Thank you, Ireland, for taking care of my child.
It's Wednesday evening here, but midweek afternoon in Missouri. Except for snatched naps in the car as we drove to Chicago, on the plane and in our holiday apartment here, we have been up for about 36 hours. Time to go to bed and start this vacation in earnest Thursday.
But first, a reflection of that joy. Seeing my daughter, Gillian, and grandson, Briton, awaiting us at the airport brought a special joy to my heart that I think only a parent can know. I am intensly proud of Gillian and Will for taking off on an adventure of there own, but I miss having the warmth of their love at my side.
Here in Ireland, I can only be thankful that this country that send so many of its children to the United States is so kind and generous to the Americans it lured back. I cannot imagine the pain of hundreds of thousands of fathers who saw their daughters and sons step off the docks but who, at the most, could only wish for an occasional letter to warm them. I have the Internet, video conferencing and telephone to bring a piece of my child back to me. They had only memories.
Today we made a quick tour of the neighborhood in which Gillian, Will and Briton live. We have rented a delightful holiday apartment over Roche's Chemists -- a pharmacy and convenience store. Gillian' smaller apartment is a few blocks away. Will rides his bike to his architectural office in a nearby converted Abby.
The neighborhood is beautiful -- mostly old town homes, some converted to apartments. Schools, parks and churches abound. The Irish also delight in painting their front doors bright colors -- allegedly a remnant from a protest when they were told to paint their doors black to honor a dead English monarch.
The weather is springlike cool and comfortable, as it is most of the summer here. The people provide the warmth and good humor.
Tomorrow we take off for our first adventure into the city.