Obviously, St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in Ireland. One thing that most communities do on that day is have a parade. Limerick is no exception so naturally we wanted to watch it. Since parking is an issue at the best of times, we drove over to the mall and parked and walked the rest of the way to the parade route. It was nice that there were lots of people lining the parade route and what was even better is that a high percentage of them were wearing various hats and other green attire and waving Irish flags. The parade itself was very long, 1 hour 40 minutes, and the first half was very interesting, it kind of dragged on at the end. There were lots of community groups, especially children, marching in the parade during the second half; cubs, scouts, girl guides, sports teams etc. It was great to see the participation but did get a little old.
The best part of the parade from my perspective was that there were two pipe bands. One was from here in Limerick and the other was from a city close to here. I certainly enjoyed listening to them as they marched past!
The weather here the last week or so has been a great improvement, no rain. That is certainly a change from the weather we have experienced here all winter. So I took advantage of the relative dryness and got out and mowed our lawn. It hasn't been mowed since early October and although they don't grow much here during the winter they do stay green and grow somewhat. So needless to say it needed it and looks much better. Only downside to mowing is I have to take the lawn mower through the house to get it to the front yard. Maurene decided to go out into the yard and dig up some weeds and discovered we had a sidewalk in the back yard! We could just see a few patches of stone but there was a sidewalk that was overgrown by the lawn. So we got out the table knives and dug and now we have a nice sidewalk to the clothes line and the shed.
We are currently planning a district YSA activity for April 23. We took a couple of trips this week to look at some places that might be good for the activity. One day we drove up to Clare Glens which is a beautiful little creek that has a nature hike that goes up one side to a waterfall and then you cross over a bridge and come down the other side. There is a nice park with picnic tables near the trail head which would be good for a picnic. We stopped in Newport for lunch on the way home and Maurene asked our server if there was anyone in town who might be a good resource for genealogical research. She told us about Hugh who worked at a local garage so we went and met him there. It turns out he is a local history buff and knew about one of the families Maurene was researching. So she is communicating with him and has some good leads as a result. Of course, the Philips were a prominent and wealthy family in the Newport area, a couple of their homes are still lived in here. We also took a short drive out to Bunratty the other day. It is a medieval castle along with a village which is quite a popular tourist attraction. It looked great but unfortunately will probably be too expensive for a YSA activity. We didn't go in for a visit but plan on doing that if some of our kids visit this summer.
We had a nice surprise but also some disappointing news on Monday of this week. We got a parcel in the mail from Skye and her family with a nice crocheted scarf Skye made for Maurene and also some great bracelets that Stratton made for us. There were also letters from Stratton, Ayla and Brixton which were really enjoyed! But we found out that we are no longer able to have lunch with the missionaries after our weekly district meetings. It is a new mission rule and we are disappointed. Maurene liked making lunch for them and we certainly enjoyed sitting down and sharing a meal before they left to their work.
We drove up to Galway on Saturday to join in a branch YSA activity up there. Before the activity we met the Reimers, a senior couple serving in the Galway branch, and went out for supper with them. We went to Scotty's Steakhouse, a little restaurant owned by an American fellow, and had a nice meal with them. We then went to the activity and had a good time with the YSA there. Galway is a very small branch so it is nice to be able to go and give them what support we can.
This is the blog of Elder Tom and Sister Maurene Wilson of our mission to the Scotland/Ireland Mission.