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Maeve Binchy - 5/28/1940 - 7/30/2012

Maeve Binchy – 5/28/1940 – 7/30/2012

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Before getting to the real subject of today’s post, I’m getting a bit of selfish business out of the way:

From now until 11:59 p.m. of February 28, 2012, I need 1112 hits!

Three and one-half days to go, makes that an average to 317 per day in visitors/viewers (either one, doesn’t matter to me), and will take me to my goal of 50,000 visitors/viewers by the end of February 2013 – the end of my third year of blogging.  Actually, the figures are a bit inaccurate, because they include none of the number I may have accumulated at Blogspot from February 2010 to September 29, 2010 when I switched to WordPress.  The only reason the number is important to me is that over the past three years of blogging I have discovered that I am related to Monk (Tony Shaloub’s character) – I like nice even numbers, and for everything to fall neatly into place.  Since I cannot get my body to do that (yes, my Gentle Readers, it turns out I broke my foot in the fall I took back in the end of January, but only decided to have x-rayed this past week), it’s nice to find other places where I can achieve order and neatness in my life.  I did achieve a 9.8 score average from the judges on the spectacular fall, which also gave me what is considered a “bad” break, but one that will have to be gotten over at its own rate of speed.  The first day you fail to hear a scream from my general direction when I try to put a shoe on, you will know that I am almost completely healed.  Yay!

So, please urge your own loyal and Gentle Readers to stop by here sometime between now and the end of February 2013.  It’s doable. . . maybe not probably nor likely, but statistically doable.  Thanks for the help!  (We’ll forget that the highest number of visits in one day I have had since I began is only in the 200’s. . .and that was way back when.)

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On to matters more dear to my heart:

One of the things I have filled my time with while staying off my foot is of course reading.  I had pre-ordered Maeve Binchy’s latest novel “A Week in Winter,” back in November.  For decades now, she has been a favorite author of mine.  She has the peculiar ability to be able to weave recurring characters and places into her novels without making every book seem like a sequel.  She is Irish through and through, and throughout her illustrious career has invited her readers to become a part of an extended family; to help you to feel as though you have been to the places she writes about, and that you know them and the people who inhabit them as well as you know your own family.  She has always had a wonderful insight into the minds of all sorts of people and characters, and I would consider myself poor indeed had I not taken the time to get to know her Ireland.  For this reason, I was shocked to learn that Maeve Binchy, at the age of 72, passed away last July just after completing the book I had just downloaded to my Kindle Fire.  I cannot figure out why the tolling of the bells had not reached me at the time, and since learning of her death, I have spent some time in mourning and celebration of this marvelous writer and lovely, humorous, and talented human being, Maeve Binchy.  If you have never read any of her work, please start now.  You won’t regret a moment of the time you spend away with her in Ireland.

A couple of years ago, when I learned of another favorite author, Robert B. Parker’s, death I wrote a poem about one of the lines in his last book that struck me to the core, and resonates still today.  I sent a copy of the poem to Mr. Parker’s widow, Ms. Joan Parker, and received the most touching reply from her, and one that I will cherish.  I am now writing one for Maeve Binchy, and will shortly send it off to her husband, Gordon Snell.  As I told Mrs. Parker, my regret is that I failed to tell her husband of my fondness for his writing and deep esteem for his writing skills while he was yet alive. Until that lesson really sinks in, here is yet one more poem, written in memory of, and in thanksgiving for, a person who made a difference in my life (for the good) – Maeve Binchy.

Real Estate

I can find no place upon a map,
any place called home,
that did not rise from the heart
before one line of plan was drawn, or
a single stone was laid.

No houses, barns, nor stores,
were homes or marketplaces;
no cobbled or macadamed streets
were marked by foot, or hoof, or wheel
before the dream enlightened.

Every place I have claimed my own –
each table laid before me, the souls
of all who fed me from the larder
of their compassion, or turned me out
because they knew not hope, nor cared;

Every cell and fiber that formed
from thought were all made real:
the manifesto of the dreamer
who awoke each day to prove
there is no finite boundary for home.

She had the gift of a generous heart
that called me along beside her.
No one who sojourned with her
found any foreign life or field,
or ever left unwarmed, unmet.

She never wrote a fairy tale,
yet still the reader always knew
the choice to live a happy life
though imperfect, scarred, or frayed
is built into each heart.

I thank you God, for all good things –
the talents offered to ones who seek,
who accept Your gracious bounty,
sharing it, multiplying grace on grace
that peculiar treasure, the writer’s gift –
Imagined, then real.

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I do hope that all of you, my Gentle Readers, will take the opportunity to read you way to Ireland through the gifts and heart of Maeve Binchy.  She will be greatly missed in body, but because she accepted and honed the gift of writing, she will continue to inhabit and be found in the beautiful real estate that she opened to the world.

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Keep Sonya in your prayers, and my temper, as I go through the battleground that has been prepared by “That Which Shall Not Be Named.” Actually, it shall be named – no sense in letting them get away without any bad publicity!  The Voldemort of Capitalist Society:  A T & T.  But, I take heart, because all shall be mended. . .eventually!  It will be nice to have the internet available to Sonya again – unless of course Voldemort has completely gummed up her works.  Otherwise, Ashley’s computer is nice.  I think we are getting out just in time to save our “Hewpee Pie!”

As always, though, even in the midst of broken feet, Voldemort, and other assorted turmoil, I continue to wish all of you, my Gentle Readers, the abundance of enough. . .

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