Tomhas na Teanga Eanáir 2013

Mar is eol do chách, bhí stoirm mhór againn in oirthuaisceart na tíre, san fhómhar. As everybody knows, we had a big storm in the northeast, in the fall.  Tháinig hairicín agus stoirm eile le chéile. A hurricane and another storm came together.  Agus tharla sin nuair a bhí lán mara ann agus gealach lán leis. And that happened when it was high tide and also a full moon. Mar sin, bhí na tonnta ag teacht i dtír, agus bhí tuilte uafásacha ann.  So the waves were coming ashore, and there were terrible floods.  Agus murab é sin olc go leor, cúpla lá ina dhiaidh sin thit sneachta trom.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, a few days later a heavy snow fell.  Is iomaí crann a thit mar gheall ar an drochaimsir go léir seo.  It’s many the tree that fell on account of all this bad weather.  Agus thit roinnt daoibh ar dhaoine, dá marú. And some of them fell on people, killing them.  Bádh daoine eile, agus tharla timpistí le gineadóirí agus timpistíbóthair agus mar sin de. Other people were drowned, and accidents happened with generators and there were traffic accidents and so on.

Chaill daoine a lán dá gcuid, agus rinneadh mórán damáiste. People lost a lot of property, and a lot of damage was done.  Buíochas le Dia, ní raibh cúrsaí chomh dona sin againne. Thank God, things weren’t so bad for us. Bhíomar gan leictreachas ar feadh dhá lá déag (ach amháin dhá uair an chloig sular thit an sneachta…saghas céasta ab ea é an leictreachas a chailliúint ar athuair mar sin!).  We were without electricity for 12 days (except for 2 hours before the snow fell…it was a kind of torture to lose electricity a second time like that!)  Agus leis sin, ní raibh teocht ná uisce te ná fón (ach fóin phóca) againn ach oiread.  And along with that, we had no heat or hot water or phone (except cell phones) either.

Tá umar iasc teochreasa againn.  We have a tropical fish tank.  Rinneamar ár seacht ndícheall iad a choimeád te go leor, agus a gcuid uisce glan, agus ocsaigin a chuir isteach san uisce dóibh.  We did our very best to keep them warm enough, and their water clean, and to put oxygen into the water for them.  Ach theip orainn iad go léir a choimeád beo.  But we couldn’t keep them all alive.  Cailleadh breis isleath díobh, de réir a chéile.  We lost more than half of them, a few at a time.  Ba bhocht an scéal é.  It was a badbusiness.  Cailleadh cúpla acu tamaill maith ina dhiaidh freisin, mar bhí an strus ró-mhór dóibh.  A few of them died a good while afterwards, too, because the stress was too much for them.  Ach ba bheag an rud seo, i gcodarsnacht leis na rudaí níos measa a tharla do dhaoine eile.  But this was a little thing, in comparison with the worse things that happened to other people.

Maraon leis na rudaí olca a tharla, bhí an t-ádh ag a lán daoine eile.  Together with the bad things that happened, other people were lucky.  Nó bhí aingil dá gcosaint.  Or angels were protecting them.  Mar shampla, thit crann rí-mhór a bhíodh ina sheasamh taobh le teach mo dheirféar céile.  For example, a really big tree fell, which used to stand next to my sister in law’s house.  Bhí baill dá teaghlach amuigh ag féachaint air tamaill beag sular thit sé, agus bhí siad ábalta éalú uaidh nuair a thit.  Members of here household were outside looking at it a little while before it fell.  Thit sé go díreach idir an teach agus an garáiste.  It fell exactly between the house and the garage. Scrios sé crann beag eile agus crann luascán, ach b’fhéidir leis an gcrann sin mórán damáiste a dhéanamh nach ndearna, agus táimid buíoch do Dhia faoi sin, cinnte.  It destroyed another small tree and a swing set, but that tree could have done a lot of damage that it didn’t do, and we thank God for that, for sure.

