Thursday Doors

On our tour of Ireland in September, we spent an afternoon at the Christian settlement founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. It is in Glendalough, County Wickham, which is just south of Dublin. The remaining monastic buildings date back to the 12th-14th centuries and are still standing despite the best efforts of the Vikings and Normans.



It is a sacred place. I could feel it walking the grounds looking at the amazing stone work and untamed land.

Arriving back at the visitors’ center, I came upon this lovely bench – a place to sit and reflect. The fact that it was cut into the side of a hedge, in what I view as the shape of a heart, was a bonus.

As we approach the end of a year, it usually involves contemplation on our part. Are we going to kick the past year to the curb or mourn the loss of it? Are we dreaming of new resolutions or trying to deal with some regrets? Maybe a little of both?

However you are approaching the new year, please accept my best wishes for a healthy and happy 2017 and also a sincere thank you for being part of the blogging community. It takes all of us to make a connection – writers, readers, and those very special folks who leave comments that start a real conversation.

❤️ May your garden flourish, sewing machine hum, book be gripping, camp site be level, camera be ready, and the sun shine bright on your family and the love it shares.  ❤️


If you want further inspiration, here are six little stories (author  unknown).

Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. 
On the day of prayer all the people gathered,
But only one boy came with an umbrella.
That’s FAITH.

When you throw babies in the air,
They laugh because they know you will catch them.
That’s TRUST.

 Every night we go to bed
Without any assurance of being alive the next morning,
 But still we set the alarms to wake up.
 That’s HOPE.

We plan big things for tomorrow
In spite of zero knowledge of the future.

 We see the world suffering,
But still we get married and have children.
That’s LOVE.

 On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence.
 ‘I am not 80 years old
I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’

Check Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, December 29, post for other submissions.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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52 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your trip, Judy. No matter how far we venture around here, we’ll never see a structure from the 1200s. I love those buildings built with stones that I assume were simply gathered and mortared together. When you consider the difficulty of building something like that tower in the back, you can’t help but be amazed.

    Thanks too for your good wishes (and please accept the same in return). I love the little stories. Thinking of the child bringing the umbrella makes me smile. I hope you have a good year, safe travels and a wonderful garden. I look forward to reading here, throughout 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KerryCan says:

    Great post, Judy! The photos of Glendalough are beautiful–I would rather wander through old stone buildings like this than the castles and churches that still have furnishings and are museums. I also love your “may your . . .” blessing, which reads so much like all those traditional Irish blessings! I hope the blessing bounces right back and affects you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love seeing your Ireland photos. The past year has had its ups and downs, as they all do I guess, but I’m always a bit sad to close the book. Here’s hoping for the best in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, those beautiful buildings! I have not been to St. Kevin, perhaps next November! Very best to you in the new year, Judy. As I have said before, I am so delighted that I discovered your blog and that we ‘chat’ back and forth. Your wise and thoughtful words always a pleasure to read.The New Year is always a time of reflection for me. Looking back at the days and events of the past year and also feeling the promise, hope, and I suppose even the uncertainty of the days ahead….the things we can change and the things we can not. I suppose mostly, regardless of the variables that present themselves, I want to be ‘awake’ for it all. Paying attention. Greeting each new day with gratitude, with courage, with tenderness. Happy, Happy New Year, Judy… and to Dennis as well…may it be filled with wonder, happiness, and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful photos of beautiful buildings. Love the heart-shaped hedge and the little bench. Would love for you to take our picture there! Best wishes for a wonderful new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful place and that bench area looks enchanted! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dennyho says:

    Beautiful photos with very special words. Thank you for giving us those six stories of inspiration Judy. Can I share?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Judy, as lovely as the buildings are (and I love that shot on the left), those stories made me smile and touched my heart. I did laugh at the one about the alarm, though, as I set mine in hope that I’ll sleep long enough for it to waken me, something that rarely happens.

    Blogging and the blogging community are such joys to me, too, and you’re a part of that. I look forward to many more conversations in the upcoming year.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. joyroses13 says:

    Love that picture of the bench in the hedge!
    Those 6 little stories are great, my Mom had just emailed them to me the other day 🙂
    Happy New Year to you! Blessed to be a part of this blogging community to and look forward to reading posts and “chatting” more in 2017! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Brenda says:

    Seeing St. Kevin’s stone buildings transported me to another place and time entirely. There is something about stonework that always makes me ponder the whole process. Where did the stones come from, who gathered them, who placed them, what were they thinking as they worked, how did they get them up to that tower? And on and on. They also put our short lives into perspective. The stonework outlasts so many, many generations.
    As for 2016, I will try to keep it in perspective, but I say good riddance. It was a difficult year. I have a month-by-month calendar and a small book for recording all kinds of things through the year. Yesterday I bought new ones for 2017 and it felt so good to know I was soon to close up 2016’s and put them on the shelf. A new beginning, even if it’s only a random date in the middle of winter.
    Here’s sending your good wishes back to you for 2017. I am very grateful to be part of this blogging community and always look forward to hearing from you. Cheers neighbor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A new year is kind of like putting a fresh coat of paint on something. You get to take a nice sigh of relief that the work is done, enjoy the fresh coat, and are brimming with hope. Sometimes reality sets in, but maybe we’ll end up with more positives than negatives. 🙂 Hope you got enough snow for moisture but not enough to cause a ton of work to clear it. We got 8″ of snow and the John Deere decided to cough a lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. pbmgarden says:

