Last week we had nothing but sunshine, cool sea breezes off of Dublin Bay, and the occasional cloud of the fluffy marshmallow variety. The last three days we've had gray skies, chilling gusts of sea soaked wind, and the perpetual drip, drip, drip of rainwater falling on our apartment balcony. Hey, you don't move to Ireland to get a suntan! And you're not even guaranteed a summer at all some years, but thankfully we had a beautiful one in 2010. The autumn equinox may not officially occur for another two weeks, but for all practical purposes, I think this summer's gone. At least we had one though!
The Smith family couldn't have picked a better summer to finally move to Dublin. We were able to get into a great apartment in the village of Raheny on the north side of the city where we're literally right across the road from St. Anne's Park (the second largest park in Dublin) and we're only minutes from the beach on North Bull Island in Dublin Bay. We're just down the road from multiple shops, restaurants, the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), and schools. And our teammates, Craig and Merschon Hutson are due to move into another apartment complex in Raheny later this week. Our other teammates Scott and Denise Karnes (and their two children, Davis & Bailey) are only minutes away in Baldoyle. When Jo finally gets here, maybe she can split the difference between us all!
The best thing about getting to Dublin at this point in time has been the way God has provided us with multiple opportunities to begin to get to know neighbors and to be involved in the community. I've had a chance to work at two summer camps (Camp Shamrock in Northern Ireland www.campshamrock.com, as well as a sports camp in the Ballymun region of Dublin) and to play on two different basketball teams. Juli's joined a softball team and we're both exploring several other community service and volunteer opportunities. Our teammates are also involved in a variety of activities and we're trying to support each other and overlap in our work together.
What will the autumn bring? It's sure to bring some cooler weather and some damp days, but beyond the temperature shift, we're sure that this change in season will simply bring more and more opportunities to continue to live as citizen's of Christ's kingdom near St. Anne's and the sea. - Shay