Stick around for a few moments and you’ll find out a few things about just about anyone. No information overload here, but one of the things you’ll find out about me is that I LOVE – yes, that’s all caps – Ireland. I’ve traveled a good bit, but Ireland is the only place that, when my feet touched the soil, I felt like I had come home. The scenery, the food, the people, the architecture, I love it all.
On one of my trips to Ireland, I don’t remember which one exactly, we were at the Balarney Woolen Mills, in…you guessed it, Balarney, right at the foot of the Balarney Castle where the famous Balarney Stone is situation at the very top of the castle. Legend is, if you kiss the stone, which you do lying on your back, hanging basically upside down from your waist up, holding on to two metal rails while two Irish lads, one on either side hold on to you so you don’t fall, you’ll get the gift of gab. (Come think of it, I probably looked like Rapunzel from the ground!)
Ok, you stuck around…thing number two about me…I don’t need to kiss no stone, ‘cause I can talk, probably because that Irish blood courses through my veins. But, just to be sure, I’ve kissed the stone, not once, but twice, a few years apart, so I’m good for the rest of my life. Nobody’s shutting me up!
On this particular trip, I was with a group which included a friend of mine from high school. The Balarney Woolen Mills was a wonderful place to get high quality gifts for friends and family back home. I was looking for some doilies for my very Irish Gram. I couldn’t decide between two styles and I was wandering the aisles looking for my friend Sandy to ask which she like the best. Head down, hands full, I rounded the corner of an aisle and WHAM, ran smack into the belly of an older gentleman dressed all in black. He reached out and grabbed my arms to steady me. I looked up, embarrassed, mumbled an apology and ducked around him. My only thought was, man was he tall! I continued on, found Sandy, decided on the doilies and paid for my purchases.
As we were heading for the door, another friend, Amanda came rushing up to me.
“Give me your notebook and pen, quick!” She was breathless and I was puzzled.
“Why?” I asked.
“Cause I want to get an autograph from Johnny Cash for my grandfather! Hurry before we have to go to the bus!”
I handed her the notebook and pen and she rushed off. I followed her, just out of curiosity, not because I was a fan. And as I got closer I saw, within the circle of adoring fans, the man in black, into whom I had just belly flopped a few minutes before.