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photo of old suitcase courtesy

As I get closer to leaving for Ireland I am becoming more and more bogged down with the distractions on my mind and my long to-do list. This has made it impossible for me to take the time to pull together enough coherent thoughts to post much in this blog lately. Instead, I’ve been darting about gathering up loose ends as I go along with hopes that it will all come together by the time I’m dashing out the door for O’Hare Airport this Saturday. It always does – somehow – come together. However, this trip is a bit different for me because Declan is staying home and I face, without the benefit of his expertise, not only the long journey from Chicago to Dublin to Shannon, but also a very old cottage, which has sat empty since November! I am both excited about this trip and apprehensive about what awaits me there. Hopefully, a family of mice has not moved in while we were away. Hopefully, my inability to use keys properly, will not keep me from opening the front door. Hopefully, the alarm will turn off for me when I key in the code. Hopefully, the electricity stayed on during the record cold and the pipes are working and the floor is dry. Hopefully, my bad-house-plumbing-karma was totally fulfilled here in Elmhurst last month, so that it does not greet me again in Rose Cottage. And hopefully, Anton, Eóin and I – three novices – will be able to light a fire in the stove and keep it lit!

Originally, it was just me and Eóin making the trip. However thankfully, I will not be the only adult present, since Anton is coming along! This will be Anton’s first visit to Rose Cottage and while I’m very excited to see what he thinks, I am also a bit nervous about what his impression will be, due to my fear that nothing could ever live up to my enthusiastic descriptions about the place. I want him to love Rose Cottage, Kilkee and County Clare enough to want to return often! Although Anton will be my co-pilot and map reader, it will be my responsibility to do all the driving. The last time I drove in Ireland was during my first visit there in 1999, so I’m also a bit anxious about the driving. At least I’ll have an automatic, which is half the battle and at least I won’t be driving in Dublin – which is nearly the other half! All I have to deal with then is driving in the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road. Piece of cake, right?

For this trip, as well as for my use during our longer stay in the summer, we purchased a MacBook Pro Notebook. Hopefully I will find a pub or cafe in Kilkee with Wi-Fi so that I can write a bit for the blog and even post a photo or two! By summer I plan to have internet access at the cottage so that the computer will not only allow me to keep up with Blogging from the Bog, but will enable me to stay in touch with my family through Skype. This reminds me of something I must add to my to-do list… find out how to post a photo directly from the camera to the laptop!

Speaking of my to-do list, it is quite long and includes the following – and probably a few things I haven’t thought of yet: purchases of various items of clothing that we somehow did without here at home these past months but seem necessary for a trip away, check, travel kit for contact lenses, check, remember what personal items I didn’t leave at the cottage so I can buy them and bring them along, check, make sure the Easter Bunny is ready for his/her/its visit to our home the day after we return, check, bring various baking utensils and bowls to Kate’s to help equip her for the first Easter dinner she will be preparing for the family, check, make sure any bills that can’t wait are paid, check, gather and mail all tax information I dragged my feet on because this is the first year since 2000 that I didn’t have to prepare a FAFSA for a college student, check, figure out a way to pack the notorious Nicholas Mosse butter dish, milk pitcher and sugar bowl and Brown Betty teapot, check, get a haircut, check, convince Eóin that he can bring only one teddy and it can not be his huge polar bear, check, get a list of directions from Declan for things like – how to get to Rose Cottage from Shannon Airport and how to get to the refuse center where I have to haul the trash while we’re there, check, pack map, check, and finally, pack suitcases… well, who am I kidding, that is not going to happen until late Friday! To be honest, several of the things I’ve just “checked” here are actually still in the to-do queue!

But it will all get done,  and when we are finally all checked in and sitting in O’Hare’s dumpy International Section of the airport awaiting our flight, I will relax and just go with the flow. One thing I’ve learned traveling is that most things work out just fine and those that do not either turn into happy accidents or, at least, offer some good stories to tell. So, I look forward to having a few updates on the cottage to share with you all, as well as some nice photos of a couple of sites we hope to take in during this very short trip. And though I’m not leaving for another 4 days, I’ll say goodbye for now… Slán go fóill… and get back to my to-do list!




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