Another nice day by a cozy fire in Wales with good company. I sure do like a wood fire.
I stayed in the sheep shed with Jasmine this morning for quite a while looking at the skiff of snow on the hills across the way.
I felt my dad close. I think he felt bad I didn’t get to know this most wonderful part of my family because he left for Canada and never came back…..but this trip has made up for it. They have all been so kind to me.
This evening my cousin and her husband came and took me to another house here where another part of my family lived. The lady that lives there now was so kind as to show us the original inglenook fireplace in the house. Fascinating all these old fireplaces.
Tonight I finished this cute little book about a toy windup mouse and his son. I love happy endings. Even the nasty old rat ended up being an uncle to the son. It was a charming story.
Then, as if the day wasn’t good enough my cousin Noella texted me and we had a wonderful little visit. It’s just like we’ve known each other forever.
Then I got a phone call from home saying we’re headed back out to then prairie when I get back, to work for someone real nice.
I have so much to be thankful for.
Here I am in the Welsh hills, home of my fathers on Easter Sunday.
I really appreciate this time free from distractions to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit that has long been my friend and counsellor.
It is that Spirit who fills my heart with love for my Creator and all his creations, who testified to my soul that He lives.
I feel so much peace knowing that the Lord is mindful of me, loves me that much that He choose to give me, personally, the gift of the Atonement, which is the gift of Home, if I do my part, if I can gain the faith I need to choose what is right and good. To know He conquered it all and that it was His love for me that gave Him the strength to do that. I am so humbled by that, so humbled.
It is the Spirit that whispers: All is just as it should be. Nothing happens to us, it happens for us.
It is the Spirit that helps me to understand, to know it’s not easy for you or me but the course of any life is not easy; to know too that if we don’t take a step we don’t get anywhere and the harder the path the stronger we can become and to know now to reach for the hand that is always offered and that as we climb to top of the hill we will always need help, His help, His helping hand, the hand with the nail prints.
Please click here for an Easter gift of song.
Happy day, I got to do chores.
My lovely friend, Cariad, (my cousin said that means sweetheart in Welsh, which she definitely is, oddly coincidental that we often call our daughters sweetheart when we talk to them) is allowing me to do chores at her place while she is away for a few days.
I am much more popular today with the two Welsh sheep, the twins Dehlia and Dahlia, at least while I was feeding them.
Jasmine (no picture of her)thought she should have more than her share of sheep nuts. No wonder she’s in a different field. A little pushy but still really nice. All these years living with a cowboy who says he’s allergic to sheep so I never knew if I would like them or not but so far they are a check mark in my book of likables.
The little birds were so excited when I showed up to feed them. The cats however are not entirely sold on me yet but I’ll win them over.
After chores I had a luxurious bath and I’m feeling pretty and smelling like a rose.
And happy as can be on this rainy day snug as a bug in this cutest 300 year old cottage. You just can’t imagine how lovely it is.
I’m sitting on a bench by a brook in the Welsh hills listening to water falling, the wind in the treetops, birds whistling and chirping and cawing. I can hear a ewe calling her lambs and the tiny little call of a lamb for his mam. The air is alive with sounds of life and nature but in my heart is a quiet so profound that it seems to be spillig out my eyes.
I contemplate the day over 2 millennia ago when the earth herself groaned at the death of her Creator. And yet, this day, life lives: His life, my life, and all the life around me.
In the wise words of an eleven year old boy: life finds way.
I found a way.
My cousin gave me this lovely little ornament from her home. She said it was a Robin, her favorite. I thought it didn’t really look like a Robin but it does, an English Robin.
One day I just happened to see two birds that looked like this ornament and when I asked what they were I found out they were indeed called robins. They are delicate, little birds about the size of a wren.
compared to the much bigger robins I’m used to.
So many differences. I look forward to spring and Robin’s beautiful song when I get back to Alberta.
Remember the Welsh castle, the red one? Well I got to go see it all up close and inside.
Every castle needs a statue.
This is a magnolia tree.
I got to go inside but alas they asked us not to take pictures. All I can say about it was that it was very homey inside, a place where a person could actually live. I always thought castles where just big stone cold buildings but apparently not.
