Thursday, March 17, 2016

Erin Go Braugh

When my youngest sister graduated from Optometry school, we decided that a sibling adventure to Ireland was in order. Lucky for her, she got a job right away and, in the end, didn't think that she could say to her new employer, 'sorry, I have to go across the pond and drink beer.' We carried on without her, but firmly in celebration of her achievement.

Here, my brother and middle sister and I are stading at the site of Saint Patirck's grave in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Good friends of ours live there and visiting them was a part of the trip. That's me on the left ... remember, it was the '80's and it does appear as if I could be a River Dancer with my curly locks of strawberry blond hair. My sister is right there with me with the perm, and look at the stache on my bro! He looks like Tom Selleck.

When we visited Downpartick, we insisted that we stay in a B&B so that we weren't too much underfoot. By that point of the trip, our gullets were full of Irish breakfasts and Cadberry chocolate. My brother was still running every day. He met our Irish friend when he came over to America to run on the same college track team. Bill, my brother, has a huge sweet tooth, and he was the one who insisted on the chocolate breaks every day.

When we were staying in Blarney, he went out for his evening run. My sister and I relaxed and got ready for dinner. Darker and darker it became and no Bill. What could have happened to him? What would we do if he didn't come back? If you know anything of Ireland, you understand that once out of the village, you are out in the country with nothing but the cows and sheep. Almost to the point of calling the guard, Bill came home. He was walking ... oddly. And the first words out his mouth, 'I got lost and my thighs rubbed together!' He gained, if I remember correctly and remembering that I kissed the Blarney stone, 20 pounds on that trip!

Back in Downpatrick, we told our hostess that we didn't need the WHOLE Irish Fry every morning. Some fried bread and cereal would do us well. There is nothing like fried Irish bread. I wouldn't even try to copy the buttery goodness of it. On the morning after our request, we sat down to a table with every imaginable cereal known to man, heaps of fried bread, and bakery goods ... donuts and iced buns. She was really worried that wouldn't have enough to eat. What we didn't eat, she packed for the day so that we always had something to keep up our strength. Irish hospitality is quite ... friendly and fattening.

Ah, to be in Ireland today to go to mass and hit the pub with friends and famliy. We'd sing and tell tall tales of times when all of the grass was green


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