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                        Living in America vs England



May blog 2018

Posted by dawngriffis on May 11, 2018 at 2:55 PM

For the first and last time I am going to post the American part and pictures first. The reason for this, you will understand why at the end of this blog.

The first photos were sent to me by dear friends who moved to Arizona, we miss them greatly, but they are very happy there. They took these photos of spring flowers in their neighborhood. They are different from any seen in either New England or England. I have no idea what they are so we will just enjoy their beauty.

Photos are by Jean and Corb Sponcel.


In England at this time of the year spring is in full swing with flowers becoming abundant in the town and country cottage gardens. The hedgerows are green and spring blossoms blooming in them, bees are busy gathering their nectar, birds are building their nests and busy caring for their first babies, they are singing their hearts out. As beautiful as all this is, it far more beautiful and uplifting to walk in the bluebell woods. The trees reach majestically to the heavens with their leaves spreading to give welcome shade to all below. It reminds me of what my grandfather used to say. ‘Who needs the churches and grand cathedrals when you have English woodlands? The trees are his cathedral, and there is none so beautiful when the sun is shining through’. I totally agree with him.

I asked Beverley Coleman to write a poem especially for you to put in this very special blog.

Spring in England



Beverley Coleman


The Month of May how glorious

To walk the fields we love

Taking in the scenery

From the hillside up above.


Seeing Lambs in meadows

Skipping to and fro

Keeping to the pathways

A long long way to go.


Oil seed rape in the fields around Aynhoe by Kay Anderson

Oil seed rape in Aynhoe by Maureen Tyrrell

Frolicking lambs on Google

Yellow fields of Oilseed Rape

Glowing in the sun

Hearing ....oh the Cuckoo

Remembering this one.



The Cuckoo comes in April

He sings his song in May

He changes tune in the middle of June

And then he flies away.


Cuckoo by Anthony Morris

I wander on still thinking

And there before my eyes

A woodland how exciting

But now for the surprise


Bluebells by Irene Dumbleton

A carpet ...oh so beautiful

Has just come into view

These little bells..magnificent

An amazing shade of blue.


They grace our paths and gardens

Our lanes and woodlands too

The Bluebell in its spender

So here’s a sneak preview.


Bluebells at Worton Woods May 10th by Beverley Coleman

Bluebells in the same woods by David Sydney Woodman

Bluebells in the same woods by Irene Dumbleton 

Another by Irene Dmbleton

The last from Irene Dumbleton, thank you Irene 

Yesterday Banbury Friends went on their first Bluebell woodland walk, there are many such woods all over England for people to enjoy. Beverley wrote this one about it what they saw, heard and smelled while they were there, it is all very intoxicating.

The birds are singing in the trees

The woodland is so still

We enter very gingerly

We all do know the drill.


Keeping to the pathways

Watching where we step

The route is marked out for us

As Dave has done the prep.


There’s Bluebells in abundance

A fabulous sight to see

A carpet in the shade of trees

Right there in front of me


Every year I see them

The awesomeness is great

To tread the English countryside

Like being on a date.


Exciting....yes of course it is

Close you eyes and smell the scent

The air is fresh ...the pastures green

All have been heaven sent.


A twig breaks in the distance

Someone else is there in view

A traveler on a mission

Says Hi !! To me and you.


We pass and keep on going

A bit wet from last nights rain

Let’s hope it hasn’t spoilt them

I’m sure we won’t complain.


With all our pictures taken

A good walk had by all

We make our way for sandwiches

To Middle Barton Village Hall.


Everyone is happy

Good fun was what i had

And now the parties over

I’m weary.....just a tad.


Here is the very talented and caring Beverley Coleman in amongst the Bluebells yesterday Thank you Bev.

Now sadly for the reason this blog is reversed. I wanted it to leave you with a small idea what living in England is like over the past few years, and has been for many generations of people lucky enough to live there.


As many of you know for over a year my husband Mike, has been very ill, had many hospitalizations along with many complications. I am happy to say he has been stable for almost 3 months, so we had hoped things would continue. It was not to be, now my left knee has gone to ‘pot’ the result of many old injuries. I’m going to have to have a replacement, and as we all know recovery is not fast after it is done. With that in mind and considering how long and hard most winters are here in Vermont. We can no long manage to live in this house with all the work involved, and we can’t afford to pay for it to be done. We are going to have to downsize severely from all we have gathered after almost 56 years of marriage, it is not going to be easy, because of all the memories involved. As our girls have said we would be better renting, so we would no longer have all the maintenance worries and work. We are hoping to be able to find something with a small outside area or porch so we can sit outside and have some flowers to enjoy, plus a few herbs would be perfect.

Coming to this decision has not been easy and don’t expect it to get much better for sometime. This will take all my energy to do what has to be done for the foreseeable future. Therefore this is my last blog, I will miss not writing for all of you, but hope you have enjoyed it. I feel right now, much as I did when in 2008, when I realised we had to leave England for the last time, because we were needed back here. It was very difficult thing to do. One morning I awoke with a poem going through my head, so I quickly wrote it down. I cannot write poetry, therefore I really think it was put in my head by my grandfather, who was quite a poet. As it fits here and especially at this time, when I also realise I will never, ever see my beloved England again.

I Have To Say Goodbye

Dawn Griffis 2008


It is not of my choosing to leave the village of my birth

I had returned after forty long years

To live my life in the place I loved until my end

To be buried in the soil of our Church

Along with my ancestors of four hundred years


Sadly it is not to be

I must once again leave the home I love

And the family I cherish long buried in the ground so old

I will miss the village’s crooked and curvy streets

The houses of so many shapes and sizes

That so many of my forebears

Lived worked and loved


I have to return to the land across the sea

Where the summers are green and very hot

Winters are white and very cold

The mountains are old but high enough

This land where my young and growing family still live

Growing healthy and strong

They are doing well


These children that are young and not so young

They say they miss us and need us

It is true – so we must leave

And let our bones be buried in another’s soil

So far from Aynhoe the village I love

But I can live no more


Hill Cottages Aynhoe by me in 1980


Aynhoe Church yard by me 2000

My grandparents home, known then as 20 Aynhoe, taken by me. This  was our family home for 93 years.

Goodbye all

Dawn xx


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Reply Wesleyitema
5:09 PM on July 30, 2018 
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