The Emerald Isle – Changes In Latitude

Polite and friendly people. Warm and delicious brown bread.  Green for more than the eye can see.  Guinness on tap everywhere and anywhere you go.

Where are we?

Ireland, of course – the Emerald Isle.

As the plane descended from the clouds, the morning was bright and beautiful.  And at the expense of sounding cliché, outside our window the greenest fields and lush rolling hills greeted us.

ireland2This was my first trip oversees in many years and the first in which I was leaving my children behind in the care of my parents.  Trying to suppress my anxiety of leaving them, I vowed to make the most of my time in the beautiful city of Dublin.

And what a city it is!

During our week stay, we visited the “must see” sites Dublin primarily by foot and bus……

…St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which unlike the cathedral in New York City is Anglican).

ireland…Trinity College and the splendor of its breath-taking library.

..the Guinness Factory and the tour up to the Sky Bar for a free pint of Guinness – there is a full meal in every pour!ireland3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But of all the tourist sites we visited, by far my favorite was taking the Literary Pub Crawl.  What is better than being immersed in Irish literary history while enjoying a pint at each stop along the tour.  On the night of our walking tour, a light rain fell and we met Yeats, O’Casey, Joyce and Swift along the way on this tour.

And like all good trips, the night before we left, our tour bus made its way up the winding hills and delivered us at the door step of The Merry Ploughboys Pub where we dined, danced and sang as if we were just another fellow family member.

 

 

Feisty Granny Gives Impatient Driver His Comeuppance

I am sure by now, you have seen the latest viral video, but let me share with you – my Mother would have loved the lady in this video!

Just case you haven’t seen the video….

“Good for her,” Mom would have said, adding, “old age ain’t for sissies, you know.”

MH900409517Of course, she stole that line from the late radio and television personality Art Linkletter.  But, he probably borrowed from Bette Davis or H.L. Mencken.  Whoever said it, was right.

Mom was active and sassy.  In her late 70s, she belonged to a community group, the Singing Seniors.  They would go to “the home” and entertain the “old people.”  She drove a mean scooter in the local grocery store.  But, even Mom had to slow down when she faced hip replacement surgery.

Just before the surgery, she and I were at an intersection in our town.  The light changed; the “Walk” signal appeared.  We started crossing the street very slowly.  The light counted down and we were still in the middle of the intersection.  Suddenly, we heard a loud, obnoxious, and prolonged car horn.  You know the sound –Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

Mom froze in the middle of the intersection!  Froze!  A car horn will do that to a person.  After a moment, Mom commenced her sojourn across the street.   I walked over to the offensive driver.

In a huff, the driver asked, “What’s the hold up?”

“My Mom’s crossing the street.  She needs a little more time.”

“Oh,” replied the driver sheepishly.

Aging is rough enough without having a young, impatient whippersnapper, like the one my Mother encountered or the one in this video, honk as you try to cross the street.

What was the driver thinking?  Did he think about his own Mom or Grammy?  Did he wonder if the pedestrian was impeded by a medical problem – arthritis, a bad leg or hip?  Did it occur to him that the aging process just slowed her down?  Did his brain process that the horn may have startled her and caused her to fall?

I don’t think he thought about anything but his precious time.  He had places to go after all.  And now, he had to wait for this old lady to cross the street.  I can hear him sigh deeply “Life is so unfair.”

Like many of us, he didn’t relate to the challenges of aging or old age.  We all need a little patience, a little understanding, and a little sympathy because one day we may be crossing the street.

My Mom also used to say, “It’s no fun getting old.”

In reply, I would ask, “Mom, what’s the alternative?”

~RAK