I’ve landed safe and sound (though that’s always been questionable)! I was so excited to be reunited with my husband who looked fetching in his new authentic Irish wool sweater when I finally laid eyes on him. I arrived in Dungarven around 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning. Gerry had arranged for me to be picked up in Dublin as he was accompanying a group of students to Galway and wouldn’t be back until evening. I had some time to kill, so contrary to prevailing advice about adjusting to the time change, I took a nap then had a look around.
I walked toward the city center and right into the Dungarven Festival of Food. I didn’t have an opportunity to taste any of it as I hadn’t brought my wallet with me, but my husband says the milk, eggs, butter, beef, and rashers all taste better here as it is local and the cows grass fed. I will have my first big breakfast after a swim this morning.
My boys always tease me because I believe the world is a very small place and whenever I go anywhere, no matter how big or small the city, I expect to run into someone I know. However, I really wasn’t expecting such a thing on my first day in Ireland. I was drawn immediately to the sounds of traditional Irish music. Let me be the first to do a shout out for the group Nuadan, the band playing at the center of the festival. Honestly, I was not standing there five minutes, foot tapping, amazed at the talent of these boys who looked about twelve years old when I start looking around and see a familiar face. I was thinking that everyone looked like either one of my or my husband’s relative, and in fact, the band thanked the photographer, a Mary Tobin, when I see him. “Tom?” I ask. Sure enough, it’s Tom Keith whom I had met in Erie, PA last fall while he and his wife Carmel were visiting the States. Tom welcomes me with a Gaelic expression that translates as “Welcome to the land of your ancestors.” Minutes later, Carmel was at my side. She introduced me to her charming daughter and son-in-law, Maureen and Patrick, and before you know it, I’ve got an invitation to dinner. First day–what a treat. My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture of the band as I’m sure they will be as popular someday as the Chieftains.