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Newsletter November/December 2009


Practicing thankfulness.

To begin our Thanksgiving celebration, we took the Drennans out for dim sum lunch at Lee’s Garden.  We were able to say we appreciate them and are thankful for the opportunity they have provided us to be here.  While on the other side of town, I stopped at Lee’s Foods for Asian foodstuffs and I found roast duck!  Yum!  Yum.

Continuing with thanksgiving thoughts, the British and Irish eat turkey at Christmas.  Pumpkins for jack o’ lanterns are new.  They used to carve a turnip.  It is said that Irish immigrants brought this tradition to America but couldn’t find turnips, so the pumpkin was used, which is making its way back to Ireland.  So last year I paid $5 for a

pumpkin and this year $3, and I intend to get my money’s worth by baking it, making pies and pepitas.  For all that money and trouble, be thankful for a can of Libby’s!  There is no pumpkin pie to buy, or canned pumpkin, or pie plates as we know them.  I’ve superimposed my pumpkin over the bowls scene in the church hall to say that Ward is grateful for his weekly evening to practice indoor bowls.  He is applying mind over matter to keep the ball on the mat and near the jack.  This motivates him to work on his dexterity and he is the recipient of kindness and encouragement from the regulars.

McCall and William invited us up to their Downhill hostel for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was sooo nice.  We stayed overnight, bundled up, and had a nice walk on the beach.

Keith Ashe and I organized a fish and chips supper.  We ordered from a local chippy who was delighted to sell 40 fish suppers.  I contributed carrot and English cucumber sticks to munch.  Keith insisted despite the load of carbs, that fish supper is served with buttered white bread.  Members provided a skit and I invited Dorothea, a Canadian I met recently, to play the piano for us.  Tea with milk and chocolate mints and we made £205 ($340).

This is my third Guides Sale and second Bible Auction. The fish supper, Guides sale, and Bible auction are social as well as fund raisers.  The Guides Sale is a rummage sale and I picked up “A River Runs through It” and a 60s Soul CD for 10 pence each.  The young girls serve tea and scones for a pound each.  At the Bible auction we bring things that are referred to in the Bible, like grapes, honey, olive oil, unleavened bread, cakes and we bid on them.  Some rummage sale items were auctioned.  At the end the auctioneer said “how about 50 p for this plate, awk no one wants it” and I thought “50 pence for a gold rimmed plate sure give it to me”.  It turned out to be a beautiful Limoges Coronet plate with delicate roses with a plate clip ready to hang on the wall.  It is my prized possession besides my Belleek candy dish which Dorothy gave us on our wedding anniversary, and a Belleek platter which Randy, Evelyn and Tuey bought us when they visited.

I am most thankful for discovering the Cornerstone Community.  After returning from Iona, in August, we went up to Corrymeela (www.corrymeela.org) in Ballycastle.  We met a woman there, Sheila Livingstone, who told us about the Cornerstone Community (www.cornerstonecom.fsnet.co.uk) near us in Belfast.  She invited us to one of their weekly meetings to speak about our work.  This led to an invitation to their monthly lunch.  This has been our first opportunity to meet Catholics who are not former Catholics but still practicing their faith who want to bridge with Protestants.  The community includes roughly 16 people of many denominations some living together, meeting and praying regularly.  They are networked with many other like-minded groups and had a dramatic role during the Troubles providing a visible unity.  We are pleased to meet them.

Lastly, we are thankful for you, our friends at home.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
Phone: (028) 90 291986  From U.S. 01144.2890.291986

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