Unwind. Regroup. Rest and Reload

It was a sleep-in kind of morning.  Keenan volunteered to make breakfast but we were in need of bread and (for later) beer from the giant Dunnes store across the street.  After everyone was up and ready to go, I provided some financial resources to Seana and Taylor who volunteered to go fetch some groceries.  Not too long later Taylor returned with two large grocery sacks filled with 18 beers, ham, cheese, more fruit, bread and additional rashers, etc.  He assured me there was little no nothing left of the “financial resources”.   Seana had opted to stay and shop at Dunnes.  With that, Keenan commenced to prepare our breakfast.  

Keenan is a great cook and prepared rashers and scrambled eggs that were delicious.  The kitchen hot pot that heated water to a boil within a minute, was helpful for preparing several steaming cups of coffee.  I set about doing laundry so that I’d have clean clothes for the next week, and anyone interested could go home without hauling home stinky, dirty laundry. 

Hand of Peace. Hands of Welcome.

This was a perfect place to stay.  While laundry was going, we sat in the living room and (believe it or not) watched Alvin and the Chipmunks in Gaelic.  Nothing but the finest.  We had given Taylor a bit of a jab for leaving his sister in the huge Dunnes store.  After all, I had lost her entirely in tiny little Cashel.  He insisted she was fine telling me she had advised him, “Tell your mom I know the way back!”  They know I worry.  

Well, after a couple hours we did send Taylor our to reconnoiter Seana’s location.  He returned to advise she was located, safe and sound, and would be joining us soon.  She returned a short time later showing us the most excellent finds she had made in the clearance racks.  Shortly after that, Bill and I headed to the Vodafon store to see if they could assist me with my cell phone troubles.  In short, they could not.  Next we wandered to Cruise’s pub for the free internet.  I called AT&T for assistance and after an hour of hearing my “helper” say “perfect” as we got absolutely NO WHERE, she assured me that AT&T would text Bill’s phone within 24 – 48 hours with a solution.   I was bumped up to their highest level of tech assistance.  Oh lucky me.  For some reason I did not feel comforted.  The entire “cellular” facet of my phone had disappeared.

Once we returned to the house, we advised the kids that there was a CD release by a local artist scheduled for 5:00 p.m.  We’d head out for that, and then grab some grub.  We cut through the giant Dunnes store and worked our way to the second floor of The Old Ground Hotel.  The musician featured was an accordion player who smoked that thing like a clay pipe on steroids.  He was fantastic and at several points had other musicians (fiddle and pipe) sit in with him.  The only problem was the venue.  It was stuffy, crowded, and not nearly enough room was planned for the number of attendees.  We did stick around for a while but then headed back to Brogan’s for dinner.

The place was crowded so we sat outside waiting for a table.  After a while, our darling Ellen from the previous night, came to our rescue.  “Pretend like you made a reservation,” she said as she lead us to an available table.  We enjoyed another great feast at Brogan’s for a reasonable price.  

After dinner; Bill, Seana and I headed out to find some live music.  Honestly, I have no idea where the guys went but we did eventually meet up with them at “home”.  We wandered into Knox’s where the musicians included a young woman on a harp.  We smooshed in and enjoyed one song before the band took a break.

We also met a family group of Brit’s on holiday.  One of the old guys was playing spoons to the music.  (I’ve always wanted to learn how to play spoons. They travel well don’t you think?). We struck up conversation and Seana and I ended up scoring a table and allowing several of them to join us.  At least one of them were a bit more friendly than we’d hoped.

Once again, I had misjudged the musicians taking a break for the musicians being done for the night!  Once that was determined we called it a night. We were tired.  The kids were due to leave in the morning.

We got back to the house and the boys were in watching television.  We sat around talking for a while before the ham and cheese plate made an appearance for snack time.  I looked around that room thinking that these were the people I loved most in the world; all in once place; all getting along; all sharing in the same adventure.  What a lucky mom I am.

As I think of this portion of the trip all I can say is that it has been a peak experience. I hope my children will think of this as fondly as will I.  I have looked at their faces at different moments when I truly feel like they are feeling it in their bones, and it’s been hard to hold back tears.  All three of my kids are different in their own ways, but in their own ways I’ve seen them connect to their Irish heritage.  Ireland is where my soul feels most at home.  I feel tugged to the earth here, like my feet don’t want to leave.  I know they may have the same feeling tomorrow when it’s time to head for home.  

Ireland, Mother Ireland.

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