Welcome to the Land of Your Ancestors

IMG_0450I’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.



4 thoughts on “Welcome to the Land of Your Ancestors

  1. I’m so pleased you landed safely – Conor won’t get to take your spot after all, lol! With a familiar face and a dinner invitation on your first day, you are off to a great start:) Linda


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