Friday, January 27, 2012

After two months, I'm back at it...and have I got news for you!!

So I've been away for a while...two months to be exact. I've eaten my way through the holidays, but not so much that I gained a gob of weight. For that, I am thankful. Oh wait, that's for the month of November also known as the month to daily post what you are thankful for. I didn't do that. I'm thankful for a lot of stuff, but daily musings about being thankful? No that tends to get tiresome and self indulgent. I'm thankful to be alive. That's good enough.

 December came...and went. We decorated late this year. I think the tree was decorated a couple of days before Christmas, but it worked. It was fine. We had a really nice Christmas. Our family waited until daughter, son-in-law, and my most precious grandson and granddaughter arrived on Dec. 26. We opened gifts and listened to squeals of laughter and joy as some gifts produced different responses. I was given a book about traveling in Ireland by my eldest son and his wife. They know how much I love Ireland and my Mom's heritage. I had plans to save and travel there by 2013 or 14. That all changed when my daughter-in-law said, "Look on the first page." I did and looked not once, but probably three or four times because on the first page was a small sheet of paper that announced a plane ticket was purchased for me for a trip to Ireland in June of 2012. Along with the ticket was a ticket for my hubby. Along with the tickets were places to stay, a hotel in Dublin, bed and breakfasts, rental car, etc. Another great thing was that this dear son and daughter-in-law will be traveling with us. All I could say for several moments was, "Are you shitting me?" Not once, but several times. Right there in front of my grandchildren and my mother. It wasn't a grandmotherly or daughterly thing to keep on shouting in a high pitched squeeky probably obnoxious voice, but it was a total "Coleen Brooks" thing to repeat. I was in absolute shock. In all my years, I haven't ever received a gift of this magnitude. And my whole family, my children, husband, in laws knew about it. AND they kept it a secret for several months.

Holy Mother of God!!!! I'm going to Ireland! This is on the top of my "bucket list" since I've been to Crazy Horse in S. Dakota. I am so excited, I just feel giddy sometimes. I've been practicing my Irish folk dancing, but I really just know how to buck dance, a sort of country kind of Irish jig. My husband, bless his little "fear of flying" heart, agreed to this venture anyway. This man whom I wed 41 and a half year ago really does love me. He wouldn't dream of getting on a plane if he didn't love me. He has been trying to develop a taste for Guinness beer. I just can't abide that thick dark alcoholic beverage whether it's the signature beer of Ireland or not. I guess I'll just stick to Irish whiskey. It's not bad!

I've been reading up on the weather there and what to wear. Thank goodness that jeans and layered clothing are the norm there. The weather is unpredictable, but the summer months are the best months to visit the emerald country. Five more months and a few days, and we'll be on our way. We're flying to New York first to spend a day and then on our 42nd wedding anniversary, we'll be on our way to a new adventure.

Sometimes throughout my adult life, I have felt like the female version of George Bailey. As a the child of an Air Force officer, I have traveled to a few exotic places, but in my adult life that ended. Do I have regrets? Absolutely not just like George Bailey found out. I married a wonderful man who gave me four beautiful children who have grown up to be wonderful successful adults. I have a marvelous son-in-law, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren who are part of my heart. In the late 90s, we began to take road trips. I've been out West twice. I've seen Crazy Horse, the Great Salt Lake, the Devil's Tower, Monument Valley, the Painted Desert, the Petrified forest. I've put my hands on the most breath-taking trees in the entire world as we walked among the giant Redwoods in the Avenue of Giants park. I've gazed in awe at the Grand Canyon. I love those places. I want to see them again.

But holy sh**t! I'm going to Ireland!