My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

29 September 2010

To America and Back

Wahlmeier family picture - that's a lot of people.

I'm back from my whirlwind trip to America. It was nice to see so much of my family, even if it wasn't for the best reason. All of the grandkids made it back for the funeral so I got to see literally everyone on that side. The service was really nice - at the cemetery, we placed shamrocks on the casket and sang an Irish Lullaby and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. I thought that was appropriate. Like I did for Granddad's funeral, I'll post the obit here:

Marcella Rose (Sally) Campbell Wahlmeier, daughter of Edward and Rose (Hayes) Campbell, was born March 31, 1927, in Hoxie, Kansas, and passed away at her home in Salina, Kansas, on September 22, 2010, at the age of 83.
Sally grew up on a farm north of Hoxie and graduated from Leoville schools. On June 9, 1947, Sally and Francis Joseph "Wally" Wahlmeier were united in marriage in Leoville, Kansas. They made their home in Norcatur, Kansas, before moving to Norton, Kansas in 1959, where Wally worked for Norton-Decatur Electric Co-op and Sally performed radio dispatch for them during trouble calls. Wally passed away March 31, 2001, and Sally later moved to Salina to be near family.
Sally was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and Altar Society and taught CCD classes. She was a past president of the American Legion Auxiliary #63, and helped with the REACH program. She enjoyed music, embroidery, and making wedding cakes, but her greatest love was her family.
Survivors include her children, Michaelene and Terry Morgan, Bella Vista, AR; son-in-law Ivan Bohl, Norton; Marla and Sam Schmidt, Manhattan; Jim and Jane Wahlmeier, Concordia; Susan and Harold Bechard, Salina; Patrick and Debbie Wahlmeier, Hastings, NE; Jeanette and Allen Nelson, Salina; Diann and Patrick Dinkel, Chandler, AZ; Stan and Janet Wahlmeier, Burlington; Sheri and Toby Holmes, Claflin; and Mark and Amanda Wahlmeier, Colby; one brother and his wife, Edward and DeLois Campbell, Wichita; 44 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Sally was preceded in death by her parents, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, her husband, 4 children, Theresa, Bernard, Steve, and Cathy; one grandchild, Hannah; and one great-grandchild, Reece.

Here's the chorus to An Irish Lullaby:
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Hush now don't you cry,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish lullaby.

23 September 2010

Not again!

Europe is not being very kind to me. As many of you know, about a month into my stay last year, my granddad passed away (mom's dad). I got a call at 6am from my mom telling me my grandma passed away (dad's mom). Out of everything that went through my mind when I saw my parents calling at 6am, this was not one of them. Talk about being blindsided.
My only options for flights out were 11am this morning and 11am tomorrow morning. I didn't think I could make the one this morning so we booked the one for tomorrow. I don't have class on Thursday so my plan for the day was to get some stuff taken care of on campus and go to the Garda office to get my immigration card (to allow me back into the country). I got to the Garda office at 1:30 - evidently they only do students in the morning. I guess I'll hope that I look very non-threatening and they'll let me back in on Tuesday! I could go at 9:00 tomorrow morning, but my flight leaves at 11 and I'm checking in there so that makes me feel like I'm cutting it too close.

Grandma always asked if I new When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Here are the lyrics:
There's a tear in your eye
And I'm wondering why
For it should never be there at all
With such pow'r in your smile
Sure a stone you'd beguile
So there's never a teardrop should fall

When your sweet lilting laughter
Like some fairy song
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be
You should laugh all the while
And all other times smile
And now, smile a smile for me

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, they steal your heart away

For your smile is a part
Of the love in your heart
And it makes even sunshine more bright
Like the linnet's sweet song
Crooning all the day long
Comes your laughter and light

For the springtime of life
Is the sweetest of all
There is ne'er a real care or regret
And while springtime is ours
Throughout all of youth's hours
Let us smile each chance we get

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure they steal your heart away.