    Judy, just loved this post. Thanks for sharing your insight throughout the year. May the new year be happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Joyce says:

    Happy 2017 to you, too, Judy! Your blog has always been one of simple beauty in every season, accompanied by interesting facts or insights. I’m glad you’ll be here next year, too! You’ve taken us into your gardens, down to the police station, to burial grounds in Gettysburg and Belgium, to massively charming European doors (wishing just for one quick peek inside!) and now to stroll the mysterious grounds of this monastery! I’ve enjoyed every single step of our journey and look forward to many more!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. conspicari says:

    What a great looking place, love the bench and the heart shaped hedge. :>)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Joanne Sisco says:

    A wonderful yearend reflection, Judy. The same thanks and best wishes are directed back to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joey says:

    Nice way to illustrate the measure of time — and great doors! I love that bench! 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Karen says:

    Your wish gave me a real smile…all the best to you and your family in the New Year. Hopefully you will have enough snow to make up for the drought but not all at one time. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Best wishes for a great 2017 as you get totally settled in your new home. 🙂 We are looking out a condo window at the beach in SC right now while friends and family have been digging out of the snow in NH. I feel a little guilty, but someone has to watch this surf right? 🙂


  17. jesh stg says:

    Sixth century – wow there not many left! What a treat to capture this! And love the quote – yours?
    A happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Murphy's Law says:

    The buildings, door and hedge…talk about standing up to the test of time!! Amazing!

    Love the Six Little Stories. So clever and right on the mark.

    Great post to end a year of memorable posts. So happy my daughter led me to you.

    Happy New Year to you and your hubby. Good health, fun days, the love of family and friends, and a winning lottery ticket to round it out.

    Have a wonderful time in Carolina and a safe trip to and from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could buy a winning lottery ticket, and I would share it with you. But, since the most memorable thing I’ve won has been a rectal thermometer at a company holiday party many years ago, I think I need to send you some cash and you buy the winning ticket and share it with me. 🙂 You have been on our mind since we got to SC and saw Murphy’s Law Bar and Grill. 🙂 We are planning to check it out and send photos. Best wishes for a terrific 2017.


  19. Norm 2.0 says:

    The history found in places like this is humbling. That bench is heartwarming isn’t it?
    A little introspection and some lovely words – a truly wonderful way to end your Thursday Doors year. Happy New Year to you and your family Judy and thanks for your support all year 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eliza Waters says:

    Thanks for sharing those little stories, Judy, good reminders. While I am not one to make resolutions formally, I intend to keep living as intuitively as I can and follow the guidance I receive this new year and beyond. Abundant blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m almost 70 and I think, if the rain doesn’t slow down, we’re gonna have to start bailing!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Isn’t it mind boggling that it’s still standing! Here in the States I think the only buildings that old are the ancient Anasazi pueblos.

    That bench is lovely and very picturesque.

    I love those quotes and thoughts.

    Happy New Year to you and your family Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. germac4 says:

    The photos of Glendalough are a lovely way to end the year … Such ancient buildings remind us of how resilient human beings are. I have enjoyed all your posts & your zest for life, and it is lovely to be part of a blogging community … So happy New Year to you and your family & happy blogging in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Oddment says:

    I can only say thanks for everything this year, including these photos of what endures. It isn’t just the beauty of the stones, but the beauty of that sacred space, which you felt. What a wonderful image for this transitional time. May we all find that which endures and be touched by sacred space. A wonderful 2017 to you and you family, Judy, and to all those on your blog who have taught me and tickled my funny bone!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. prior.. says:

    Happy new year to you too, Judy.
    I like that “heart” bench also -and I really like the way you summed up the way some approach the end of the year – some do want To kick it to the side while others might have wane.
    And the 64 years of experience – hah – right on….

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Kamila Pala says:

    Lovely photos! I wish you Happy New Year! Bye. Kamila

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Annie says:

    Fabulous site! Ireland is tugging on my heartstrings more and more but I’d really like to transport those shrubs and bench right into my yard. Looks like a huge cotoneaster but could that be? Warm wishes for you and a promising and fulfilling New Year 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Wonderful post to cap an exciting and surprising year! I like ancient sites and someday will have to visit Ireland. Those short stories are great! Wishing you and yours a safe passage into the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I enjoy seeing your wonderful photos of Ireland. We spent eight days there in 1999 with our daughters and we would dearly love to return for a longer trip one day.

    I love your little stories. Best wishes to you for 2017. May it bring all that you wish for.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Nadezda Dun says:

    I love this inspiration, Judy.
    Happy New year 2017! С Новым годом!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Tina Schell says:

    Absolutely loved your closing story Judy – the happiest of New YEars to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Grandma Kc says:

    I love your bench and I do think it is a heart. I’ve missed you and your doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. reocochran says:

    This is a lovely ancient doors post which really made me grateful to have met you and others. I appreciate all those who share their experiences with us through words and photos, Judy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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