November snow at Glencree

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yes ma'am… I can drive on the left side of the road!

Life in the fast lane :0

Ok so I'm parked in this picture
I have to say it's not as scary as I was imagining a bait  the 2 way mountain roads built for Goats!  As I sit on the right with gear shift on my left; I watch/pass the on-coming traffic with the ease of a veteran Irish driver.  Well maybe one that has had a Guinness of two. The roads twist, they turn, they have large buses that pass you going 60k and hour. Driving here in the Wicklow Valley is not for the faint of heart.  Gorgeous and deadly.  That being said… I love having the freedom to get in the car and see the larger Irish world outside of Glencree.  This is a very special place!

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Today at Glencree I greeted 38 US University students coming to learn more about "the trouble times" in Northern Ireland. They came from schools on the east coast and were wonderful to talk with.  Their program is 3 months long and they are studying at the business school in Dublin.  Economics & conflict… you can't get much more current than that.
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This past weekend I moved into my new abode and out of the attic!  The view is not as spectacular but the room is twice the size and I don't have to pay respects to the "Lady in the white dress" ghost as I head for the bathroom.  You heard it here folks… Glencree is alive and well, living with the dead!  Or so the stories go :)   The Lady in the white dress was a young woman who was in love with an officer here when this was a Military barracks.  Her father was the Commander and sent the object of his daughters affection off to war and his death.  The young woman is said to have died of a broken heart and wanders the hall here as a sad memorial to her lost love.  

Some people have said they hear young boys crying in the night.  It is reported that when this was a Boy's Reformatory (read youth prison)  the boys were mistreated and some refuse to leave the place; even after death.  Thankfully I have not heard or seen any of the previously mentioned phenomena.  

There is a Grotto to the Virgin Mary  here at Glencree as well.  This I have seen and it is a lovely peaceful place along side a river.  The story goes that there were two separate visits from Mary there and people have made pilgrimages to the Grotto ever since (decades).  It is said that Mary was very clear on what she wanted to happen here on this mountain.  "Create a place for peace and healing", she said, to the people she appeared to.  Glencree is that place.                          

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Ross & I circa 1988
I have to mention one more thing before I finish off this post.  Arriving in Ireland in August meant I would miss my son's birthday and with the time difference it made it impossible to speak to him.  Ross' birth changed my world and every year it is not only a celebration for him but a reminder of what a blessing my children are to me.  I have had no more important job in my life than loving and caring for my two wonderful children.  I am truly blessed and want to give extra thanks every year on the birth of my life's work.  Happy birthday Ross… I couldn't be more proud of the man you have become. I love you.


  1. It took a surprisingly short amount of time to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I had more trouble remembering to drive on our side of the road once I returned home... :)


    Love you, darlin'!

  2. Always glad to hear your updates - and affirming other comments, my Scots brother-in-law says that the return to the opposite style of driving is the tricky part.

  3. Ooo, ghosties! If you experience anything, you better call me the MOMENT it happens!

    Those kiddos are lucky to have you greeting them. And you are a braver woman than I, driving on those ittybitty roads.

    Hard as it must have been not to be able to talk to Ross on his birthday, remember: you gave him his sense of can-do independence, as well as the sure knowledge that you are always with him, phone call or no.

    Keep kicking ass, my dear friend! Much love!

  4. I was thinking about Runa Tuna all day on the ninth and wondering how he is and how you are. What a fabulous experience you have undertaken. You know both the kids are so proud of you and rooting for your success each step along the way.

    Now if you can just get through Oct 10th as well.