The thought of Ireland haunts me

I was inspired today by Lisa at Sunshine Travels and the daily post, to write about that one place I would love to go before it is too late. That place for me is Ireland. I can’t explain why. All of these years when the name ‘Ireland’ gets mentioned there is a sadness in my heart, a deep sadness inside that feels like… like I miss home and I can’t go back.

I envision it to be a very simple romantic place. The mist along the hundred-shades-of-green rolling hills, the smell of peat that lingers in your mind like your favorite men’s cologne, being surrounded by ghosts of a thousand years past, singing sad songs while having a pint in the local pub, and of course… the far off wail of the forlorn pipes….that is how I see Ireland. Maybe I have just seen too many movies…maybe it will not live up to my dreams, but there is only one way to find out.

ireland

(image: NationalGeographic.com)

Reposted in answer to the daily prompt: Tourist Trap, What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Toxic fumes, tetanus shots, and the Big Wheel

While on FB I came across a little dittie that reminded me of the fearless generation from whence I came: the 70’s. If you were born a bit before then, the 70’s were just the right age when the stars aligned and curiosity, fearlessness, and determination joined forces and nothing stopped you.

Kids didn’t use seatbelts, let alone have their own car seat. Your seatbelt was your mom throwing her arm across you to keep you from smashing your tiny flexible skull against the dashboard (which only worked 20% of the time). There were lapbelts but, admit it, pretty lame. And pick-up trucks with an open bed – well now we are talking changing a three-seater into a jamb-as-many-friends-in-the-back-seater! The cargo area of a station wagon? Nope this was actually used as a free for all play pen for the kids. Wrestling, laying down for naps, having a picnic, all while dad tried not to lose his shit driving in beach traffic so you and your brother can eat a sand-wich; literally sandwich filled with sand from your sticky fingers (crunch crunch).

Creepy Crawlers… yes please let me inhale toxic fumes, I didn’t want to ace those bubble tests in third grade anyway. And the plastic glob of goo at the end of the straw that magically turned into a huge balloon? Inhale and residue on my fingers which will inevitably go into my mouth at some point, SCORE! Whoops forgot about the lead paint toys too. Back in the day there was no other way to adhere paint to toys to lead was added and those cute little wooden blocks that were used as a teething device was now dropping the SAT scores by the minute. Ivy League schools are overrated anyway.

Sunscreen was called baby oil back in the day. If you weren’t rocking a golden tan or peeling from a summer’s worth of sunburns you were lame and had the worst summer ever. And if you dared show up with Noxema on your nose to lessen the pain, you got your shoulders slapped to remind you of your burn there as well…. good times.

Games: lawn darts were made of razor sharp blades about 6 inches long and you tossed them 10 yards back and forth at one another with the hopes it will land in the  hoolahoop on the ground for points. The company had to completely revamp its design with soft edges because people where getting hurt. Who got hurt with this game? Fess up!  You have to be kidding.  You didn’t know that when that 6 inch blade came even remotely in your direction that you wouldn’t move out of the way?! That was part of the fun – playing chicken with a javelin! Way to ruin it for everyone.

Helmets and elbow pads are for losers. Learning to ride a bike, roller skate (and later on a skateboard) takes balance. If you don’t get hurt falling off, the learning process takes so much longer. Plus the scars are really cool. Who didn’t ride on the handlebars or on the seat holding on to the driver’s butt (which was in your face and hoping he was a real friend and wasn’t going to blast you with a fart) as balance?  There was nowhere to put your feet so your legs dangled and your friend had a bike and you had to walk like a dork so ride-sharing was the norm. Plus there is plenty of room for two on a one-seater, you just have to be creative.

Toss in the Big Wheel (and for you Evil Kineval types the wooden jump plank leaning on a concrete block) and now we are talking some adrenalin. Your friend Sully did it yesterday and you will be damned if he is going to show off that scab alone. Determination supersedes wisdom when you are young.

The adventurous play ground. The days of climbing up inside the ‘metal rocket’ with all its sharp edges, uncovered steel screw tops and nails exposed made for tetanus shots only a doctor’s office can dream of. Don’t forget the 200 degree metal slide against the back of your legs; it’s a beautiful day and that slide has been just soaking in the sunshine for several hours – go metal burn yes! But it didn’t stop you, you shook it off and kept going back up anyway because it was fun.

