Kenmare, Ireland

Kin folk said Jeb move away from there… it was time to load up the car and head to Kenmare, Bay that is, great friends, great scenery.   So after a great, but too short, time in Dublin we packed our bags, jumped on M50 and M7, and headed south to Charlene’s friend Katherine (Kate)’s place just outside of Kenmare.  A motor way is a motor way; however, it only takes you so far.  Then the real “driving experience” begins.  Roads were built in the US for the car; In Ireland they were built for the horse and just paved over when cars arrived.  Experience is really a word for… wrong side of road, no shoulder, HUGE trucks and busses coming the other way and wondering why you said yes to a $3000 deductible on the rental. 

 We get to Kenmare and call Kate for the final directions.  Turn left where the green pole with the yellow hiker symbol is.  Really?  That’s the directions?  Okay…. Left it is.  We head up hill and up hill and up hill on a road that was even narrower than any we had been on so far.  A bunch of S’s, backing down the hill to find a wide spot so a car can pass, and another left and we are almost there.  We see Kate standing in the road, cell phone in hand and Charlene starts jumping up and down in the seat like a 10-year-old that just saw the entrance to Disney.  We pull in the drive and see Kates cottage.  Okay cottage may not be descriptive enough so here is couple pictures of her little place.

 After picking our jaws up off the ground we settle into our bedroom in west wing then head to the kitchen for a quick nosh and see her view.  Only one word describes this…. WOW.  What would it be like to wake up every morning and see this.  Wait!!!!  We will have many of these views as we travel full time in our Airstream so this is just the first of many.

 The food is great, the drink is great, the people are great, the friendship is ever greater.  Kate and her Husband Sean take a day to show us the Cork County coastline.  Ireland is such a beautiful place.  The weather was the best we could have asked for.  Slow down Don…. Rewind the tape…. I have to say Sean is a real trooper.  This tour started with picking him up at Shannon Airport where he arrives after a 13-hour flight from Jakarta.  Sean was entertaining and stayed awake and pleasant the entire day.  I would have been grumpy and fallen asleep early on. Back to the story.  Along the way they take us to a Light House.  We stop to see the sights and all of a sudden two farm dogs, one black and one yellow, obviously well cared for join us for our walk.  I could not have ordered a more perfect moment.  I hope you enjoy these scenes as much as we did.

 The next day we decide to head out on our own and drive the “Ring of Kerry”; a scenic road trip that starts at Kenmare Bay and goes a hundred or so miles around the peninsula.  There are many artisans, we have been told, along the way.  If you see a sign, just follow the road and pop in.  We decide to do just that and make a right up a drive marked “wood working for sale” and pull up to a small house and workshop.  Out steps a woman in her 60s who greats us warmly.  She asks us about “us” with genuine interest and tells us that with her first husband they lived in a 34’ caravan (trailer) for 20 years driving around New Zealand.  Small world.  Her and her late 2nd husband came to Ireland to do woodworking, okay maybe art would be a better word for what they did, and make Irish Pipes aka Uilleann pipes.  She even invited us into her beautiful home for a tour.  The interior was all done by these craftsmen/artists and was breathtaking, sorry no pictures… I didn’t even think to snap any photos I was enjoying her company so much.  On display in the living room was her pride and joy, a set of pipes.  These weren’t just any pipes… they were hand hewned out of ebony, ivory, and silver by her husband.  He did his own silver smithing…. everything.  These were a work of love and took him over four (4) months to complete.  They were not just an instrument; I think they were her husband personified.  There was so much to see, so many people we spoke with and even a life size statue of Charley Chaplin who lived there.  Here are a few pictures.

 Our time was drawing to a close and it was time to head back to Dublin, the airport and home… My next blog will tell you about that experience…. LOL.

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A little problem at the dump……..

We have dumped before without issue, but last night and I do mean night – as in pitch black – was not a good idea on any level.  I was tired, Don was tired and it was very dark.  I have to admit that we gave it our best shot, but we missed terribly.  I ran and screamed with the flashlight and left Don in the dark with the dump problem.  Yeah, I am surprised we are still married with this episode.  All I hear is “censored” and where is the “censored” flashlight.  The “censored” flashlight was with me and far away from the dump problem.  Yuck does not even come close to covering what happened and I am not even sure that I can describe what happened in an intelligent manor.  Once the hose let lose and it was spraying all over…….I ran far away and left poor, poor Don to the spraying festival.  The saying really is true that shit runs down hill and I was the shit running down hill lol.
Daylight review:  Once the “censored” settled and the sun came up we decided to review what happened.  We realized that the last person who dumped before us left their accessory attachment attached to the hole in the ground.  We attached to that and it was not a fit, but we did it anyway.  We never saw the extra piece, until this morning.  Note to self…….never dump at night in the dark while tired…..never do that again, ever.
BTW, we will be looking for a new sewer hose today, as I am not really sure what happened to our hose from last night.  No idea.  Don, do you have any idea where it might have gone?!

