The Parting Glasses

I’m too sad to write this post, so I will let my photos and videos do the talking while I sit back and fill in the gaps with petty descriptions. I would air on the sentimental side for my last post, but then I might cry on my computer, which would ruin it from salty water damage, which would be expensive, which I wouldn’t be able to manage, which would make me sentimental. So, I think I’ll just tell you about our week. For the last time.

Eat. Pray. Socialize. Sleep is supposed to be in there somewhere, but it seems to have gone by the wayside recently, in place of socializing. Mind you, we have been tying knots on a few things here and there, but we’ve also recognized the value of bidding our farewells carefully and gradually.

Kennedy Park’s closing prayer service took place on Tuesday with many songs centered on fine weather and many voices singing and speaking together from the primary school. They honoured Fr. Martin, who’d been chaplain of Kennedy Park for a number of years, they honoured a gal who had never missed a day of school in all of her years in Kennedy Park, and they honoured—wait, what? You want us to come up? Nicole and I were touched to be thanked and given little tokens of their appreciation for our work with the school over the year. It was our pleasure, to say the least!

Directly afterwards, we all accompanied Fr. John Paul Sheridan to lunch at Cistin Eile in Wexford where he asked us all both what we would miss from our time in Ireland as well as what we were looking forward to about going back to the US. Among our answers for things we were looking forward to were non-instant coffee, driving, Dunkin Donuts, consistently sunny days (and with that, wearing summer apparel), Starbucks, friends/family, Caribou Coffee, and corn-on-the-cob. Oh. And coffee. (Can you see a trend here?)

We had a session before that other session we had which was after that other one and during the one we’re having now. (In short, lots of time and music and friends n’ such. And pork sausages. Which I will miss.) But really, here’s a neat clip from the session at Stasia’s house a few days back.

And if that weren’t enough music and socializing, we hosted all of the choirs at the Teach Thursday evening. I requested a Fr. Denis original, which you can see for yourself here!

I had attempted to throw together a last minute dessert and learned an important lesson in the process. A dessert cannot be simply “thrown together” with leftover ingredients like, say, a pasta or omelette can. I made a graham cracker crust and had planned to place a chocolate mousse-type delicacy inside. However, the crust sank down the edges in the oven and blobbed up into a dark, burnt mess of gluten. As for the mousse, the recipe I was ratherish following called for whipping cream and blocks of baking chocolate. I used a combination of milk, cream, and ready-whipped stuff for the dairy end. For the chocolate, I emptied my cabinet of anything chocolate-looking and into the pot went the rest of our smores kit Hershey bar, a maple-nut bar from Germany, my hollow chocolate Easter egg, some raspberry thing from Christmas, and some M&Ms…until I realized how much effort it took to strip the colored candy coating. It would be a funny exaggeration…but I think it’s more humorous that it’s the gosh honest truth. To that I added a heap of my favorite food (butter) and poured it into a pan (since the graham crust had other plans for itself…namely, suicide.) Needless to say, the glop of sugar is still congealing in the fridge. It might be ready by Teach Bhride 2015. But no promises. Luckily our ministry is not dependent upon what we can do with a hodge-podge of sweet things.


Thursday, we had also managed to squeeze in some time in Dunmore East with some friends from the Parish who live right up the road: Alan, Noreen, Ruby, and Charlie. They were gracious enough to bring us out on a cliff walk to a beautiful, hidden cove where we picnicked before heading back to the Teach.

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Not too shabby, eh?

We capped off Friday with a series of “lasts”…the last tea morning with the tea ladies.

Attention please
Attention please
Friday tea ladies
Friday tea ladies

The last lunch at Fr. Denis’ house. The last time Emily got to carry around a ceramic hand to spook people out of their wits.

Ceramix it up
Ceramix it up

The last folk group rehearsal (and all-choir rehearsal, for that matter.) The last time I looked my neighbor in the face and moo-ed.

Cow great it is to have a friend!
Cow great it is to have a friend!

The last Friday afternoon chat with good ol’ Dom.

The pensive pose
The pensive pose

The last—okay, that’s enough lasts for now.  From this point on, I suppose it will be packing our cases with Eeyore-like expressions.

See the resemblance?


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Fun craic, eh? I can’t wait for Mary, Joy, Cameron, and Ben to be a part of this incredible, faith-filled, energizing community. I have felt so at home here this past year and I give the Wexford folk all the credit for that. I will forever regard these 10 months with fondness and each person I encountered as having a place in my heart. They are a special bunch, and I’m certain the new four will find room in their hearts for a year of Wexford-ness with Wexford-ites as well.

Until next time, I present to you your final weather report, for the last time and to close my series of blog posts.

It’s raining.

  • I am going to miss you guys so so much! It has been an honour knowing you all for the past couple of months! I want to wish each of you a heartfelt and fond farewell also the best of luck in the future! I hope that we can all stay in contact!!
    Until our next encounter, Your Good Friend,
    Andrew Balfe! 🙂