Thoughts of my immigrant ancestors have been running through my mind lately, especially with everything that is going on in our country at this time. I think about my Irish ancestors and how when I was growing up it wasn’t a good thing to be a descendant of someone from Ireland. My great grandfather was from Ireland and it was just something my Grandma didn’t talk about. We all knew that we were Scotch/Irish on my dad’s side and English on my mom’s. But to get my Grandma to really talk about the immigration of her family to the United States was a road we just didn’t go down. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland that was heavily Eastern European. I knew more about Hungarian or Polish food and culture than I did my own culture. Cleveland is a melting pot and it was embraced by the people living there. It wasn’t until we were living in Wisconsin and almost 100% of our church was from Norway that I learned the importance of really knowing where you come from and how to embrace it. The pride in their heritage and the ethnicity was incredible. It was something that was celebrated and lived everyday. Not something to be ashamed of as I felt as a part Irish lass. I became more aware of my heritage and wanted to know more. When our son had the opportunity to study in Ireland we were so excited to visit the country where my Great-Grandfather came from. I started digging into what I could find out about my Grandma’s family, which was a very difficult task when the particulars of births, deaths, date of immigration were unknown. It was at that time that I regretted and wished I had pressed my Grandma more to find out more about her family. I wish we had learned to celebrate our heritage as the people of our church did. But, it was too late as my Grandma was no longer with us and all those memories and information were never discovered. I am saddened that she was embarrassed to talk about being Irish.
We live in a country that was built on immigrants. If it weren’t for my great grandparents on both side coming to the US or Canada (my Scottish grands immigrated to PEI) I wouldn’t be here today. We have the opportunity to embrace and learn about so many different cultures that make us who we all are. Each one different, but the same in some way. So I guess my bottom line is that we should all be proud of where we come from. Don’t be ashamed or intimidated by the “go back where you came from”. Well, wait a minute! I did kind of go back to where I came from when I visited Ireland and I’m so grateful and thankful that I’ve had that chance not once but several times. It’s the homeland where I instantly felt a connection. . So, I guess maybe we could take the “go back where you came from” and turn it into a positive phrase by ignoring the hateful meaning behind it and turning it into a time to really discover where we came from and who we really are!
Tomorrow we head out for our 3rd mission trip to Cuba. We’ll be working with about 15 churches throughout the country, some that we’ve worked with before but most of them newly formed house churches. We love this time together with the people as they bless us and continue to show us in what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. In the midst of so many challenges to their everyday living they never waver, their faith grows stronger and they continue to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples!
God Is Amazing!
This past Friday we got our 3rd 5K under our belt by finishing the Star Wars Rival Run at Epcot! Now, for some, running a 5K may not be any big deal. But for us, at least me, it is a pretty big deal considering that I was never a runner and really still don’t consider myself a runner (my best time was 41 minutes in the ArtFest run in February). But, we consider this a real accomplishment! The run on Friday has been highly anticipated since we registered back in 2018. One of my dreams has been to do a RunDisney and being big Star Wars fans this sounded like just the perfect one for us.
So onto the race- the big weekend started out Thursday when we headed up to Orlando. It was the day to pick up our Race Bib, t-shirt, check out the health and fitness expo and call it an early night as we had a 3:00 am wake up call. Of course, I was up before the alarm, we donned our race clothes and were in the Epcot parking lot by 3:45. We weren’t the first to arrive that early. Anticipation and excitement was growing. There were tons of folks in costumes from both the Light Side and the Dark Side ( I think the Dark Side won!) Photo ops with characters were available and soon we were headed to the start corral. But, wait… we still had over an hour before race time. Soon.. 5:28 on my watch- almost time to get going, stretching muscles, trying to stay moving in the morning chill and then…. “Runners, due to inclement weather the start of the race has been delayed. We are evacuating the start corrals. Please follow the instructions of the volunteers and we will get this race underway as soon as possible. Your safety in first and foremost important”. Now, for anyone that lives in FL. you know that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the core of the storm. The storm was situated just north of Orlando. Off we went to buses to wait it out. The rain came, in droves, lightened up a bit, then came in droves again. At 7:00 we received the all clear to continue the race. Back we went to the start corral and we were off- all 14,000 runners in the pouring rain, through puddles or small lakes, through Epcot, around the World Showcase, rain still pouring down, tons of volunteers cheering us on, and on to the finish line! It was amazing! It was a blast! It was exhilarating as we heard Star Wars music blasting throughout the park, Storm troppers, Ewoks, Darth Vader, The resistance everywhere! And for anyone that knows me and how much I really detest being out in the rain- this was an uber accomplishment to complete the race! We were soaked, but happy at the end! Woo Hoo!
The Force Was With Us!
If anyone is interested in helping out please leave a comment below. Thanks for your prayers and support.
It’s brew day today for milestone Batch #20. It’s hard to believe that we actually have brewed 20 batches of beer, with very few repeats of the same type.
Today’s brew is a Scottish Ale (yay). It’s derived from Karl Engebretson (known from Northern Brewers catalog covers, BYO and Zymergy) 90/-shilling. In between a 90/- and a Wee Heavy. The 90 meaning it has a 90 minute brew time, during which we could smell the essence of the boozy praline, pecan, sugar and malt. The hops have a wonderful sweet essence to them and the citrus in the malt lingers deliciously on the tongue. And the color- a beautiful amber/mahogany darkness that if you are an ale drinker will make your mouth water.
Since it’s a two fermentation beer it’ll take some patience on this one to wait for bottling day a month after brewing and then another two weeks in the bottle before popping the cap. Thank goodness for the busyness of the holidays!!!
Oh and the name for our milestone Batch #20- well it has the essence of pralines and pecans, it’s a 90 minute brew and it’s Christmas time-
Noventa Nueces de Navidad del Caribe
Ninety Caribbean Christmas Nuts.
Update: January 10, 2019
Bottling day today! We’ve waited through 2 fermentation cycles- kind of like waiting for Christmas when you have no idea what goodies await! First blush- a beautiful, dark caramel color similar to mahogany. First taste- a nice little sweetness that lingers on your tongue with just that little bit of a hit of praline and pecan! I knew we should’ve brought home some Pralines from New Orleans- what a pairing that would have been! We even had a little extra bonus and got 50 bottles out of this batch! 2 more weeks in the bottles, a good chill and we’ll be ready for the final taste just in time for some northern company joining us! What a fun holiday brew!