To Eire Or Not To Eire

Sorry, I could not resist this blog title.

It’s that time again.  Well, it’s always that time.  Time to talk about going back to Ireland.   There are some of us who never tire of talking of Ireland, thinking of Ireland, looking at pictures of Ireland.  Going to Ireland.  We all know who we are.  We love it.  If you haven’t been, or feel no connection to it, go ahead and skip reading this.  Stop.  There’s no point on continuing.

Unless you want to.  Then go ahead and keep reading.

So those of us who love it probably love it for various reasons.  But I bet there are some reasons we all share.  Or not.  But those of us who love it, understand another’s love for it also.

One thing every one should remember, it’s an island.   For someone who has never lived near large bodies of water, with constant winds and rains and freshness, this is an experience its self.  I stepped off the plane in to Ireland and in to air that felt soft.  I don’t know that I had ever breathed air that felt sweet as it filled me up.  I always felt healthier there.  Foggy, rainy, sunny, cold, warm, hot.  It just felt healthy to me.  Clean.  Yes, fresh.

One of my (many) favorite things about dear old Ireland is the old of it.  The old buildings.  Old relics.  The ruins fascinate me.  Going in to buildings or structures that are hundreds, thousands of years old amaze me.  I am standing, walking, sitting and touching where our ancestors walked.   Where great things happened.  Where great people took stands for things they believed in.  I look at the ruins of some places and try to imagine it in its grandeur and completed state.  I can imagine it.   Then I remember how long ago it was created and I stumble over my perceived image of it.  When I picture things I do so from a 21st century perspective.  I have to go back to before Christ to get a full picture of some of these places (New Grange) and how they were developed .  I think it is difficult for us to totally get the magnitude of what the ancients created in this world.  We picture it with using our knowledge base.   How did they create it from their knowledge base.  Some of the buildings we went in to were only a couple to three centuries old.  Only? In many of the older businesses and homes you have to take 2, 3 or 5 steps to get through the doorway.  The walls are that thick.  Makes me come home and shudder at the insecurity of my 2×4 walls.

Food.  Before going to Ireland my first time I read in many places that Ireland was one of the most expensive places to eat.  Silly travel guides and advisors.  Or idiots.  I don’t know where they were going, but it was pretty food friendly to me.  Oh how we loved walking down streets in little towns and bigger cities.  Hungry?  Step in the bakery and buy a fresh scone.  Bakeries every where.  Walk by the butcher and see the fresh meats hanging for the folks needing to stop in and get something for dinner.  Gas stations with chefs and fresh baked goods.   Five pounds of stew.  Beef stew.  Lamb stew.  Tuna salad with corn.  Cookies, pardon me, in Ireland it would be biscuits.   Pub food.  Yes.  Pub food.  Good.  Good.  Good.  Stuff.

Fortunately we never stop when we are there so I can eat more.  Yay.   It’s non stop walk, look, walk, look.   I can’t see enough!  Not only do I want to see more, I want to go back and see what I already saw.  My first trip around Dingle Peninsula I had my eyes stretched so wide open my eye sockets hurt.  Oh, we were on our bikes for that one.

So we are always talking about going back to Ireland.  Or talking about about having been to Ireland.  Or talking about the ancestors who came from Ireland.   Or talking about the family found and connected with in Ireland.  Right now it’s the talking about going back.  Regardless of what points we have to ponder:  cost, flying (my fears), family situations, planning around all other responsibilities it comes down to what David once told me.   If we have a chance and put it off, who’s to say another chance will come along.

So if all things come together, it is likely to Eire.