The most interesting year is a few short weeks from giving way to 2017, and it’s been a good one personally. Yes, the election did not go as I wanted, but my state stepped up against the insanity and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be the candle in our national darkness.


Among other things, 2016 was the year of filling long overdue promises. The Cubs broke their 108 year curse, of course, and I finally got The Bride to Ireland. Her mother was a Dubliner, and filled her daughter’s ears with tales of the Auld Country. I swore someday we’d find our way to the Emerald Isle, and that “someday” was earlier this year.


We spent time in Dublin, Cork, and Killarney on a set agenda. The idea was we’d use the tour to scope out the country for future trips, and travel our own ways instead of using the Aer Lingus’ schedule.


It was the perfect vacation in many ways: friendly people, beautiful towns, good food, and lifetime memories. We spent a week, but it seemed like it went by in a blink of an eye.


We did some things right and learned what we did wrong. One thing I found is I’m a wretched photographer, so bear with these pictures as they are all over the place.


When we go back, and we’re shooting for 2017, the theme may be “writers on vacation.” Ireland has a long literary tradition full of angst and woe because…well…Ireland. When we go back, I plan to spend more time getting a sense of the history than the landscape.


(Not that the landscape sucks. This old desert rat hadn’t seen so much green since we lived in Japan.)


I could live in Ireland at a drop of a hat, though the kids and grandkids will keep me grounded in the old USA. The Auld Sod and America have more similarities than differences, and this deaf guy can’t understand half what people are saying, anyway.


It’s not hard to feel tempted, though. I’ve been lucky to live in three countries, and finding a home in a fourth would be fun. It’s something to think about, especially during the next few years.



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