Sometimes it’s good for us to be held back ,restrained for a while,it lets us appreciate what a wonderful thing freedom is ,and that when we have it, to put it to good use. Now that there is an easing of restrictions in the Covid situation ,the whole world seems to be rearing to go. At the moment the weather itself is playing it’s part .We have only to open our Millstreet Website and see accounts of the outdoor events which have been happening around us. Things for young and old to enjoy ,and people there to see that it happens. Soft balmy days ,and nights which often give us heavy rain to keep our streams and wells supplied with the mysterious fluid which we cannot do without. In former years I can remember dry periods which left the farmer concerned about his crops . Local streams and wells would run dry and cattle could be heard for miles around , lowing for water. Some districts were more affected than others ,hilly fields would turn brown and the untarred roads would become dusty. In such times the unwelcome task of drawing water to cattle and for other farmyard uses, became nessessary. Churns which were used only for milk, doubled as tanks, loaded on the horse cart and taken to the nearest sourse of uische. If a person was lucky enough to have help, it made the job reasonably easy, using two buckets ,with one on board taking the full buckets and the other drawing. But for one alone ,not so easy, because when trying to reach up and get the bucket emptied into the tank, it was hard not to get all wet from splashes and near misses. But it had to be done and many trips a day made for as long as the dry weather continued. Where tillage fields were affected, those who were fortunate enough to have a stream which outlived the drought, they adopted the system of irrigation. Using the horse and plough they opened a rut or sod all along the top of the drills ,and turned the water into it ,and at several places along the way they made openings for the water to run downhill along the drills, and kept the precious crops of potatoes, or turnips or cabbage etc alive and flourishing until the Good Lord sent rain again.
God and farmers worked together. Farmers needed God’d help with weather, when to sow and when to reap and all that went on in between ,was done in an atmostphere of prayer. Many’s the time I watched my Dad , with a worried look on his face, looking, thinking, mouthing words I was too young to understand, as he would venture out on some task which he wasn’t too sure of what to do, his only laudable words as he went were , May God Direct me, and away he’d go. Didn’t always get it right,but we survived. As we grew up and thought we knew it all and that we could achieve anything we wanted , there were times when life told us that we really were not in full charge. And the cupla focail with the Man above gave us that final edge which made all the difference. Certain times stand out. Giving birth is part and parcel of mixed farming. Cows calving,Sows farrowing, the horse or donkey giving birth to a foal. Most of the time all went well, and we took it for granted as part of our livelihood, but when women get married and give birth to young of their own, they take on a different view of the labourwards of the farmyard. Sometimes a cow may need help to get her offspring into the world, and at such times,all hands had to be on deck, how I can recall the way I’d ask God’s mercy for some poor animal in the throws of her suffering to let that little newcomer into the world at the next push, fully conscious of my own experience in the same situation. Life and the Good Lord play a big part in what we do and what we are.
Our Community Council annual Millstreet Calendar will be coming out again this year. As well as gracing our table to the coming year containing all the info that we need,it never fails to raise funds for good causes around the parish. At the moment there is a picture on the web.of our Members as they present the proceeds of last years issue to Marie ORiordan ,in aid of Our Sheltered Housing Fund. The material for our issue for 2022 have been selected by you the public. The honour was meted out to our community by the organisers, because of the dramatic year the 2021 has been. A year which hit everybody ,the same as far as Covid was concerned, but so different by the ways that people reacted to it. And by throwing it out to the public they gave you the chance to submit some aspect of year which affected you most, be it in a joyful or non-joyful way. The results will surely be interesting ,and by supporting it, you will be helping yet another good cause in your community.
And still with photos etc. At the Adult Learning Centre they have an opportunity for you to put all the photos in your phone in order. Go there on Mondays of October from 10 to 12 noon. Give Marie a ring for details,of this great service and for details of all that she has to offer at this great place. Marie, 0876863887.
Believe it or not ,there are 64 young men studying for the priesthood in Ireland at the moment. God works in mysterious ways. How we would love to see more priests in our parishes again. In our young days we had the Canon and about four curates in the parish of Millstreet. People of my calibre find it difficult take in the changes which have occurred over the years. And I’m sure that the Padres themselves find it hard to believe also. We’ll see what the Man above has in store.
