Thursday, July 26, 2012

TIme Check

"So, are we going to have this 11:00 to 11:00 schedule every day?"

That was the question posed by a weary American as he passed our table at a pub in Lisdoonvarna.

Yeah, you are.

You see the thing about this lovely little spot in Ireland is that the sun doesn't set until about 9:45pm.  That means it's easy to find yourself standing on top of the Cliffs of Moher at 8:00 enjoying the scenery against a perfectly blue sky (if you're lucky).  The only thing that may remind you that it's time to eat dinner is a little bark in your stomach and a hankering for a pint of something.

That's the way it goes when vacationing in these parts.  By the time our party of three heads up to our cottage atop the Burren the sun is setting.  And then all of the sudden it's midnight, or one or even two and we have to consciously declare the day over so we can get up and out by 11:00 tomorrow for another day of fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Learning the Language

The weather is not to be counted on here in Ireland.  Today the forecast called for partly cloudy with a passing shower in the afternoon.  The downpour I experienced during my walk around Caherconnell Stone Fort was much more than a passing shower.  The powerful rains drenched my tour guide making it impossible to open the guide booklet to read and learn all about the last two stops on the tour.  That had to wait until I was back in the dry comfort of our red Skoda.

The young chap at the docks agreed that the weather was pretty bad.  In fact when we described it as dodgy~a new fabulous adjective I've enjoyed using over this way~ he disagreed.

"Oh no, this is worse than dodgy, it's diabolical."

Another brilliant word.

Cheers, then.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Moving Spritely and With Purpose

Certainly one of the more intriguing sites I've seen thus far in Ireland is the way the dogs and cats move about town.  Saturday morning I was driving down Marks St. with Kit when I noted a small, black and white dog walking at a clip down the sidewalk.  I watched as his four legs moved him purposefully down the block.  From my vantage point it was clear that this dog had a destination in mind.

We turned the corner and were stunned to see that our four-legged friend was still walking just ahead of us, except that he was now making his way spritely down the the bike lane.  I laughed out loud as I watched him cross over by way of the crosswalk to the next intersection.

He stopped at the corner to assess the situation before heading across the street.  We held a collective breath as we saw he was crossing against the red.  No matter, all was fine.  The little guy looked left and met eyes with the oncoming car which in turn slowed down to let him cross.  And then he was gone, marching down the street and out of sight onto what we'll never know.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Family Meeting

Standing in a cemetery an hour outside of Dublin it's hard to know what to think.  I'm looking at the grave of my grandmother's great, great grandmother and it's just a tad overwhelming.  Here are people I obviously don't know, but if it weren't for the lives they lived here in County Kildare Ireland I wouldn't be here at all.

The question connected am I? 

First of all I have to say I was impressed at the care that had been given to the grave.  The headstone begins by celebrating the memory of one Elizabeth Kearney born in 1864 and ends with the death one Henry John Garrett in 1998.  To see those 134 years connected on one headstone is pretty impressive, but really even more than that was that in my thirty minute visit to this small, off-the-beaten track cemetery I ran into 3 other people, locals, who were there on a sunny Saturday morning to pay respects to their own.

I wandered about looking for the names of other family members I'd been given.  In my wanderings I was taken with a younger man who was standing at a gravesite with a pile of freshly turned soil.  He stared at the head stone for a bit and then made a quick sign of the cross before turning on his heels and heading back along the small country road to his next destination.

It was then I headed back to Elizabeth's grave for my own moment of prayer and reflection.  I thanked her for living the life she led which in turn allowed me the privilege of standing before her today~ and then with a sign of the cross I walked off to enjoy a bit more of the scenery in this home away from home.