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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Is Special To Me

March is the month that is most special to me. Not only is my birthday in March, but so was my dad’s. Until he died, Pop and I shared and celebrated our birthday. When I got my first driver’s license, Pop and I started a tradition that carried on until his death. We always went together to renew our driver’s licenses—and we planned our costumes to wear. Wearing special outfits was my dad’s idea. My favorite was when I dressed up as a cowgirl. Pop wore his kilt. Since it was only a headshot, no one knew he was wearing the kilt except me. Since he left this Earthly plain, I still celebrate our birthday with a remembrance candle by his picture, a hand written birthday note, and his favorite bagpipe tune.

This is my driver's license with my cowgirl hat 
(note the circle of black behind me. The DMV would not let me wear it.)

I’m Scot-Irish and born the day after Saint Patrick’s Day—by a few minutes. Luckily for me though, the 18th was my dad’s birthday. My Irish ancestor was Neal of Nine Stones who stole his bride from the Isle of Berra in Scotland. She was Queen Mauve, known as “the fairy queen.” I wish I knew why they called her that, but sadly, I don’t. There’s got to be a story at the bottom of that.

Another reason March is my favorite month is because, no matter how it starts out, it ends with spring. Just knowing that makes March the month of hope for me. I’d like to keep my heart and spirit like that. No matter how bad things might get, I trust everything will turn out for the best in the end. This winter has been one of the worst I have ever experienced here in North Carolina, so I am very happy to see spring roll in this year.
I also like the symbolic vision of March portrayed by the lion and the lamb. For me, that symbol is spiritual and it’s my wish for planet Earth. I’d like for all humans to be at peace with each other and all the creatures that live upon it. I like to think Earth could be like Star Trek where all the nations of Earth came together in peaceful harmony to explore space as the pioneers explored the west.

Here are some Irish Blessings to get you in the mood for March:

May Joy Surround you
May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door,
and happiness be with you now
and bless you ever more!

Blessing For A Good Life
May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

May Those Who Love Us
May those who love us, love us;
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping!

 Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Victory Tales Press, Prairie Rose Publications and Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press, imprints of Prairie Rose Publications. She welcomes you to her website and social media:
Also dear to me are my Wildings. I introduced my first Wilding in the time travel western, HARMONICA JOE'S RELUCTANT BRIDE which then led to the sequel, FOR LOVE OF BANJO. After that, I just couldn't stop writing about my Wilding family. Just released as a single from the HEARTS AND SPURS anthology is HOLLOW HEART.

Lost love and the hope for possibilities


Madeline Andrews is a grown up orphan. Sam Wilding made her feel part of his life, his family and swore he’d come home to her when the war ended, but he didn’t return. With the Valentine’s Ball just days away, the Wildings encourage Madeline to move forward with her life and open her heart to the possibilities.  But Madeline is lost in old love letters and can’t seem to let go.


Madeline folded the letter and slipped it back into its envelope. Her heart ached as she put the envelope back into the box. She placed it with reverence on her dresser beside the picture of Sam and her, laughing into the sun on that beautiful summer day, years ago. She twisted the gold ring with the little heart-shaped ruby around her left ring finger. Sam had given it to her the day he left for deployment to Europe. He said it was a promise ring. The ring would remind her of his love, his promise to return, and his pledge to wed her when the war ended. A sigh escaped her. None of his promises had come true.

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  1. Happy Birthday month, Sarah! I am ready for spring!

  2. Thank you, Connie. I'm so ready for spring, too. Thank you so much for coming.

  3. Replies
    1. Back at you, Kristy. Thank you so much for commenting.

  4. I love Blessing For A Good Life. This one is special and intimate. You are certainly lucky and blessed to have such a loving relationship with your father. My father's birthday was March 17. Yep...March 17. If I have my math correct, he would be 100 this month--maybe 99, since I cannot recall this moment the year of his birth. Mother was born in 1916, so I think I'm close with my guess. You know something? You haven't changed a bit. From this photo, I would know it's Sarah. Happy Spring!.