The special hideaway. Either you had one or your best friend did. It was in a tree house, sitting on a tree limb 20 feet high, under the porch, in a leanto, just some secret place for you to escape the tyranny of your parents or the unbridled beatings of your older siblings. Hiding away for hours was the norm; the police were not called if you were an hour late for supper, you just got grounded. And not the ‘fun’ grounded these kids have these days… TV, xbox, cell phone, all in the room to keep you entertained? Unheard of…you had the old school, sit in your room and stare out of the window at all your friends having fun playing tag or hide and seek while you were missing it. Lesson learned.

There are of course many more… the drinking from a hose and not bottled water, your baseball team losing and not getting the pizza party because “you tried really hard”, the walking to school (in the blizzard uphill both ways) because there weren’t school buses and your family only had one car that dad took to work….

It goes on and on and it was fun. It was a great generation and we learned so much. Please share any ‘good times’ that I may have overlooked.

Just.Let.Go.

You never really know what you are made of until you are faced with the challenges and choices you fear.

When faced with life altering choices do you play it safe or look at it as an opportunity for more and chance it – let the ‘gods’ play with you (as it were) as if you were a chess piece in the game of life?

Am I being face with such an ordeal because I have had it too easy, too content, for too long and now life plans to give me a taste of what others have to deal with on a daily basis or is it a turn of events-the next new path to exploring and growing?

I read a book many years ago, it was called, The Reluctant Messiah (great read). In simple terms, it says to just let go… stop fighting the stream’s current, be the blade of grass that stops clinging to the rock, and let the flow of water and energy take you for the ride of your life.

Much easier said than done… or is it? When is it time to just let go? When do we have enough faith in ourselves that we will be happy no matter what comes into our lives?

I am currently faced with the proverbial fork in the road and can’t decide. Clinging to the rock is comfortable; I know where I stand, I know what is coming from upstream and how to handle it. At the same time it is exhausting to continue holding on so tightly and not let myself be tossed around against the stream’s rocks, logs, and occasional slimy frog.

When? When will I know it is time to ‘just.let.go.’ ?

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Vivaldi’s Four Season is the prime background music – isn’t this what life truly is? Spring Summer Autumn Winter? Close your eyes and listen to the music. Vivaldi brings out the essence of each season with every note: spectacular!

We are born and everything is fresh and new… green and smells like the dew drops in the Spring… colors bursting with the excitement of what is to come… growing and learning and spreading our wings to eventually leave the nest (insert Cyndi Lauper’s Girl’s Just Want to have Fun).

Summer comes and we are in our prime, we have hit our stride, we are trying to enjoy life while finding the perfect balance of family, friends and work (insert Shinedown’s: Shine from the Inside).

Slowly we realize Autumn is upon us. Our hair turns gray as do the leaves change colors. Temperatures cool and we find ourselves needing another sweater. Funny, when we were younger how the temperature change would not affect us so drastically.

We look to the Winter months knowing it is not too far away. We try to cram as much family-time into a short of a period as possible. How quickly time has passed and it feels as if we never really had any time with them at all. Our children’s lives have become filled with their own family friends and ‘Summer’ (Incubus’: Wish You Were Here)

As the snows from Winter keeps us in our homes and secluded, so does the ultimate and infinite hibernation arrive. (Pink Floyd’s: Time – “far away across the fields, tolling on the iron bell, calls the faithful to their knee, hear the softly spoken magic spell…”)

Response to the question of the day:

Cue the Violins

If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

The Spice of Success-Short and Sweet

In the words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”

Ah, perception, what a wonderful thing, everyone views the same situation from all different angles….Not unlike the preverbal glass half full/empty.

I enjoy the spicy failure of life; it forms character, it teaches, builds strength, stamina, and reminds me that I am alive. So many take for granted the ease of what life has laid upon them, never truly living only existing. What do you learn if every day is perfect? If it never rains on any given day? I would become so bored without the bumps in life, the punches to the head, the tripping on my own shoelaces, that have made me who I am today.

“If we knew what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

 

This post is in response to the Daily Post question: If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?