Eily’s Report – 19th May

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.

I hope you are all doing well and are ready for the next step up in our global battle against Corona Virus.  It doesn’t make much difference to people of my age but it’s great to see so many businesses opening up and more people returning to work. Restrictions of course will be severe and I’m wishing all those who have got their freedom the best of luck and God’s blessing as they venture out into what can be called a new world. The world of social distancing and face masks and total dedication in their efforts to return to some sort of normal life. A life where queuing is the norm. Busy people having to stand  for up to two hours to get into a supply store. Being ever thoughtful to sanitise and in lots of cases wear a mask. It won’t be easy but at least there is movement and the air of freedom will give everybody the gusto to meet the new challenges, head on.

God love the little children. They still can’t go to school and meet their friends. I’m sure when they get going they will never again be heard to say, “Mommy why do I have to go to school?” Parents are playing a blinder as they take on a teachers role every day to supervise the lessons which come online to every child.    That’s only one section of the community. Some of  the parents of young people with special needs are finding it extremely difficult. In many cases, because they miss their friends and their routine, and they can’t understand why.

Fair play to our government and our medical people they have steered us from the top of the scale down to a mere five deaths today.  We are proud of them and I know that they are proud of us. They told us what to do and we did it. Buíochas le Dia .  As is said so many times , we’re in it together.

We can go into our beloved parish Church tomorrow Wednesday,  May 20th 2020. A date to put in our diary. We are asked not to touch a thing, the doors will even be left wide open to avoid any contamination. It will be great after all this time , I’m not sure how long but it was before St. Patrick’s Day anyway. Since then our spirits were kept up by hearing  the daily Mass on Cork Music Station for those of us who are not on the local system where the Priest can be seen. The recitation of the Rosary before Morning Mass is great. Especially for those of us who have to pray it alone. Thanks to Sean Radley’s expertise  and Canon John.

Can I tell you about my garden? Not a happy tale my any manner or means. I suppose it was all too good to be true.  Everything in the garden was rosy and then came Jack Frost and burned everything away. My beautiful orange Azalias, the many little flower and vegetable plants that were doing so well and lots more. The weather for the past number of weeks was unnaturally warm and mild.  The growing season came early,and pushed every seed and plant up soft and rich and delicate.   My Japanese Maple and the wedding cake tree  and even the Mountain Ash (Rowan) got a roasting. T.G. my lovely Laburnum escaped.   But if you think I’m grieving, no, I’m not. We were always told that there was a danger of frost right up to the end of May.  Here we were, waking up the plant world weeks before that. The year is young and we can plant again D.V. I have no regrets for planting early because the pleasure that I and indeed a lot of others too, got from it, money couldn’t buy. Here we were in lockdown, a new word in our vocabulary, frightening, strange, almost unbelievable , definitely hard to understand, and what were we to do? Couldn’t visit family, couldn’t hug the children or anybody. Had to cancel every item on the social life. The meetings, coffee with friends, chatting in the shops or on the street. Drives in the car, all gone. Then what, the choice was ours, sink or swim.

So in order to keep the spirits up ,we each had the option to choose whatever it took to see us through. Some knitted, others read books and so on . Needless to say for me it was my garden. My own little patch of ground. So  I went ahead and bought packets of seeds galore. Got a couple of grow bags and lots of compost . Set up a little planting  table to save me from an aching back. Everything I planted  flourished  and it  put the virus almost completely out of my head. When I came in from my garden in the evening, my heart was longing to get out there again next day, full of plans after a restful night. The mental value that I got from my  little plants more than compensated me for the work that I had put into them and for the peace of mind they gave me.To quote a lovely few words , “The kiss of the sun for pardon. The Songs of the Birds for Mirth, I feel nearer to God in My Garden, Than any place else on Earth.”

The lockdown also brought very valuable family time in many homes and the amount of D.I.Y. that was done is amazing. It gave people time to do the things they always wanted to do but for the pressure of time. Thus turning a bad situation into  something great. I even got my mossy lawn  ploughed up and  reseeded at the eleventh hour before John D. went back to work.

Our beautiful Town Park continues to serve our community in a big way. Great numbers of people of all ages go there every day to get their much needed exercise. And thanks to many volunteers it is kept in pristine condition. But alas, I was disappointed last week to see some  used tissues thrown along the walking  paths.  On behalf of everyone I would like to ask people to refrain from this horrible practice more over in our present situation. It’s great to see our Pitch ‘n Putt club opening and we wish them every safety .

Against all the odds  we have a new type of Church Choir to look forward to at the 11.30 Mass on next Sunday. Thanks to the great work of Edel Fraser who organised it all on line with our dedicated choir members. We are eagerly looking forward to them on Sunday.   Roll on July 20th when the church will open for Mass, under strict rules of course.

Mary Hickey, The Square , used her fine business yard to hold a pop up sale of flowers on Monday. Giving us all some new stock to kick start our flower gardens again. Garden Centre’s all over the place are ready for a rush of business and are well supported in spite of strict regulations.

Michael Cashman never tires of delving into the past to bring us details of the happenings of the past, hundreds of years back, which I find fascinating. His ability to source family links is amazing. How he finds the time I don’t know, and I want to thank  him for the recent information that he gave me about own my family tree.

I had a pleasant surprise last Sunday afternoon when I answered my phone, No need to ask who it was, It was the pleasant voice of Daniel O Connell himself, wanting to know how I was doing ,and telling me how things were with him in Donegal. Needless to say in lockdown . He said they were getting some welcome rain as it had been very dry for weeks and the farmers needed it. He sends his best wishes to all in Millstreet and never forgets the wonderful reception that he and Majella got at our St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Needless to say his many of his world wide engagements are cancelled but he is hoping that   his concert in Killarney will go ahead later this year.

Cork Music Station is truly amazing and Sean never fails to use it to the best advantage for us. As well as the regular Masses, Sean presents his weekly show every Tuesday night from 9.30 to 11 and following morning Mass he plays some lovely music & songs until 11. Then on Sundays following 11.30 Mass he runs a request program, very often using local talent.  Last week we got a re-run of our CD, which was made by our Community Singers under the guidance of Maria Twomey. To say  it went down so well with the listeners, would be an understatement.  Almost as if they were hearing it for the first time and I’m sure he will run it again. (Play it again Sam).

Be reminded that the Canon O Donovan Centre continues to provide daily meals, every week. Just give them a call and it will be delivered to your door. A different menu every day. The number to call is 029 70926.

That’s about it for me, for this week. Please abide by the rules in which ever category you belong. It won’t be easy. But as time has proven, it is worth it.  Slan, Agus Beannacht de leath

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