Friday, July 15, 2011

Now It's Monday

The days have flown by quickly. I've been enjoying investigating Ballymena more. Went to the town hall, called The Braid, on Wednesday. They have a local history set up much like our Historical Society at home. I didn't take pictures as it was a bit  dark so it wouldn't have been good for pictures. I was disappointed though, I was looking for the old town hall. It was replaced years ago. Guess I missed that one.
The papers are so newsy with a lot of interesting pieces and stories. It takes more time to read them compared to the Bflo News. Television is a vast wasteland here as well. They  regularly have  sub titles. I'm not sure if it's for foreigners like me or else their speech is not understood. It's annoying because it's a bit selective and quite slow. Makes news programs very slow in getting to the point. Their accents are. very strong. Your have to put your listening ears on for sure.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Inbetween Sunday and Monday

It certainly was odd not hearing ad after ad about "this is Fourth of July  sale" or the fourth is coming. They don't celebrate it for some reason. Instead they celebrate July 12th in celebration of the victory at the Battle of the Boyne some five hundred years ago; a big Protestant celebration. Unfortunately it is not a total country celebration and still tends to be divisive
Sunday was an interesting day. I did enjoy going to the Ballymena Gospel Hall. They were very kind and accepted me at face value along with a letter from my elders. They have the breaking of bread service at 11:30 till 1pm and a Gospel meeting. I plan to go to their weekly meetings as well. Their prayer meeting is on Thursday at 8pm. I would have gone at 6 on Sunday but I had been invited to my friend Sam's to meet his wife and have a little supper.
My time at Sam's farm was great. He showed me again the spot known as Samstown. Last time he made us walk, this time we drove. We revisited all the places we went to before, even the cemetary where Sarah was buried. Aunt Sarah's cottage is far worse than before. It makes me wish I had lots of money to bring it to it's ole self. Not sensible money wise but Sam understood as well. It sits in its dilapidated condition on a large hill/mound with the right size trees behind it and you could imagine her sitting outside surveying her kingdom. Sam told me how she was known to stand akimbo, hands on her hips, telling the hunters to get off her land. Sam reminds me of my brother-in-law Jack Stanton. A man's man, knowing so many things and also able to multi-task. You do not argue with Sam. When I came home yesterday he was moving a horse. Now that's something I don't see in Buffalo. The original Carsontown  dwelling is on Sam's property.  He uses it as an working office. It's strange feeling to take in the idea that my ancestors really live in that simple structure. Jerry, you have to make a trip here. You would love it. I like his wife Cathy and daughter Susie. They have a Pekingese and a little Irish terrier, like the dog named Asta in the Myrna Loy and William Powell movies. cutest little dog and very friendly. I am indebted to Sam for all the help he's given me. But I am truly grateful to the Lord who in His love for me has allowed me the desire of my heart; to go on this grand adventure to Ireland. Thank you so much.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Sunday, July 3rd

Sunday is an even slower day at home. I went out to go to church but it doesn't start until 11 am. Imagine that. At most US assemblies that's the start of our second meeting, the Family Bible Hour.You didn't mention this, Myra.  I spoke to a neighbor who told me there might be a children's meeting earlier. So I'll go back soon in hopes of meeting someone. Inconveniences and interruptions are all part of the adventure! And yes, I could have checked yesterday but my phone died. I have the wrong charger and have to wait until Monday to get the right sort. But I have my Garmin and I can still get about.

Sam came yesterday with some needed plug adapters. He was able to tell me about some new connections he found. Apparently Nancy Blakely who married William Carson was a widow by the name of Wasson, a common name in Ballee. Her maiden named was Stewart. Because of this we may be able to go back further. I say we because Sam interest has been piqued. He does not think we're related. But who knows. It's just like the Buffalo & Canadian Sauers. Somewhere in Dirmstein there was a connection. How important it is today is simply a matter of opinion.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Dear Friends,

My creative daughter-in-law created this post so I could talk about my trip to Ballymena, Co. Antrim, N.I. The only thing I have found I can't do is upload pictures from this computer and to type quickly. It has a small keyboard which makes me hit the all wrong keys. So I will work with what I have. I'll try to get pictures up later.

To begin, the flight was delayed in Buffalo. So instead of calmly waiting in Newark airport, I waited with everyone else for two hours. All that pre-flight rush was unnecessary apparently, Matthew.  Fortunately when one flight is late they all tend to be late, at least in Newark. Interesting to see NYC all lit up. So I made my overseas connection with the help of a fast driving electric cart in the Newark airport. Had to hold onto my Florida hat for that ride. We flew 3335 miles arriving at 8:43 am July 1st. Sailed through customs. I was hoping to look Irish enough for the inspector. LOL Then the adventure began with picking up the car and driving on the other side, I plugged in my Garmin and arrived at the cottage at 21 Gullyfarley Farm. I was given the last part as Far but now I realize it is Farm. Sam Carson has built housing on farm property hence the name and address. It is such a lovely cottage. Sam laughs at my gushing remarks about it. I'm such a typical American to Sam . I shall have to change that view. Sam Carson is one of the folks my Dad & I met in '97 when we first visited. He and his wife Cathy live near by with their daughter Susie.

Sam showed me all the workings of the cottage. Absolutely delightful!! Not the Ritz by any means but so nice. Two bathrooms. One upstairs and down. A down covered bed and pillows, wardrobe and dresser. The first floor has a kitchen and large living room with a real fire place. Sam had a good laugh when I told him about my electric fireplace. But mine is less work, I told him, even has a remote. Then he really laughed. Wait until you see the vine covered door. Next I went shopping "down the road" for a few things I wanted. The round-abouts are great for missing a turn. You just keep going a-round and catch it next time. lol. I had dinner at the Tullyglass Hotel. Great big castle-like structure in Galgorm. Just up the road. You should have come Matt, I see lots of red-headed young ladies. Must be something in the water.

This morning I am going into Ballymena itself. I'm north of the city. Time to learn the lay of the land.