Well, my friend, the truth be told, isn't really Irish but married an Irishman (half English) and moved to Ireland. We have been friends for many many years. We met at a conference years ago... we were both speaking. We continued to bump into each other at conferences all over the world. Her husband, also "one of us" in the Process Improvement field, appeared as well. They hit it off and before I knew it, she was deciding if she could possibly live in Ireland. Obviously, she decided yes.
Now, many years later, retired, having assimilated very nicely into her Irish way of life, she writes to me of ways and things I find both beautiful and sometimes hard to imagine. Her life is so different... quiet and slower. They take time to enjoy. She writes beautifully and entertains me with her stories.
Her latest is a story of a tree... a tree made by many in her church,a small one in her town. Let me go back a bit... there's history of trees being part of Christmas at her church. Everyone tries to decorate a tree differently - mostly with homemade ornaments. They sell them to raise money for the church maintenance. But this year my friend undertook a project that she had seen in a magazine... a tree that had been made of cardboard and then covered with quilting squares of felt and heavy materials. It was definitely a labor of love as she described putting it all together. Below is the result - a magnificent Christmas tree.
"Due to the hard work of one of our friends in asking around, the Day Care Centre here said they would take the tree. I had told people if nobody would take it, I would have to tear it apart and we would have to find a use for all those squares (353 at final count) and ornaments (82). I got it all ready for the DCC to take it away in the mini-bus and when I checked in a few days later, it had turned into a ‘Tree for All Seasons’ and was being put up in a corner of the sitting room, to be decorated appropriately for holidays and seasons." And here it stands, ready for Valentine's Day!!
They had matched the colors and the pieces and added ornaments and small toys. The people (mostly elderly in need of some help) at the Day Care Center enjoy it every day. It is being readied for Saint Patrick's Day, of course :-)
I loved her story for a number of reasons - it's a story of people working together to create something quite unique that lives on. Not only does it live on, but people continue to enjoy, love and decorate it.
It's like writing a book... scene by scene, character by character, chapter by chapter until finally after fitting all the pieces together, there is stands! Your masterpiece, made of squares upon squares, with ornaments and hearts, is ready to go forth and be enjoyed by many.
Keep writing. I'm editing my Paris mystery... still fighting to find a good title!