Not too sure about a bunch of statues of Roman emperors (I don’t think they knew the history of Caligula, or they would have had his bust sitting in that hallway).
The ping pong table was all inlaid stone. I liked the Blue Room. In the kitchen area there was a lead lined sink where all the dishes were done which didn’t seem like a very good idea. Only one piano, albeit a very nice one.
But the library, I loved the library. It was the best room in the whole place: great view, lovely window seat, big fireplace, paintings on the ceiling, a ladder to reach the top books, and the one door looked like actual bookshelves.
Only in Wales would the door knocker be a dragon.
We had fun in the stable where the tie stalls were. That broom started the whole thing.
I liked the handcart.
But the peacocks were really pretty.
This is Alun the biggest male.
And they loved crumbled dog biscuits that my cousin always carries in his pocket. In fact he attracted a whole enterage of peacocks with his dog bisquits.
The funny part was theses two men with cameras had been waiting half an hour for a male peacock to display like this and they thought my cousin was a peacock whisperer because he came along said a few words and out stands all the peacocks feathers and he did it twice. (I don’t think they noticed the bisquits)
I know a lot of people have some vague wish that they were younger but I wish I was precisely 11 years old.
If I could be 11, I know exactly who my best friend would be: this Welsh boy wearing a bright red Canadian tooke standing in front of this tree.
I got to go with him and my cousins to visit this really interesting place called: Greygynog
He and I had so much fun together. We are interested in the same things. I love his compassion for nature and interest in everything.
We saw a tree that had a cable buried into it and talked about the trees in Fanghorn Forest and maybe why they didn’t like people.
This is us in front of the three bear’s house where Santa actually comes around Christmas. (He and I are still young enough to know the truth about Santa that everyone else has forgotten as they got older.) I hope he never gets that old. I didn’t.
We talked about bees and wasps and hornets and saw mushrooms that are sometimes poisonous and I told him about how I ate wild onions on the prairie once and how it looked like the really poisonous Death Camas.
I found out he got an award for orienteering, 2nd best in Wales I think he said. I was really impressed by that because I’ve tried it when I was a cub/scout leader and know it’s not easy.
Yup, I wish I was precisely eleven.
Bara Brith means speckled bread. It’s a little bit like fruitcake but a hundred times better. Why have I never heard of this delicious bread till I went to Wales? Everyone seems to have it and sugar or not I can’t refuse piece.
Because of Bara Brith I have a plan on how to get back to Wales. I’ll make loaves and loaves of this delicious stuff and tons and tons of Cacen Cymraeg (welsh cakes which are really more like cookies cooked in a cast iron frying pan). Then every Saturday I’ll go to the Farmer’s Market in Medicine Hat, set up a table with a Welsh flag behind and sell it all till I get enough money to come back.
Oh and the Thursday evening Market too. And maybe one or two other community markets.
Ok now I’m getting ahead of myself.
First I have to see if I can make Bara Brith so it tastes as good as in Wales. I wonder if my cousin would mind me trying out his oven here. Let me see, now where did he go?
My cousin has good memories of my Welsh Grandfather. He said he remembers being out in the field with him when pigeons were cooing. Dad Jones asked him if he knew what they were saying. When he innocently said no, grandpa said: they are saying buy two cows Davey, buy two cows Davey.
That’s because they only had one cow. This is my grandfather and the one blue cow.
He also said he was complaining to grandpa about someone and grandpa told him:” you have no right to judge anyone because you don’t know what has happened to that person in their life. ”
Not all the cousins have fond memories of him but because of this cousin I now do.
Grandpa had lived through wars and lost his brother who he was close to in the the First World War. My dad, Dad Jones’s son, was named after that brother. And that bother had a son named after his brother, Dad Jones.
That brother was killed in Mametz Wood in France in 1916 along with many other Welsh men. So many that a monument was erected there of the Red Dragon tearing barb wire.
This year in July will be 100 years since that battle.
Click here to read more: Mametz
The day before Dad Jones’ brother died he wrote this letter home, in Welsh, mentioning my Grandfather.
So I think grandpa is right, we shouldn’t judge because we don’t know what has happened in people’s lives to make them the way they are.