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Leaving West Clare and returning to the suburbs of Chicago is like waking up from a dream that fades from consciousness as the day goes on. My life here is so removed from my life there that writing about Ireland and our little cottage in the bog has become difficult.

Since my last post and our return to Elmhurst our days have been busy and filled with both routine and pleasure. After much preparation and adjustment, Eoin is now off and running in 4th grade and has moved his attention from watersports and horse riding to lots of homework, intramurals and band practice. In September I managed a trip to L.A. to visit my daughter Kate and then enjoyed a surprise return visit from her a week later! Thanksgiving was marvelous, in spite of a missing daughter, because my oldest son Anton was with us and we feasted as though there were a dozen people at the table! Now I am preparing for Christmas – slowly but surely – and looking forward to my daughter being home for two whole weeks and to a full house for the holidays! Kevin, Kate’s boyfriend, will be joining us and Anton, I’m hoping, has been adequately pressured into staying the night and waking up with us on Christmas morning.

Life is good, but at the moment it is far removed from Ireland and the theme of this blog. However, my computer is stuffed full of photographs to jog my memory and I still have a few more things to say about the sights and experiences we were lucky enough to enjoy during the coldest Irish summer in nearly 50 years! So, my plan is to get back to writing as soon as possible, which will probably be, after the holidays. But until then, although I’ve been satisfied for the past few months to see Vincent van Gogh’s lovely Starry Night at the top of the page I think it’s time to push it down a bit, replacing van Gogh with Sinéad and this beautiful rendition of Danny Boy that has me thinking of Ireland again!

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