The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck
Here is a selection of shots from our trip to Ireland, week 3 of the epic Henderson visit. My absolute favorite thing we did was to make a pilgrimage out to Skellig Michael (the pointy island you see above). I have taught my students about this place for years in History of Christianity, since it's one of the most extreme examples of ascetic monks retreating from the world and from physical comforts. At the time they moved to the top of this stoney island (1500 years ago), they believed that it was as far west as you could go -- the edge of the world! And they lived there in tiny stone huts with no heating, no Wal Mart, no HD TV! Unthinkable! We paid an amazingly old-school Irish fisherman to take us out to the island on his boat and hiked up to the top where the monks' beehive huts were. I have been to Skellig Michael. Can't believe it!
We showed the family spots all along the west coast of Ireland, and naturally they were aghast at its scenery and charm. It was fun to watch.
After a day in Dublin (during which Meredith danced on stage!), we had one of those nights where everything goes wrong. In this case what went wrong was that our car was locked into the inaccessible car park (the "after hours" people were no help at all in retrieving it), with all our luggage in the car and our hotel far outside of town. So we took a rather expensive taxi to the hotel, where three of us snuck in cause we were too cheap to pay for a room and slept on the floor. We had no luggage and certainly not enough bedding so we divvied up bed sheets and towels and whatnot and slept in our clothes. And the power went out, while Marc was in the (electric) shower, while Merd searched around for the switch using the light from her ipod, stepping on everyone and everything and we all laughed til we cried. In the morning we prayed that we could get into the car park in time to retrieve the car and make it to the airport in time, and the parking lot gods answered our prayers, bless them. Airport security even let me sneak a jar of peanut butter onto the plane. It was a good finale.
And now it's so quiet around here, just the two of us.