Thanksgiving is a time when you come together with people you see once or twice a year. It is a time to give thanks, watch too many parades and football games, and eat until you can’t stand the site of food any longer. This has been the way my family and I have done it ever since I can remember. We head to Pennsylvania with our snow boots on and belts one notch looser so we can grow into them later that day. When this past year’s Thanksgiving rolled around, my family decided to break tradition and head into the mountains to have what we now cherish as one of the most memorable holidays we have experienced.About 30 minutes from civilization deep in the mountains of western Virginia lies a small cabin nestled between the mountainside and the James River. Arriving after sunset and later than expected, thanks to a heavy snowfall that day, we quickly nestled into bed eager to wake up Thanksgiving morning to take in our surroundings. There are six of us in my immediate family so we felt very close (literally) sleeping in a two room cabin. When Thanksgiving morning rolled around I woke up and immediately grabbed my hammock, put on boots, mustered my siblings and ran outside to see what adventures were amongst us. Right beside the cabin were steep steps covered in snow built into the river bank leading down to a narrow path beside the river.I hung my hammock right beside the river from a tree whose branch reached slightly across the rushing waters. We all hung out here for a while admiring the strong river and snow covered mountains behind it until Mom called us in to eat. Usually the meal is a focal point of Thanksgiving. While we were enjoying every bite of the warm potatoes dripping with gravy and all the other tantalizing food, we ate fast and made sure not to fill up — we were about to go exploring!With the country roads still snowy and the sun beginning to peak through the clouds and brighten the mountainside, we drove to a trail head that we noticed driving into camp the night prior. As we began our ascent up the trail, it was evident from the fresh powdered snow that no one else had been there to leave their tracks. The path led up the side of a rocky stream where we crossed twice by bridge and once by large rocks poking above the ice cold water. There were several teasingly small, crystal blue, cascading waterfalls glimmering in the snow like a picture on a calendar. Our surroundings were so calm and peaceful. All you could hear was the stream flowing and our boots crunching through the snow. Two or three miles up the trail we began to hear a faint rustling noise. As we pressed on, the soft beat turned into a roaring rush. We approached a wide, gushing waterfall that was clearly the purpose of this trail. As we sat and watched the fall spill out into a deep blue water hole surrounded by splashed rocks and shimmering snow, we admired all great and powerful beauty amongst us.My older brother and I are in college and rarely make the trip home. When we are home, my dad works full time so it is hard to all be together. Just like most families, we bicker and argue about useless things like whose turn it is to clean up dinner. However, as we sat in awe at the power of nature and this special holiday, it seemed as if nothing else mattered except for being with the people you love in the beautiful outdoors. It is hard to describe the strong bonding and love for one another we experienced Thanksgiving Day underneath that waterfall. None of us would hesitate to say that day was full of memorable moments that will continue to bring back warm recollections for years to come. In this fast-paced game we call life, it is very important to slow it down, be with your loved ones, and give thanks to everything this earth has blessed us with.
Hydroid has recognized the Sensor & Weapon Systems Department within the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Directorate of Materiel Sustainment as an authorized REMUS Service Center. Hydroid presented the Directorate with a plaque on September 12, 2018 recognizing its commitment to excellence in AUV service and technical expertise.Through the Royal Netherlands Navy’s investment in facilities, security and diagnostic equipment, and commitment to training technical staff, the Directorate of Materiel Sustainment has integrated AUV support into their service center in Den Helder for the maintenance and repair of Hydroid REMUS 100 vehicles and ancillary equipment.This local capability will increase operational availability for the Royal Netherland’s Navy. The team of technical staff at Den Helder offers first-line technical and field support, ensuring more successful deployments.“Hydroid is so pleased to have the Directorate of Materiel Sustainment as an authorized service and support center in the Netherlands,” said Maureen Kelly, customer service manager at Hydroid. “Since the first delivery of a REMUS system to the Netherlands in 2005, the Royal Netherlands Navy has worked with Hydroid Europe to set a goal of providing depot-level support. Through their investment in their facilities and training courses, the Royal Netherlands Navy has accomplished that. Having reviewed their maintenance capabilities firsthand, I am confident the Directorate shares Hydroid’s commitment to product excellence and operational availability of equipment.”