Gach lá, nuair a bhíomar gan leictreachas, bhímis ag fanacht leis na leoraithe a thiocfadh chun sinne a shábháil.  Every day, when we were without electricity, we would be waiting for the trucks that would come to save us.  Agus ag fanacht.  And waiting.  Is iomaí rabhadh bréige a bhí ann. There were a lot of false alarms.  Tháinig siad i ndeireadh na dála, is dheisigh siad na sreangacha srl.  They finally came, and they fixed the wires, etc.  Ansin, thit an sneachta, agus bhíomar ar bun an liosta arís.  Then, the snow fell, and we were at the bottom of the list again. Cúpla lá eile, agus faoi dheireadh, bhíomar slán compordach teolaí – agus glan – arís.  A few more days, and finally, we were safe, comfortable, warm – and clean – again.

Dóbair go raibh sé normálta againn, inár suí sa dorchadas san oíche, gan teilifís, gan ríomhaire.  It almost became normal for us, sitting in the darkness at night, with no television, no computer.  D’éisteamar leis an raidió.  We listened to the radio.  D’imríomar cluiche.  We played a game. Rinneamar caint lena chéile.  We talked to each other. Agus chuamar a chodladh go luath.  And we went to bed early.  Tagtar i dtaithí ar chúinsí ar bith, ar ball.  You get used to anything, eventually.  Ach táimid lán sásta ár saol mar a bhíodh a fháil ar ais, geallaim duit!  But we’re very happy to get back the life we used to have, I promise you!Tá léirthuiscint nua againn dá bhfuil againn anois, gan amhras.  We have a new appreciation for all we have now, without a doubt.

Rinne mórán daoine obair iontach ag cabhrú lena gcomharsana, agus cé nach rabhamar sásta go raibh an méid sin ama de dhíth, níl aon dabht ach go raibh na leictreoirí agus na hoibreoirí eile ag obair go dian chun gach rud a chur ina cheart.  A lot of people did wonderful work helping their neighbors, and although we weren’t happy with the amount of time needed, there’s no doubt that the electricians and the other workers worked very hard to make everything right again.  Bhí na póilíní agus na fir dóiteáin thar barr, freisin.  The police and fireman were terrific, too.  Go raibh maith agaibh uile, má tá sibh ag léamh!  Thanks to all, if you are reading!

 

Tomhas na Teanga

Bíonn rotha mór an tsaoil ag dul timpeall. The wheel of the world keeps going ‘round. Bíonn an saol ag athrú, sin a rá. The world is always changing, that is. Agus ní athraíonn aon rud chomh tapúil agus a athraíonn an teicneolaíocht. And nothing changes as quickly as technology. Nuair a bhí m’athair óg, d’fheictí capaill agus cairteacha go coitianta gCathair Nua-Eabhrac fós.  When my father was young, it was still common to see horses and carts in NYC. Bhíodh tralaithe agus gal-traenacha  ann. There used to be trolleys and steam trains. In Éirinn, fiu le linn m’óige féin, ní raibh leictreachas ar fáil faoin tuath.  In Ireland, even in my own youth, there was no electricity to be had in the countryside. Is deacair a chreidiúint nach mbíodh teilifíseán ag an uile dhuine, ach ní bhíodh.  It’s hard to believe that everybody didn’t have a TV, but they didn’t. Ná ríomhaire, ná fón póca! Or a computer or a cell phone! Conas a b’fhéidir le daoine maireachtáil mar sin?! How could people live like that?!

Bíonn an t-athrú deacair mar rud, minic go leor.  Change is hard, very often. Sin ráite, is iomaí rud maith a thagann as.  That said, lots of good things come of it. Is beag rud sa saol seo atá buan, agus ní mór dúinn go léir dul i ngleic leis an saol mar atá, agus mar a bheidh – an teicneolaíocht san áireamh.  Very little in this world is permanent, and we have to come to grips with the world as it is, and as it will be –technology included. Tá daoine ann, fós féin, a dhiúltaíonn an teicneolaíocht nua. There are people, nevertheless, who reject the new technology. Tá aithne agam ar dhaoine gan teilifíseán, agus tá siad sásta lena saol.  I know people with no TV, and they’re happy with their lives. Bíonn roghanna againn mar sin – ach bíonn níos mó roghanna ann i gcónaí!  So we always have choices – but there are always more choices!

