The Wonder of Words!

I received in the mail a 25% coupon for Barnes & Noble and I have a B&N Memebership so I received another 10% discount on any regular priced item.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to invest in a new journal for my trip.

ireland-journalI love to write, I had kept many diaries as a young girl–too bad I do not have any of them today; I would love to have read how my pre-teen and teenage self had viewed my world back then.  I have successfully kept a journal since August of 2010 when we bought our lake house up to present day! Seven straight years–what an accomplishment!!  Every time we visit our lake house I write in the journal–it doesn’t matter if the day was full of interesting experiences or just the ordinary mundane schedule of daily life.  Depending on my mood, some entries are long and eloquent while others are short and to the point.

What I love about journals is the ability to capture the details of the moment, the physical (was it hot, rainy, cold, snowy, windy), the statistics (who was there, what was done, where did we go) and the emotional (how did it make me feel, what are the perceptions of others). Not only is it an accurate historical account of the days of our lives (it’s funny how 2 people can remember the same event totally differently) but it is a peek into the life & times of another person.

I never knew my paternal grandfather, he died when I was bout 2 years old.  From the stories I’ve heard hundreds of times about him though I sort of feel like I did know him.  Even in those accounts I am resigned to how a particular person remembered him; how my mother knew & remembered him would be very different from how my older brothers or sisters remember him just based on ages, experience and mental ability to recall specifics.  One day, as an adult, I had the privilege to get a glimpse of who my grandfather & grandmother were in their own words!

My grandfather & grandmother were antique collectors; best known for collecting, repairing & selling clocks. My grandmother also was very sentimental and saved everything! When my grandmother was moved into an assisted living community and her things were being packing up I came across a stack of envelopes bound together by string. As I unbound them I discovered they were letters between my grandfather who was working in Boston Massachusetts and my grandmother living in Sturgis Michigan. What a heartwarming experience to “eavesdrop”on their intimate conversations about daily life & to read references to little “Dickie” my dad as very small child! Now I feel a connection to both of my grandparents in a way I never had previously.

That is the power of words! Especially the words found in personal letters & journals.  When I go to a muesum exhibit I always love the letters that are displayed.  I was in Indianapolis for a veterinary conference in 2015 and I carved out some free time to visit the Eiteljorg Museum which had an Abraham Lincoln exhibit.  It was a wonderful exhibit and they had many letters displayed with excerpts displayed on large boards.  Some were famous letters from Lincoln, others were letters from civil war soldiers to their loved ones and some from just regular families about their life during those times.  My favorite letter was from a young teenage girl who was dying.  She was writing a letter to her family bequeathing what few belongings she had and encouraging her family not to mourn but to remember all of the wonderful times they have had together. Wow!

It is no surprise then, with my love for words, that I am particularly looking forward to visiting the grand Library at Trinity College in Dublin!  This is a picture I found online, how magnificent! I can’t wait to see it in person!


There is a famous exhibit there that I want to see, The Book of Kells.  The explanation for the Book of Kells is best taken right from the Trinity College Website

“The Book of Kells (Trinity College Dublin MS 58) contains the four Gospels in Latin based on the Vulgate text which St Jerome completed in 384AD, intermixed with readings from the earlier Old Latin translation. The Gospel texts are prefaced by other texts, including “canon tables”, or concordances of Gospel passages common to two or more of the evangelists; summaries of the gospel narratives (Breves causae); and prefaces characterizing the evangelists (Argumenta).
The book is written on vellum (prepared calfskin) in a bold and expert version of the script known as “insular majuscule”. It contains 340 folios, now measuring approximately 330 x 255 mm; they were severely trimmed, and their edges gilded, in the course of rebinding in the 19th century.”

How cool to see such an old text of the Biblical Gospels! This is going to be an extraordinary trip!


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