22 September 2010

Thesis topic

I am such an indecisive person. I have an hour until my class where I have to give Elva my thesis topic, and I still don't know what I'm going to do. Now, before you freak our for me, I should clarify that I have two different ideas, I just don't know which one I want to do.

Choice #1
Why did the kings of Tara become the high kings of Ireland? The kings of Munster had equal, if not more, power and were equally equipped. Tara had the advantage of association with power through Celtic mythology, but Munster's seat at Cashel symbolized authority for many in Ireland. How did Tara finally overcome Munster?
Choice #2
The ancient Celts believed music opened doors into the Otherworld. Did this belief transcend into the Christian belief (i.e. did they believe music could open Heaven)?

I've even flipped a coin and can't come to a conclusion. Usually, when I can't make a decision, I flip a coin and go with the one I realize I'm hoping for while the coin is in the air. This time I did not find myself rooting for one or the other of my options. I flipped the coin twice, with two different results, and did not find myself wishing for the other one either time. I think the thing that's scaring me about #1 is whether or not I really understand how the kingship of Ireland worked and if this is a plausible question. #2, I'm afraid, will end up like my paper on Bohemian Methodists and fairies (got them done, but the sources weren't really there).

I guess I'll just have them both ready and see what happens!

"The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it."

19 September 2010


Classes have finally started - hopefully this week I'll start getting settled into a routine!
I absolutely love my classes (and that's just barely plural - I only have 2!) Early Irish Civilisation and Intro to Latin. There are only 8 people in each class and each one has one other American. I was slightly scared that with the amount of people who attend UCD (I've lived in towns smaller than the student population), my classes would be huge! The Latin class is even using the book that I borrowed from my advisor last year (I knew I'd have to have Latin so I thought I'd get a head start) - up to chapter 6, I should be good! I have Latin for an hour on Tuesdays and Fridays (11 - 12) and Early Irish Civ on Wednesday for 2 hours (1 - 3). I love my schedule! A majority of that spare time will probably be spent in the library researching my dissertation, but I'm ok with that. Hopefully, that will free up my weekends to either work or do a little traveling.
There are only 3 people total in my actual program and 2 of us are Americans! Who knew there'd be two of us crazy enough to want to do Early Irish History. We're supposed to have an idea ready for Elva (our instructor) of what we want to do our dissertation on by Wednesday. I'm hoping she just wants a generalized overview because I'm not really sure what I'm doing yet (I should probably be figuring that out now, but I feel the need to maintain my title Queen Procrastinator). Currently, I'm toying with the idea of the conversion of the Celts to Christianity and how that's reflected in music. The main problem with this: I'm not sure any samples of their music have remained.
I'm almost done with Daibhi O'Croinin's Early Medieval Ireland so maybe I'll get a few ideas from that. Lucky for me, it's rainy and cold outside - the perfect day to curl up under the covers with a cup of tea and a good book :)

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat."

16 September 2010

Internet at home

We finally have internet at home! The guy came around 2:30 and installed it (pretty good since he was supposed to be here anywhere from 1:00 - 6:00). He told us it might take up to an hour for it to register and fully connect. I told Matt, we may have gone without for a week, but this is going to be the longest hour of our lives! Luckily, it only took about 30 minutes and it was ready to go!
I had my first class yesterday. I'm sure I'll be keeping busy, but right now it seems like I'm going to have a lot of free time on my hands. I have class for an hour on Tuesday and Friday mornings (Intro to Latin) and two hours on Wednesday afternoons (Early Irish Civilisation). Other than that, I have absolutely nothing. I'll have a few seminars now and again, but nothing regular. Theoretically this means I should be able to do a lot of reading and studying, but based on my laziness today, I'm doubtful that's going to happen. I can at least console myself with the idea that I was productive this morning. I was able to open my Irish bank account and get my Student Travel Card so once my bank account is activated, I'll be able to get my permanent mobile and bus pass (woot!) I think my world is slowly being put back together! I feel like moving overseas is a bit how they describe teleportation - everything is shattered and taken apart at the starting point, then are assembled again in their destination. When I first got here, I definitely felt like my world had fallen apart, but I'm beginning to see it all come together once more. Now if only I could convince all of you to move over here, too... ;)
Now that I have internet at home, feel free to Skype me anytime I'm online!

