In re-reading Tolkien's own lecture notes on Beowulf, I found something I already knew: Wes hal (short for wes þu hal = May you be in health) is simply the polite greeting in Old English. And I also knew that that is the ultimate source of wassail. What I did NOT know is that the typical Old English toast when proferring a tankard of ale was Beo þu bliðe (= Be thou blithe). Which I think will make a fine response the next time Kevin raises a glass in my direction and starts spouting in Irish, Slainte agus saoghol agat!
I've been moving old pix from my hard drive to a jump drive for storage. Checking to make sure they all transferred, I randomly opened one from five years ago. Wow, I thought, I didn't realize how striking that was!
This is Lake Weimer at my old Scout camp (now a mountain biking park), seen from the inflow just under the highway embankment. But on this April day, just beautiful.