I’m not quite sure what St. Stephen’s Day entails, other than all the shops being closed and the streets quiet, but we’re having a good one. A long extension of Christmas Day, I suppose.
So Happy Christmas! I hope Santa was good to you! Our friends and family were more than generous, I have to say… we ended up with some great gifts including a late wedding gift of a flatscreen TV! Still can’t believe that one, it was from Frank’s little brother, Noel, and his girlfriend Kelly. We also got sweaters, music, books, sweets, pj’s, slippers, socks, and so forth. All good!
The sales start tomorrow – not sure if I’ll brave the crowds or not. It’s just been nice to sleep in and hang around. We might head down to Carlow for New Year’s as well, which would be awesome. Nothing like being out in the pristine Irish countryside to ring in 2009!
It’s hard to believe I’ve lived here for almost a year now. So much has happened since last December! It’s still so fresh in my mind… quitting my job, moving out of my apartment and giving away my things, driving home to Montana in bad snowstorms, selling my car there, catching a long bus to Arizona with two giant suitcases, seeing my sister and family there, flying to LA, staying with friends there, and making the long flight to Dublin on New Year’s Eve of 2008. I spent my last 8 hours in America listening to a jazz band in the Philadelphia airport while I made my final cell phone calls to family and friends. Mad, isn’t it?
And here I am… decorating my tree again, but 5000 miles away. I now know where to find the bargains here in town, so it’s not quite so expensive. I have now been holding down a couple of jobs for over six months. I can now garden in a snail-infested environment (sort of) and cook edible meals and baked goods on a tiny, Celsius-reading stove. I am now able to get around Dublin city centre on my own, and can even stumble around the suburbs like Blackrock, Stillorgan, Howth or Drumcondra. I am now confident driving here, provided I have an automatic transmission car and a good idea of where I’m going. I can even proudly say that I can now tell a Drogheda accent from a Dublin one, or a Cork one, or definitely a Northern Ireland one. All that in a year’s time.
It might not seem like much, especially when I recall my former life in Indianapolis – owning a car, living in my own place, working for a professional arts organization in a mid-sized city, exploring all over the continental US, nurturing hobbies like fishing, antiques, music and reading… But as my mother would always say, these are the “baby steps.” I never realized just how much starting over I would have to do here, or how long it would take, or how difficult that journey would be.
But I’m glad I’ve made it. Glad I’ve done it. And on top of it all, I’ve gotten married!!!
So here’s to 2009, whatever it may bring?!? Hopefully visitors from afar, and travels of our own, and a few good surprises hiding in the wings.
My love to you all!