Ireland, Part I ~ Beginning in the North

By Andrea Cleghorn

The first time I went to Ireland was in 1976, at the end of a six-month, off-season trip to the Continent. The trip had become hard work: I was tired of my three shirts and three sweaters and trying to find radiators that could dry a pair of jeans overnight. I was traveling by train with a boxy, not-ergonomic backpack that could be carried like a suitcase; the polyester skirt and basic black dress had long ago been jettisoned to lighten my load.

Click this link to view a 22-page album of Andrea Cleghorn’s pictures from Northern Ireland – Images of Ireland – Part 1

In Ireland, I was happy to eavesdrop in restaurants, fully understand directions, and read street signs. Even before the euro standardized international currency, Irish money seemed more straightforward, without an impatient or aggressively helpful salesperson grabbing coins out of my hand while I mentally tallied the bill.

The Peepers Are Calling ~ It’s Spring!

By Abby Hafer

In New England, one of the surest signs of spring is not a sight, but a sound. The sound of peepers. Groundhog Day is such a non-starter for us as an indicator of spring that it borders on hilarious. In fact, I have often recovered my February 2 newspaper from a melting snow bank some months later. Early flowers like snowdrops and crocuses, welcome though they are, are completely unreliable as signs of spring as they too often get buried in snow. But by the time that the sound of peepers fills the air, we are on our way.

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