Thanksgiving (not the North American Holiday)

Last month, I wrote about how difficult we were finding things and I signed off that post by saying, “I know good news will come along again soon.” Well, this is a good news post.

In sharing the aforementioned post with my wonderful writers’ community, Women Aloud NI, people reached out to me and my husband. The words of encouragement we got were heartening, and getting everything I needed to say off my chest helped a lot too.

About a week later, I got a private message to my author page from the lovely Liz Weir — a member of said writers’ community. “Come stay with us,” she said. “You, your husband and the dog. Get a break from it all!”

Well, how could we resist? Liz offered us the use of her loft apartment for free, wanted to feed us during our visit, and even was willing to pick us up and leave us home again. It sounded too good to be true, but we took a chance and arranged dates.

And guess what? It was wonderful! I kept expecting the plans to fall through at the last minute, but it all worked out. We’re so thankful, because the break was sorely needed. We were gone Friday until Monday and spent most of that time just catching up on sleep. I even got some editing done!

At one point, we were slightly worried we’d get snowfall and end up somewhat trapped but, in the end, all we had was heavy wind and rain that very first night. Giles (the dog) was a bit unsettled at first, so I sat with him during the worst of it and finished reading a book (Phantom Phantasia by Claire Savage).

The best part, though, had to be the views. After several attempts at trying to capture the sunrise and general landscape, I ended up with these shots which both A- are quite possibly the most gorgeous photos I’ve ever taken (IMHO), and B- a pale imitation of the real thing.

We were staying at Ballyeamon Barn in the Glens of Antrim – part of the Glenariff Forest Park – somewhere between Ballymena and Cushendall. There were red squirrels scurrying about, and we got to sit in (and indeed take part) in the barn’s regular Saturday night ‘session’ of songs and storytelling.

Given our situation (as described in the blog post linked above), Steve and I don’t get a chance to get away often, if at all. Our last holiday was a couple of days up the North Coast for our honeymoon, the first day of which Steve spent recovering from a seizure. We were only able to have that due to the kindness of friends who organized the apartment for us all (for they went on the trip, too) and who gave us a lift. Needless to say, this trip (as the first), meant a lot to us.

Thanks be to gorgeous, generous friends!

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