I'm beginning to think that I should just start off every blog with an apology.. as I do with this one. Rick has grown up hearing about kissing the Blarney Stone and always dreamed of going to Blarney Castle, so it was extra special for him to be able to do this.
This lady is my hero. Here it is raining outside and she is on a ladder in her rain-gear tending to her hanging garden. It is like this all over the country. I am humbled.
I wasn't humbled by Nasty Lady, however, (the only person we have met who we don't want to pack up and take home with us). We were driving through Portmagee - a great place to stop if you want to hire a boat, (but sort of not so much if you are just driving through). So here we are hunting for a parking spot and we see a space without a double line and I dashed into the store behind the spot to see if it was ok for us to park there. I asked the proprietess and she immediately begins yelling- "No! No! You cannot park there! Go park up the street!" Good grief "Ma'am no need to be nasty, that's why we asked." I have a feeling I'm not the first one to mention that. We went on our way in search of the illusive parking place which we did in fact find. After a yummy lunch at Moorings, we headed back to the car and I spotted a post office and wanted to get postage. "Isn't that the place with the cranky lady?" Rick asked. "It looks like it is next door, I'll be quick."
I head inside and sure enough Nasty Lady is sitting behind the counter. I take a deep breath and ask for postage. She huffs (I kid you not) and points to the sign that cleaerly indicates that the post counter is the counter to the left of where I was standing. "Oh, I'm so sorry." I move to the counter to the left of Nasty Lady and - wait for it.. sure enough, a paper thin door opens and in walks Nasty Lady. I mean seriously you just can not make this stuff up.
And then there is Inch with this little cutie patootie store that is attached to a gas station of all things. I ran in to the store for a pit stop and when I realized that I thought I'd seen a quilt shop I asked if it was opened. I was told to let myself in, the door was open and the light switch was on the right. Sure enough I ran upstairs and walked into a treasure of a quilt shop. Luckily I found a bagged project with wonderful Irish fabric (for a travel quilt I'm working on) and grabbed it and turned off all the lights and went into the gas station to pay for the kit. There was no question I'd run off with a bunch of fabric... of course quilters don't do that kind of thing, but it is so Ireland. Could you imagine a little shop like that any where else in the world? I was overwhelmed.
The story gets better, as today we visited the Blasket Island Museum, about an amazing island where a small community of people lived for many years without electricity or running water. It gave birth to a number of notable Irish writers. In honor of their spirit there was a quilt show - and yes, the owner, of my little quilt shop, Nikki Foley, had curated the quilt display.. and hers was extraordinary. If only we lived on the same continent I can tell we would be fast friends.
Tracy Salkowitz is a Consultant,activist and the former CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.