To Ireland

Today is St. Patrick’s Day – as I’m sure everyone is well aware of.  They are probably beginning their celebrations now – at least in Chicago, and in Ireland will have finished their morning mass, with shamrocks pinned to their shirts and festivals in the streets going full blast now.  We probably won’t be doing anything so exciting – big crowds and alcoholism aren’t really my cup o’ tea.

Instead, we will be spending the afternoon playing games with friends, swinging by the fabric store so I can make new curtains for the house, and then having a date night (our weekend is blessedly sans offsrping).

But, I am remembering.

In 2007, I spent 7 long months in various parts of the country.  I started at Irish Language school in Glencolmcille, a little town on the peninsula of Co. Donegal.


I stayed with a wonderful family and made friends at the school, but we were only there for a couple weeks.  We did head back later in the semester, and I did manage to make it back for a week the next time I was in Ireland.

From there, we began our studies in Derry.  If only I’d known what I was in for.

I learned how to knit in Ireland.  There was a wool shop in the Derry Craft Village I frequented.  That purple scarf there is my first every finished project – and I still have it.

I miss the Bound For – our favorite hang out.  I got into so much trouble in that pub.

We also took weekend trips to other places, Dublin, Sligo, Gweedore, The Giant’s Causeway, etc.

I was there during Paddy’s Day, and one of my roommates took me home for the weekend to celebrate.  Hence, the prompt for this post.  This was my first time living on my own.  My first time out of the US.  I was alone – having just met my traveling companions on the plane, and on the bus the next day, but they were who I would be with the entire semester.

After the semester I stored most of my belonging’s in a friend’s flat and eked out on my own with only a small bag to accompany me.  I felt brave and adventurous.  I made it a few weeks before returning to the flat and spending the next few weeks with friends again.

Then I took off to spend 6 weeks doing archaeology work on Achill Island.

But these are stories for another time.

To my friends in Ireland – have a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day and please, stay safe.  I miss you all dearly and think of you often.

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