Éiríonn an saol níos casta agus níos éasca ag an am céanna, ar dhóigheanna áirithe. Life gets more complicated and easier at the same time, in certain ways. Cuir i gcás an ríomhaire.  Take computers. Tá an iliomad rud níos éasca sa lá atá inniu ann mar gheall ar an ríomhaire – taighde a dhéanamh, litreacha a sheoladh, ticéid nó rud ar bith a cheannach, srl. Many things are easier today because of computers – doing research, sending letters, buying tickets or anything at all, etc. Ach ní mór do dhuine foghlaim conas ríomhaire a úsáid.  But a person has to learn how to use a computer. Agus ceann a roghnú, roimhe sin.  And how to pick one, before that. Agus bíonn an bogearraí ag athrú i gcónaí.  And the software is always changing. Agus, Dia dár sábháil, má tá fadhb agat le do ríomhaire, is féidir mórán ama a chaitheamh amú ar thóir a réitigh. And, God save us, if you have a problem with your computer, you can waste a lot of time looking for its resolution. Rud a shábhálann am dúinn de ghnáth, is féidir leis am a ghoid uainn níos mó ná aon rud eile, idir fadhbanna agus cluichí nó súgradh ar an idirlíon srl.  Something that usually saves us time, it can steal time from us more than anything else, between problems and games or playing on the internet. Paradacsa is ea é.  It’s a paradox.

Minic go leor, nuair a thagann rud nua ar an saol, imíonn rud eile. Lots of times, when a new thing comes along, something else goes away. De réir a chéile a tharlaíonn seo, den chuid is mó. This happens gradually, mostly. Nuair a thánaig na Diesel chun tosaigh ar na hiarnróid, níor cailleadh gach gal-inneall traenach ar an lá céanna.  When Diesels took over on the railroads, every steam engine wasn’t lost on the same day. Ach d’imigh siad, agus d’imigh ní ba thapúla céim ar chéim.  But they went away, and did so more quickly step by step. Is breá le daoine mar mise iad, agus sábháladh roinnt díobh, ach ní úsáidtear iad ar chor ar bith chun fíor-ghnó a dhéanamh níos mó.  People like me love them, and some of them were saved, but they’re never used any more for real business. Is breá liom na traenacha nua, agus tá siad níos fearr, gan dabht.  I love the new trains, and they’re better, no doubt. Níos saoire, níos cumhachtaí, srl.  Cheaper, more powerful, etc. Ach tá grá agam do na sean-chinn freisin. But I love the old ones, too.

Tá clóscríobhán leictreach agam sa bhaile. I have an electric typewriter at home. Nuair a fuair mé é, bhí sé sean, ach i bhfad ní b’fhearr ná na sean-chlóscríobháin a bhíodh agam.  When I got it, it was old, but much better than the old typewriters I used to have. An cuimhin leat na ribíní agus an white out? Do you remember the ribbons and…? An bhfuil a fhios agat cá bhfuaireamar an giorrúchán ‘cc?’  Do you know where we got the abbreviation ‘cc?’ Is cuimhin liomsa.  I remember. Nuair a bhí mo pháistí óg, bhain siad sult as an gclóscríobhán leictreach mar rud aisteach suntasach.  When my kids were little, they had fun with the electric typewriter which was strange and interesting. Ní minic a fheictear rud mar é riamh níos mó lasmuigh de iarsmalann.  You don’t ever see such a thing any more outside of a museum. Tá ríomhaire ag gach éinne.  Everybody has a computer. Nach bhfuil sé ait anois sean-phictiúr d’oifig gan ríomhairí a fheiscint? Isn’t it strange when you see an old picture of an office with no computers?

Glacaimid leis na rudaí nua (de ghnáth), ach bíonn cuimhní cinn breátha againn de na stuif atá ag imeacht ón saol, minic go leor.  We accept the new things (usually), but we have fine memories of the stuff that’s disappearing, very often. Meascán a bhíonn ann idir an sean is an nua. It’s a mix of the old and the new. An t-aon rud buan, sin an t-athrú. The only thing permanent is change.