examination of their remains, which have been inhumed in the bogs. Oak, fir, yew, and birch, are the species of timber most abundant, and these are found under the bogs, sometimes at a depth of thirty feet from the surface. Indeed it has been conjectured that the decay of the immense forests with which the country was formerly covered, has been the origin of many bogs, and a strong degree of probability is given to the hypothesis from the fact that in such situations the roots of trees have been often found resting upon each other.”

Dr. Joyce tells us in A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland 1906, “though bogs existed from the beginning, many districts, where we now find them lying broad and deep, were once forest land: and the bog grew up after the surface had, in some manner, become denuded of trees. Buried down at a depth of many feet in some of our present bogs great tree trunks are often found, the relics of the primeval forest.”

We read at www.askaboutireland.ie that “woodlands and trees played a central role in Celtic society. Ogham, the Celtic alphabet system, was based on trees.”

The Course of Irish History by Moody and Martin, tells us that Tomás Cardinal Ó Fiaich writes that the Ogham alphabet is “a cumbersome system of representing letters by groups of short lines varying in number and position.” Thomas Cahill (How the Irish Saved Civilization) also calls “prehistoric Ogham, a cumbersome set of lines.” Seumas MacManus (The Story of the Irish Race) tells us that “The ogham letters are named for trees. They follow in an order totally different from the order of the letters in all other alphabets…Great numbers of Ogham stones have been found in Ireland…”

If you go to www.ancientscripts.com, you will be able to see a nice presentation of the ogham “letters.”  These next pictures bring ogham to my mind!

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This last fun fact is quite a thought…In a promotional magazine for West Virginia from 1983, Wonderful West Virginia, it is claimed that “in remote areas of West Virginia are Christian messages carved in an ancient alphabetic script called ogham by Irish monks around 700 A.D.” Given that we have been taught that America was “discovered” almost 800 years after that…hmmm…

Thank you and God bless you for stopping by to visit Finney and me!

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65. Nature’s Tellin’!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend! Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I came outside my home today,

And what I saw, I will just say!

The leaves were all over the ground,

Just everywhere I looked around!

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Of course, some shamrocks I did see,

Though hidden in the leaves they be!

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Spring’s and summer’s bright colors fade…

The trees no longer give much shade!

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What was once green, did not look green,

What I saw was a golden scene!

The greens have mostly turned to gold,

It’s been this way since days of old!

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near Cobh (sounds like Cove) in County Cork
near Cobh (sounds like Cove) in County Cork

  Amidst the gold, was orange…red,

Yellow, too…that’s what I said!

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Reds, oranges, yellows, and greens,

With grand blue skies…fine rainbow scenes!

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    All trees orange, red, and yellow,

Are givin’ to us their hello,

And we are havin’ a grand show,

Of all colors of the rainbow!

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Sometimes the sun shines on the leaves,

They look like gold with such great ease…

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Just like the birds when flyin’ high,

The sun shines on them in the sky!

The sun shines on them…on their wings…

Like it would shine on golden rings!

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Some birds fly south, the geese do squonk…

They fly & make their squawky-honk!

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Some of them have flights that are long…

Does not, though, keep them from their “song.”

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Soon trees be bare…leaves have fallen…

Air’s so cool ’cause winter’s callin’!

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The squirrels have found lots to store,

While chipmunks have done that and more…

Sometimes you see them as they munch,

On nuts and stuff, they crunch, crunch, crunch!

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The squirrels’ nests that hid so high,

Among trees’ branches near the sky,

And where once safely they did hide,

Now there they were, in sight outside!

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But do not even try to peek,

Or even, to find squirrels, seek…

‘Cause “Chuck, chuck, chuck!” is what you’ll hear,

If , by their nests, you do go near!

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The deer and bunnies’ fur gets thick,

So winter cold won’t make them sick!

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Some apples are left on their trees,

As well, some berries stay with leaves.

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The Sun is in a different place

For all who live on our Earth’s face!

Sun’s warmth will now not be the same,

For all of us for whom Fall came!

The frost will come, now, as these days,

Have dew drops too cold for Sun’s rays.

Some icy-ness on grass and leaves,

Will glitter in the Sun with ease!

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But Nature’s tellin’ all who “hear,”

That wintertime is very near!

And Nature’s tellin’ us, of course,

About how she’s God’s mighty Force!

I, Finney, will be ready, though,

I do have my red scarf, you know!

So, I will be so snug and warm,

When we might have a winter storm!

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I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!