Forts Don’t Protect the Heart

It’s a good thing Ireland turned a little chilly on us or I would have had no reason to buy this awesome jacket:

By the way, I got one for David for his birthday but he isn’t reading my blog in Ireland so he won’t know until his birthday.

Another rainy day so no biking.  And again we were okay with this.  From the start of the day to  the end of the day when I am writing this I feel like months have gone by.  Good months.  At one point I asked David about something I did yesterday or the day before and realized it was just this morning when it occurred.

One of the best sites of the day was the round fort we went to.  The walls are 13 feet thick.  It is centuries upon centuries old.  And prior to it there is evidence of ancient peoples also using this area to live and/or protect themselves.  And it makes sense.  When we got to the top of the hill it sat upon,  we could see for miles around the entire circumfrance of the fort.   It was beyond exhilerating to be standing there.  I found it odd that the wind was so strong there, when yesterday at 1900 foot tall cliffs there was just a whisper of a breeze.  Standing on the inner top circle of the fort  I held on to the stone for fear of falling when pushed by the wind.   Or, falling because I am scared of heights.  Whichever.  I held on.

This is what we saw.

This is the fort built without mortar of any kind.  And look how long it has lasted.  The only mortar in it is from modern hands who have renovated places to make it safe for us to climb upon.  We stood upon the upper ring and a man and woman approached from the parking lot. Of course I could see them, I could see anything that would approach the fort from anywhere on land or by air.  I yelled down “friend or foe”.  They laughed.  This made me happy.  He took our picture for us later:

We then headed to Derry.  By Northern Ireland it is referred to as “Londonderry”.   Here is what we saw at the fort:

I couldn’t help but think of all of the Irish men and women who have fought and died and suffered terrible physical and life wounds to make Ireland whole.  It’s very sad.  I think of it as Derry.  So we headed there to see the walled city.  And along the way we found a little place to eat and hook up to the internet with our own computer.  Look where we ate:

These girls did not want their picture taken.  But I did.  They laughed, not because they thought I was funny, but because they thought I was stupid.  Whatever.  Laugh is good.

Miracles happen.  Brittany got on line.  We couldn’t get Skype to work but we got messages thru by Facebook.  We arranged to get on line around 4 Ireland time, 11 am USA time.   We were going to head back to this fine eating establishment and hook up the Skype.  Brittany was going to Nessie’s.  I was very excited.

We went to Derry.  I did not like it as soon as I got there.  It had nothing to do with politics.  I loved the wall, because it was old.  Not because of what it stood for.  David and I walked along the top of part of it.  I was anxious to find an internet connection to say hi to the kids and the Queen.  We went in one café that had “wi fi hot spot” decals in the window.  We went in, verified, ordered food.  Could not connect.  I felt my heart sink.  And pass right out my toes.  We boxed up the food poor David didn’t get to eat and headed out.  It was raining.  We had left our rain coats in the car.  We got wet.  We walked.  And walked.  And could not find another place.  We got in the car and left.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find the map.  I knew we would be late.  David said Brittany would wait.  I was very upset.  If I hadn’t known they would be waiting to talk to me it would not have been a problem.  But I knew the faces on my screen would make feel good.  And I could soothe my Mom and Mamo needs to see the kids were okay.  (Yes, I know they are home and safe and can get by without me for a few weeks.  Just let me write this.)

We took the wrong way.  I was mad.  Not at David because he went the way I told him to.  I was just mad about the situation.

It took forever.  We got back to a town we had already been  in this morning, Letterkenny.  David didn’t get to see some of the things he wanted.  We parked.  And walked.  And walked.  And walked.  By the way, Letterkenny has the longest main streets in Ireland.  Fact.  And proven by our research of the town today.   David asked some young boys about getting on line.  They told us.  It was at the end of the main street  of which we stood at the top of.  We had to go to the bottom.  We did.  Finally we found the internet, inside a café!  Food and talking to the family!  And rest.  Oh, no, the internet is down here.   Poor David.   When the café lady  told us the  internet was down I must have made one hell of a pitiful face because she told David where to find another one.  Away we went.  We couldn’t find it.   I told him I was too mad.  He kept walking.  I thought it was ridiculous because he was walking out of the main street.  In Ireland once you leave the ‘town center’ there usually isn’t much tourists would want to see.  (I was not interested in flooring or buying a Toyota).

I sat on a wall.

And cried.

I had to take off my glasses and try to stop the tears.  Thankfully I was not sobbing.  Just had tears coming down.  Doesn’t that just sound pitiful?  Sitting in Ireland and crying.  What was wrong with this picture.   I hope my kids know how much I love them.  What other reason could provoke tears, while I am in Ireland.

Then I heard “HEY”.  It was my hero David down the street, across the street pointing down the other street.  I went and walked the way he was pointing me to go.  I still didn’t see where he was pointing, just the direction.

It was an internet store.  You go in and sit and internet away.

We were an hour and a half later than we told them we would get back on line to ‘talk’.  We hurriedly signed in.  But the computer did not allow us to rush it.  FINNNNNALLLLLY it connected.  Pulled up Skype.  My People were on line.

Oh my God the anticipation was killing me.   We were dialing.  Suddenly there was Brittany’s face.  And then….then… little Queen’s smiling face filled the entire screen.  All of my faith in all that is good in the world was restored.

Brittany and the Queen could hear us and see us.  But we could not hear them.  Brittany kept typing what the Queen was saying.   I love her so much I said.  Brittany types “she says she loves you much”.

She kissed the camera.  She talked.  She moved the camera so I could gaze at her Nana’s ceiling.  Or Brittany’s chest.  Or the Queen’s nose.  By the way, the best looking nose in the world.

Brittan y couldn’t get in touch with Nessie.  We may try again tomorrow.    I won’t torment David over it again.  But I know when Brittany typed “she says hi Po” that it made him feel good.

My heart stopped hurting.  It was okay I couldn’t hear them.  It wasn’t but a couple of years ago I would never have been able to even have the tools to connect like this.

She blew me kisses goodbye.  I told them I love them.

I apologized to David.

On we went.

I could live in Ireland.  I love Ireland.  I love my family.  I couldn’t live in Ireland without my family.  This I know.