The great Brian Friel is laid to rest in Glenties. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Literary great Brian Friel was buried today on a hillside outside the Co Donegal town where many of his works were set.The people of Glenties lined the streets to say a final farewell to the playwright who put their town on the world stage with such productions as ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ and “Translations.’The late Brian Friel.Stunning October sunshine lit up the hills, fields, and rivers of Donegal as Mr Friel was taken from his home at Greencastle on the Inishowen Peninsula for the hour and a half long journey to his resting place in Glenties. Friends and relatives took Mr Friel, 86, from the home he shared with his wife Ann on the shores of Lough Foyle.His remains inside a wicker coffin were carried up the steep, tree-lined avenue from his house and out onto the main road before being put inside the hearse.Along the way people in towns and villages including Muff, Bridgend, Manorcunningham and Letterkenny, stood and clapped as the funeral cortege with Garda escort snaked its way across Donegal.While he was born in Co Tyrone and raised in Derry, Friel’s mother, Mary McLoone was a native of Glenties where she worked at one time in the town’s Post Office. Mourners were met with a blue and what rowing boat with a sign for Ballybeg, the fictional town in which Friel set many of his works and which many accept is Glenties.Actors Sean McGinley and Stephen Rea at he funeral of Mr Friel. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Many locals walked the mile long journey to the graveyard to say one final farewell to a man who loved to spend his childhood summers in the town.At the graveyard, faces from the world of theatre, film and politics awaited the arrival of the funeral cortege.Mourners included actors Stephen Rea, Sean McGinley, former RTE chairman Joe Mulholland, Kathleen Watkins, politicians including John Hume and Northern Ireland Deputy FirstMinister Martin McGuinness.It is understood that President Michael D Higgins had paid a private visit to the home of Mr Friel on Saturday. Mr Friel’s remains are carried put to his final resting place at Glenties graveyard. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Local parish priest Fr Pat Prendergast led the 300 mourners in prayer as Mr Friel was laid to rest.He said the people of Glenties were “privileged” that Mr Friel had chosen to be buried in the soil of the area and amongst its people.After the religious aspect of the ceremony was completed, friends of Mr Friel paid their own unique tribute to him.Poet and close friend Tom Paulin called many visits to Mr Friel’s Donegal home and how he loved a gin and tonic “before and after dinner.” He called his firm handshake and hugs and how he loved his wife, children and grandchildren so much.He also recited from Seamus Heeney’s ‘Sunlight’ in memory of the playwright.There was a steely silence on the sun-soaked hill apart from a light breeze which whispered through the line of fir trees which bordered one side of the graveyard.Another friend, playwright Thomas Kilroy also paid tribute to the late Mr Friel.Singer Ruby Philogene-Doran sang one of Mr Friel’s favourite songs ‘Often The Stilly Night’ as well as ‘Dido’s Lament’ from Purcell’s Opera.And then it was time to say the ultimate farewell.The Friel family, including Brian’s beloved wife Anne as well as his children including daughters Mary (Bateman), Judy (Maher), Sally (Sultan) and son David (he was predeceased by daughter Patricia (Paddy) gathered around his burial plot in a circle.And together they dropped red roses onto the coffin of a man who brought so much personal joy to them and literary joy to Ireland and the world.Many stood on the hillside graveyard, a mile outside the fictional town of Ballybeg, reminiscing about encounters with the legendary playwright.An open invitation was then extended by the Friel family to all to join them in the Highlands Hotel for soup and sandwiches and to once again celebrate the life of a very unique talent.LITERARY GREAT BRIAN FRIEL IS LAID TO REST ‘AMONGST HIS OWN’ IN GLENTIES was last modified: October 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian Frielfuneral