Matt and I just returned from a week long trip to the Emerald Isle for my sister-in-law Maria’s wedding. This was our second trip to Ireland and I didn’t think it was possible to fall more in love with this place and its people.
It was a short trip filled with laughter, family, delicious food, and memories that will last a lifetime.
We spent most of the trip in County Donegal, on the northwestern part of the island. The area is called a gaeltacht, meaning the locals speak mostly Gaelic. We stayed in a little cottage with a view of the ocean, no wifi and a limited quantity of hot water. It was the perfect getaway from our fast paced, technology filled DC lives.
I’m putting together a little video from the trip but couldn’t wait to share some photos of our time in Ireland and my beautiful sister-in-law (and new brother-in-law’s) wedding!
Mary Philomena Oberst would have been 100 years old next month. She was a strong, beautiful woman who expressed her love with pot roast, rice pudding, and unadorned advice.
Typical Grandmom dealing with her grandkids.
At 98, I would call her and she would ask how my “little dog was doing”. She remembered the birthday of every one of her seven children, 29 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren — always sending a card and a few dollars.
My Grandmom and her sister Rita
My Grandmom didn’t show love with prolonged hugs or flowery declarations of affection. She showed love by taking care of her family. No matter what. I remember one Christmas, after all the gifts had been opened, I was sitting with her on the sofa and she looked at me and started humming an old song by Doris Day.
“I love you a bushel and a peck, A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap…” She stopped singing and looked toward the kitchen. “Let’s go put the monkey bread out for everyone.” She wasn’t a sappy woman, but she loved us all so much.
I could go on and on with story after story, attempting to paint a picture of my Grandmom. But honestly, she’d hate that. All I’ll say is that we all miss her very much and our family gatherings will never be the same.
I love you Grandmom. “I love you a bushel and a peck, You bet your purdy neck I do, A doodle oodle oh, A doodle oodle oodle oh doo…”
I spent Saturday with the Little Sisters of the Poor. We walked all over DC visiting various sites that are special to their community. We visited their first home here in the district, where their community cared for recently freed slaves who had nowhere to go. We prayed. We walked. We visited their second home on H street where they cared for the elderly poor for one hundred years, relying on the generosity of others and the tenacity of their sisters who beg for food to feed their residents.
It was hot, guys. We walked a lot.
It was a great, great day. One of the sisters is in her 80s. She walked 7 miles without stopping or falling behind. What a woman!
When I got home and flopped on the couch (where I remained the rest of the afternoon) I thought of that 80 year old sister and how she went home. And she didn’t rest. She got home and served dinner to the residents she cares for and then she helped them to bed. I should hang out with those women more often. #squadgoals