10 Feet Tall

OK, I’m going to have to retract my promise in the former post. I do not actually have a load of pictures to share – YET – because I’m back at the nanny job and I have to edit all those images to a smaller size so they’ll upload quicker. Be patient, my pretties, I will post them this weekend if I have to stay up all night!!!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this bit I wrote last night after traveling back to Dublin for work. Enjoy!

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Dublin Bus

It’s my first time riding the upper deck of a double-decker bus. We’re driving through Dublin on this spectacular Spring evening and I’m mentally noting things to write about later, afraid that if I tear my attention from it for even a few seconds to scrawl down my thoughts, I might miss something.

Smart Frank figured out how to download MP3s to my phone, so I’ve been listening to sermon podcasts from my former minister in Indianapolis. As we drove down through the sparkling green hills between Drogheda and Dublin, I heard the words of God and was glad.

But now I’m only listening to the sounds around me on this second bus – I change at O’Connell Street, right in the city centre of Dublin, past huge statues of famous forefathers, the historic General Post Office and the Spire. I always wish I had left more time to explore.

This time when boarding the double-decker city bus, I know to bring exact change and how much it will be. The driver nods his approval and I feel a rush of pleasure at knowing I did it right this time.

As we travel along, stopping every few blocks, I get a flavor of all the sights, the kind that keep tourists’ mouths watering. We pass Trinity College, Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green, catch glimpses of Temple Bar and all the quays as we cross the river and look down on all the bridges. Then there are the museums, libraries, galleries and concert halls.

From my perch 10 feet in the air I enjoy seeing the colourful pubs on every corner, the shops and chippers and old graveyards with their crooked teeth headstones. I like thinking of all the people who live above the streets in their tiny, expensive apartments. Nearly every window has a lace curtain and nearly every door has a glossy coat of paint and a large brass knob adorning the centre. I think about all that these brick buildings have seen and the lives they’ve held. Most of them are probably older than half the United States and have stood through The Troubles, World Wars and The Great Famine, along with raids, celebrations, funeral marches and the transition from horses and buggies to cars, trains and buses like mine.

I admire the natural beauties of the city, too. Each fenced-in garden has velvety grass, lush shrubs and tulips or roses. The streams through the city are still, reflecting the clouds and the setting sun. I am at eye level with the trees and I see buds on the taller trees just about to pop open, high above the shorter, craggy trees with their heavy pink bloom clusters hanging like ripe fruit. Plus there are tulip trees, cherry blossoms and a dozen other kinds of flowering trees I don’t know. I’ve seen ducks and swans tonight, and the occasional magpie, though I’ve learned now that I must always look for two of that bird! (see below)

The bus holds mostly students and I hear different languages carrying on loud cell phone conversations. As we boarded the bus and pulled away from the curb, a young girl across the aisle was startled when a group of boys from the top deck of another bus tossed pebbles at her window. Then she realized they were friends as they passed us, making faces and laughing. She covered her mouth with her scarf and laughed, too.

The woman in front of me sips a can of beer wearily. It’s still odd for me to see someone openly drinking on a bus, or a train for that matter. I don’t invade her method of relaxation long with my curious eyes. She’s not a bother, unlike the groups of men out with their mates who sometimes drink loudly together on the trains.

I’ve seen a lot of people board and leave the bus tonight – lads with their worn hurley sticks, mothers with their children, travelers with their luggage, lovers arm-in-arm. Now it’s my turn, as we’ve driven through Donnybrook and passed University College Dublin to pull aside on Stillorgan Road.

It’s still light as I pull my little wheeled bad up the street to the house where I’m nanny. I take a few extra moments to enjoy the quiet of the neighborhood after the noise of my transport, and I continue to enjoy the trees and flowers in bloom on my way. I see a mountain in front of me, a welcome sight to anyone reared in the American Rockies, and I know if I keep heading up the hill as far as the park, I will see the Irish Sea.

But I stop and turn into the right driveway of the yellow pebbled ash house in which I live during the week. I turn my cell phone to vibrate, put away the noisy wheels of my suitcase and wave at a little smiling face in the window.

It’s time to go back to work.

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The magpie reference above can be explained by this poem, which is adhered to by many in Ireland.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret
Never to be told.

Wedding Research

Since we’ve been back from Montana, Frank and I have been hard at work (me as a nanny, him as a writer and painter) and researching wedding stuff in our spare time. It’s getting fun! I’ve allowed myself to buy two wedding magazines (I think any more would make me vomit, sorry I just don’t get that blown over by all the “must haves”), and Frank bought me a book called “The DIY Wedding” when we were still in Bozeman.

Still no date as yet, but we’re looking at a venue or two this weekend and once we know what dates they have free, we’ll be more able to shoot something back. I will let you know when we know.

In the meantime, I had to share this – I found a bald cake topper for Frank!!! I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it, just because it’s so goofy looking! You’re supposed to pair it up with a little dancing bride that looks like me. Not sure I’m going to really go for it, the things are pretty big and cheesy and I doubt he’ll love the idea, but it could be good fun at the same time. It’s probably only funny looking because he’s standing there awkwardly by himself. But anyhow, hope you chuckle!

More soon…

Hi friends,

Just wanted to let you know I will be writing more soon, and I definitely want to post pictures of our recent trip home to Montana! We made it back to Ireland after our grueling flights and we’re both back at work now, so it may be a few days before the full update. But we’re here! Keep reading! 🙂

And oh yeah – You won’t believe the size of Georgie!!! (we think she might be part German Shepherd!)

Montana

I’m packing for a brief but welcome holiday back to my hometown of Bozeman, Montana. I opened up my suitcase and found an envelope with American cash in it and was immediately transported back to a completely different world and the only life I knew for my first 25+ years of existence. It was kind of like that moment in the old Christopher Reeves/Jane Seymour film, “Somewhere In Time,” for those of you who are nerdy enough like me to remember it. 🙂

This will be my first time back on American soil since moving here to Ireland on January 1, 2008. It will also be Frank’s first time meeting my parents, my grandmother, my two sisters, and my niece and nephew! Absent from the group is my little brother (stationed in Iraq with the Army), his girlfriend (who is from England!) and my brother-in-law (stationed in Afghanistan with the Air Force).

It’s been a much-awaited trip over a year in the planning, to say the least!

I met Frank on October 18, 2006. I was working for the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis and he was one of our award-winning filmmakers. By that Christmas, I was visiting him and his family in Ireland and by mid-2007, we were discussing the possibility of me relocating overseas to embark on this new life! We spent 9 months apart before he came back to the States to visit me in Indianapolis, this time as an attendee of the Film Festival. On that visit, Frank proposed and I accepted! Shortly thereafter, I said goodbye to my friends at Heartland, visited my parents and my sister for the holidays, and caught a plane to Dublin. That’s a very short, sweet, condensed version! But throughout that time, be it finances, schedules, or what have you, Frank never got to meet my family! It just wasn’t feasible, with him in Ireland, me in Indy, and my parents in Montana. (Not to mention one sister in Arizona, the other in China and my brother in Iraq!!!)

So here we are. Finally, FINALLY, going home. It’s an added bonus that both sisters can come as well and it’s my dad’s 59th birthday to boot! So please keep us in your thoughts as we’re making the 20 hr. journey tomorrow! Pictures to follow for sure.

Funny how life is never as you would have planned it – and yet it’s your story, so uniquely yours that you hesitate to upset its delicate balance by wondering the “what ifs.” So I won’t ask “what if my family had met Frank sooner?” Instead, I’m looking forward to the great time we’re all going to have when they meet him now.