Storage & Laundry = Full Time

What did not sell at the estate sale was either given to charity or was taken away, for free, by the cleanout people we hired.  Nothing was left, nothing.  Hard to believe my life is now in a 5×5 storage unit at Public Storage or in an Airstream.  We put things like artwork, pictures, important files, uniforms, trophies, etc. in the storage unit.  We still need to go back to the storage unit and fine-tune it, but for the most part it is done and good enough to be left.  However, the Airstream is still a work in progress and I am fighting for closet space……you all know I am going to win the closet, right?!
I am used to doing laundry every day.  We had septic in our house and septic systems are delicate things.  They do not take lightly to 15 loads of laundry in a day. It was a good habit for my OCD on cleaning.  Now, I am learning to do laundry every 3-4 days.  I am only 5’ 3”, so I keep the laundry basket on the top shelf of the closet.  You know out of sight, out of mind lol.  We have a lovely little Laundromat by us that is run by a 70 something little Korean lady who keeps the place immaculate.  My greatest fear is not being able to find a laundromat like that when we get on the road.  Save me from myself!
So, what this all means is that we are very truly full time…..full freakin time!  It felt like we would never get here, yet here we are.  We cannot turn back.  We sold everything and rented our home.  Most of the stuff I was glad to see go.  I never realized how much stuff we actually had.  Yikes!  I never considered us to be hoarders, but it sure seemed like it when we had to clear out.  Next time forget the packing and the estate sale as I am burning the place down and buying everything new…….Don is going to be hard to replace lol.

Estate Sale, Consignment, Donate, Barter

So, what did we do with all of our stuff. I tried all the usual on-line options eBay, Facebook Yard Sales, Amazon Trade-In, eBay Valet without much success.  I did okay, but they were not worth the work and effort for what little you made.  I do better with interacting with people, especially in person.  I guess this is showing my age lol.  I like to dicker and socialize while doing it.  Just my nature, but my grandmother always said my mouth was like a bell clapper.  I found a consignment shop called 2nd Time Around that specializes in higher end clothes that I have done very well with and they have locations all over the country.  I bartered for services with things that people wanted of ours like mowing my lawn for a propane tank, helping me put up a storage shed on a rental property for outdoor furniture, etc.  But, when you have an entire home to sell of things you need a professional and I do not mean a yard sale Queen either.  I had to meet with several estate sale companies for find the one that worked for me.  My estate sale girl Lynn only took a 30% share of the profit without a minimum.  Some estate sale companies not only take a certain percent, but also require a minimum sale of lets say $4,000.  Some even required a minimum of $10,000.  I am not that rich with home furnishings, yikes!  Also, you have to be realistic on what things sell for.  That table might have cost you $375, but you might only get $25 from the estate sale.  I hate to say it, but it is what it is.  Try to remember that they are just things.  I had to say that I love people and not things through most of this process.  Our estate sale is tomorrow, bright and early.  Whatever does not sell will go to charity or even put to the curb. What is that saying…..another mans trash it another mans treasure!

Packing and Insomnia

Hello night owls!  This is our very last night in our home and I cannot seem to sleep.  I thought that I would be more emotional about it, but I think that I am just too tired to even think about it.  We have had a very taxing week.  Between packing, sorting, consigning, donating, moving the Airstream……yeah I am beat.  The estate sale starts tomorrow and we have to be out of here by 7:30 am sharp.  Yet, here I am typing at 3:00 am in this blog.  Lord, save me from myself.  I need all the prayer I can get sometimes.  I never really understood what the term the devil is in the details meant, until this past week.  Anything that could of gone wrong did.  My anxiety was through the roof and I wanted to murder someone, anyone.  Yet, here we are on our last night.  Sometimes you just have to give it to God and let it roll……see you on the road in the morning!

Packing and Crying….

Today is bitter sweet.  I am the third generation living in our family home that we just rented to a lovely young family.  I have been packing up all the pictures, artwork, photos, etc.  Some I will miss and some I cried packing up.  Especially the ones of my grandmother.  This was her home and my dad grew up here.  Heck, I grew up here and then moved back a few years ago.  While I was typing this I was crying and eating my fifth taco (a beer might be next).  I needed the break from packing, but I needed to reflect a bit.  I am going to miss this old home…..the people….this small town…….my neighbors and most important my family.  My parents live three doors down.  My only sibling lives a few miles down the road with my niece and nephew that I love to the moon and back.  All this to move into an Airstream full time.  I am so excited to do this with Don and see this great country of ours, but it sure is bitter sweet.  I need a hug and an ice cream today xo

We had a Shitty Day!!

First run with Alice and Lucky went well, except for Sunday. I am making breakfast when all of a sudden Charlene says, “Don are you emptying the tanks?” She points out the window and all I can see is brown sludge coming up through the waste connection and draining all underneath our trailer. Thank God my tanks were closed, because the sewage was going up our hose and getting on everything we had including what was sitting outside the trailer. Needless to say, we threw the food in the trash and went out to breakfast (lol). Looks like we will be replacing some items. On a positive note, we didn’t kill each other and we will continue to get on the road.  We won’t say anything bad about the KOA in Coatesville; but the Manager on the other hand……

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