Bank Holiday time is upon us again. I find it very difficult to stay abreast of the dates and of what’s on. Next Monday October 25th is a Bank Holiday and that is followed the next week by Halloween and the Feast of All Saints on November 1st. For some time now the shops are putting up the spooky decorations ,so we can’t miss it. That is also the annual Trick or Treat time when little ones ,safely accompanied by a parent will do a tour of the relations, after dark, who will have amassed oodles of goodies for them. A worst case cenario is to have a supply in and nobody calls. Then you’re left with a stock of sticky confectionery that you will never use and that even the fox or stray cat won’t like. But it rarely happens.
In our young day we didn’t celebrate like that. For one thing we didn’t have any of the paraphernalia that is going today,and we didn’t have the power of TeleVision to convince us that we can’t be without them. We only had what we heard in school about Hallowe’en, and at home we would make the effort to scare somebody from behind a dark doorway or such. But we would have the Brack. Sometimes a shop may give one free with a bag on messages at Halloween. Mostly, the girls would love to get the ring, because they wanted to marry the man of her dreams. On the other hand the boys liked to get the bean or pea,I’m not sure which, because it meant he’d be wealthy. So the pleading for another slice(or cut ‘o brack as it was called) went on until all was found. Back at the end of September we had Michaelmass ,the Feast of Michael and all the saints,and that was made special when we ate the Michealmass Goose. For weeks before the geese would be taken off the grass where they grazed all year and put into a house and fed oats and spuds,to fatten them up for the big feast day. At plucking time the best of the feathers were kept for stuffing pillows or cushions and the wing ,with its strong quills were greedily saved for cleaning down the stairs, and other nickity places around the fire ,in the days long before to electric hoover. I hope that everybody will have a lovely Happy Hallowe’en .
Here are the results of this week’s lotto draw which was held on Sunday night, Numbers drawn were 9.26.21,30,and the Jackpot was not won. E100 went to Mary OConnor, Keale, The seller was Colemans and they got E50 sellers prize, E50 went to Kay Murphy, c/o Rita OReilly E20 to Margaret Creedon, Ceim, Nora McCarthy C/o Capabu Store, Anita Browne ,C/o Shane at the Mal Paso, Eoin OSullivan Ballydaly , Jerry Heineken C./O The Bridge Bar, Colin & Patrich Healy C/O The Clara Inn PJ Creedon, Cloghoula, & Michael Keane C/O Reens Pharmacy. Jackpot for next week E16,400 the draw on Monday night Oct 25th.
The 45Drive resumes at Ballydaly Hall on Sunday nights ,starting at 8.30 sharp. 45Drive in Millstreet every Tuesday night also at 8.30. Adm. E10.
In the event of Fireworks being used over the weekend, please be mindful of your pets. Dogs especially are terrified of thunder and fireworks,etc. often causing them to run away in distress, some are never found again.
Our sincere thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones recently and all those who are sick at home or in Hospital.
No words of mine can express the sympathy that I want to offer the lovely Hannelie ,and her Family, on the untimely death of her beloved husband Maurice. Down the years Hanelie is the one who takes my weekly Report and put it in the Millstreet Website ,to be dispatched all over the World. When my System acted up on a Tuesday morning, in my distress I had only to take it to her office at O ‘Regans Mills and she always put it right. I’m proud to say that I worked with Hanelie in setting up the Millstreet Website all those years ago, and that is where out great friendship , built on unity and trust ,began. I know how hard she worked in helping her beloved Maurice back to health in the past, and I can only imagine how grieving it must be for her now, when his life could not be saved one more time. As I said at the outset, I have no words good enough to offer you,my dear Hannelie, on the sad passing of your beloved Maurice, but to say that when these few days are over and Maurice is in Heaven, your many true friends including myself will be there for you ,to buoy you up to meet your sad loss. May the Good Lord console you and your family and grant Maurice Eternal Rest.
Sinn a bfuil a cairde, Please take care