I finally made the executive decision in our household – I threw away what was left of the Christmas pudding. I’m sure it was still fine, but seriously, we only have five more months to wait for the new one. Thunk! Into the bin.

The kitchen table is so crowded with various baby toys and equipment, library books, sunrise-coloured roses in a vase, bananas in a bowl, and other bits and bobs (tape measure, batteries, pens, paintbrush, keys, sunglasses…) that I can hardly clear a space to squeeze this very reasonably small computer.

I have to laugh at myself sometimes, because I still can’t believe I’m here. I mean, over 2 1/2 years in, I’m still laughing that I made the crazy move to Ireland.

It’s still surreal, yes. Fortunately, I have felt much more settled here of late. Maybe not quite “at home,” but really enjoying the town and the country. I love the old buildings and the stunning views as I walk around, particularly in the quiet of the morning as I go to work, and I relish in the smells, sounds, and tastes of summer. It would appear I’m “over the hump,” at least temporarily, of fighting all things unfamiliar. Still, I found myself nodding and groaning in agreement when reading a blog today from a California girl who moved to Drogheda just a few months ago – so many of her frustrations are all too familiar!

It’s never easy trying to adapt when the gloss of a new place wears off… and I think I’m only just now beginning to breathe again without having to remind myself how. And maybe, at last, that means I was always meant to be here, at least for now.

You may be interested to know that I have found several “Irish Coincidences” in my life… which perhaps may have subconsciously led me here?!? Examples:

– I was delivered by a Dr. Ireland.

– I’ve only recently discovered quite a number of Irish roots on my mother’s side, including a Maryann Moore from County Carlow.

– The first CD I ever bought was The Coors, an Irish pop band who are from a town just down the road from Drogheda (Frank finds this more of a tragedy, ha ha, but all I can say is it was the music my dear tap teacher always played during our warm ups and, as an impressionable 13 year-old, I was hooked!)

– I’ve had several influential role models named “Frank” in my life…

– I was hoping to make a Christmas trip with a tour group to Ireland the year I just happened to meet Frank and have him invite me home for a visit.

OK, so maybe those seem silly. I know they are! But here’s my favorite coincidence, so bear with me.

When I was still living in Indianapolis, I had a great little apartment in a refurbed Art Deco building across from a park downtown. Quirky place.

Not long before I moved here, I was at a crossroads of fear and faith – should I take the risk and actually move overseas? For a boy???? It was a brisk Sunday afternoon in mid-November when I wandered over to the little park to have a think. The playground was deserted, so I climbed up into a little nook by the slide and sat, thinking and maybe tearing up a bit with my uncertainty.

I heard the sounds of someone approaching the playground and climbing up the monkey bars – I peeked around the corner and, to my great surprise, spied a tall, graceful, white-haired old lady swinging across! She was in her own world, climbing and jog-walking around the set, a glow on her cheeks and a smile on her face. I watched her in amusement for about 30 seconds before I realized I would have to announce myself, and fast, without startling her. Before I had the chance, she had climbed up the steps and jumped back in front of me with an “Oh my God!” and a hand on her heart. I fell all over myself trying to explain and reassure her when we both stopped and had a good laugh.

It was then I noticed the accent.

The lady was from Dublin, and though she had emigrated many years before, still held strong to her Irish pride. I couldn’t believe my luck. A few minutes into our conversation, I shyly confided my worries – moving to Ireland, marrying a man from Drogheda, leaving my USA life behind, and all the other unknowns before me. I tried not to cry. When the lady looked back at me, her eyes were sparkling, and she told me my life was going to be wonderful.

She told me not to worry, and how beautiful Ireland was, and how this man I loved would take care of me, and so would his family.  She said life and moving and change were hard, and her life had been hard, but that it was all going to be good in the end.

Now, what are the chances that the wisdom from this spry little lady would turn out to be so true?

I hope I grow up to be like her – resilient, energetic, beautiful, sweet, funny, strong, insightful –  and can one day return the kindness she showed me.


7 thoughts on “Coincidences

  1. Hi Maryann, I just got to see your blog through a google alert!! I just wanted to say that it is a lovely story and very inspiring – Im surprised the lady from Dublin didn’t tell you not to move to the ‘Sticks’ – the name they give to anywhere outside of Dublin!!

  2. What about the wise barista who told you to go for it and explained the joys of Irish coffee? As for the Corrs, I heard them for the first time in a pub in Cornwall at tea time and bought their CD whilst in England. I guess that makes me a “Corrhead”?

  3. The Corrs?!?! It sounds like moving to Ireland was your destiny – too many signs to ignore. 🙂 Ireland is a really wonderful country and it gets better every day – despite its challenges!! Thanks for the blog mention and see you at Traders soon!

  4. Of course, Mike, you were a great encourager among few who thought I should boldly set off to this foreign land… and I’ve never forgotten that!

    The Corrs, yeah, well, we all have our version of them, don’t we? For my sister, it was the Cranberries, haha, so I guess we didn’t stray far from Irish pop, though we never got into U2 that much.

  5. Mary Ann,
    I wholeheartedly BELIEVE in Guardian angels, and I believe you had a conversation with yours that day! How wonderful. I bet you see her again someday.
    I have stories regarding my kid’s guardian angels. No such thing as a coincidence, my dear.

  6. What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing! I always knew you would love Ireland and find a way to make it feel like home. Hope all is well. And I too, liked the Coors. Every time I listen to them it makes me think of the first time I visited Ireland back in ’99. Oh what a joy that was!

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