    1. How very wonderful that your father was born on St. Patrick's day. I knew there was something special about him. My dad was born in 1912, so he would be 103 this year. Yikes! He was the youngest of three brothers and they were spaced 5 and 10 years apart so their parents could afford to send them to college. His father was born in 1866! He was a post Civil War baby. I can never get my mind around that. My mother was born in 1920. It's funny, my dad and I used to bicker a lot in my younger years. My mom said it was because we were too much alike. I think she really meant we were both strong-willed and opinionated. Once I got a little older in my 20's, I discovered he was a wealth of wisdom. After my mother died, whom I adored, Pop became my best friend and mentor.
      You are being very kind, Celia--but I really appreciate that you think I look similar to my much younger picture.
      Thank goodness spring is close; I don't know if I could hang on through much more winter. LOL

  5. Happy early Birthday Sarah. I love the Irish blessings you posted. I think come St. Patrick's Day we are all a bit Irish. You are the first person I know to take such a beautiful drivers' license photo. Mine looks like I'm an escapee from some penitentiary, especially since they won't let you smile anymore when they take your photo. Winter has indeed been dreadful and long this year. Here's to green grass, tulips, robins and all things Spring!!

  6. Sarah, March is a very special month and you are lucky to have been born then. That you have such wonderful memories of your father and keep them alive is a gift beyond priceless.

    May the good Lord take a liking to you...
    But not too soon! Happy Birthday.


    1. LOL Doris, that's a good Irish kind of blessing you wrote.
      I loved my parents so much and still miss them. They were as different as two people could ever be. Mom was quiet, reserved and so sweet and loving. Because she was so ill, she had to leave school after the 9th grade. I loved to go grocery shopping with her. I still remember the car smelling like oranges and fresh ground coffee. She loved to sew and design clothing. Lucky me. Pop, on the other hand, was a scientist and academic. He had so many interesting hobbies, loved nature and all God's creatures. Mostly he enjoyed birds and banded them for the Fish and Wildlife Service. He spent his later years as the weatherman on TV and working on wildlife projects for children. Where Mom was a softy and let me get away with almost anything, Pop was a strict disciplinarian and had very creative ways with doling out restrictions. He knew what my sister and I liked and that's what he would take away. My parents were a great couple. I only ever saw them argue once. I often saw them hug or kiss though, mostly in the kitchen.
      Thank you for the birthday blessing and for commenting.

  7. I have lots of really awful driver license pictures, Barbara. I think the DMV likes everyone to look as ugly and criminal as possible. That's just the way they roll. I wonder why they don't want smiley pictures? Seems like they could ID people with their teeth showing even better.
    Thank you for the birthday wish. I am looking forward to flowers, warm weather and vegetables in my garden more this year than many before. What a horrid winter we've had. The birds are already here checking out places for their nests. Several have inspected the curve in the downspout just outside my study window. I hope one of them builds a nest there so I can watch their activities and the baby birds.
    Thank you so much for coming and leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

  8. Sarah, thank you so very much for the lovely Irish Blessings. I love everything Irish and Scottish and besides reading and writing western historicals, I enjoy reading Irish and Scottish historicals--someday maybe I'll try writing one. And 2 years ago when I was left some money from my aunt, my hubby and I visited Ireland and Scotland--I didn't want to leave. My mother was Scottish--MacTavish. Fathers are wonderful and I so enjoyed reading about your fond and loving memories of yours. Loved the picture for your license. And while I'm here, I recently finished reading Hollow Heart--loved it and so happy you submitted it. Oh I felt her heavy heart and delighted in the happy, tear-jerking ending. Thank you.

  9. Bev, I've only written one Scottish based story way back. It was also a science fiction story. It was the first story I ever wrote that was published. I have to say, it was hard to write. Science fiction writers are a breed all their own. They're science geeks let loose with a tale to tell. I love science, but I get tangled up in things like String Theory. On top of that difficulty was writing a character with a Scottish accent.
    How exciting to inherit money and go traveling in Scotland and Ireland. Green hills and old castles are romantic and mysterious. I hope you kept a writer's journal while you traveled. I'd love to see what you come up with if you attempt a story in Ireland or Scotland.
    Thank you so much for your compliment about Hollow Heart. That made me very happy. And thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I really appreciate it.