A narrow neck keeps the bottle from being emptied in one swig.

13 September 2010

Response to Comments

It won't let me reply in the comment box for the last post so here's my response.
Mom - Yes, I believe I've had a better time of it since I talked to you that first time!
Ashley - Honestly, the only thing that stopped me from going back to the airport was the thought of dragging my suitcases all the way back there!
I love Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore, too. The version I have is by the Young Dubliners.

I quite like ending these posts with song lyrics. Here's Ireland by Garth Brooks:
They say mother earth is breathing, with each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening, for to open heaven's door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven, watching o'er us all the while
and her heart it is in Ireland, deep within the Emerald Isle.

We are forty against hundreds, in someone else's bloody war
We know not why we're fighting, or what we're dying for
They will storm us in the morning, when the sunlight turns the sky
Death is waiting for it's dance now, fate has sentenced us to die

Ireland, I am coming home.
I can see your rolling fields of green and fences made of stone.
I am reaching out, won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland.

Oh the captain he lay bleeding, and I can here him calling me
The men are yours now for the leading, show them to their destiny
And as I look up all around me, I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready, cause we're not waiting for the morn.


Now the fog is deep and heavy, as we forge the dark in fear
We can hear their horses breathing, as in silence we draw near
And there are no words to be spoken, just a look to say goodbye
I draw a breath and night is broken, as I scream our battle cry.

Ireland I am coming home, I can see your rolling fields of green and fences made of stone
I am reaching out, won't you take my hand
I'm coming home Ireland.
Yes, I am home Ireland.

09 September 2010


First off, my sincerest apologies to those I promised I would have a blog up yesterday! I meant to write, but the building I was in was closing and I headed back to my internetless apartment before I could post anything. My first day in Dublin was a bit rough. The whole trip I was so confident I was doing the right thing and that it was going to be a wonderful year. I arrived about 9 in the morning, having only had about 15 minutes to half an hour of sleep on the plane. I realized upon arrival that a year in America deactivates the SIM card on a phone, thus my phone did not work. Major problem #1. The girl I was sitting next to was taking the AirCoach to her on campus residence so instead of taking a cab like I had planned, I went to find the Coach with her. We ended up getting seperated because she was the last person on the bus parked there, and I was the first person on the next bus. I thought I was supposed to get off at Donneybrook, but I had no idea where to go after that (I had planned on calling my contacts when I got here). Major problem #2. Fortunately, the bus had wi-fi (I love technology) so I could e-mail my contacts. Turned out I was supposed to get off at St. John of God's Hospital not Donneybrook. The bus I was on did not go to St. John of God's Hospital. Major problem #3. The next series of events involves some extremely nice Irish people. The hospitality here is simply amazing. The bus driver pulled off at Sillorgan (very near my complex) and told me how to get to the hospital by asking the people waiting at the bus stop. Then, two ladies at the stop helped me get my luggage on the bus, told me which stop to get off at, and pointed the direction I was supposed to go from the moving bus when they realized I had no idea where I was. I then began my very long journey dragging my two suitcases down the street. When I got across from my complex, a lady stopped and gave me a ride up into the complex and helped me find the building I was supposed to be in. We met a man who had to return some keys to the people I needed to see so he helped me bring my luggage up the stairs in my building. By that time, all I wanted was a shower and my bed. Come to find out, the complex is not quite as great as it looked on the internet (I knew it wouldn't be that good, but I wasn't quite expecting this). I did not get a duvet and pillow like I thought and there's no wireless internet. My flatmate (who's name is Matt - wasn't expecting a guy's name? Neither was I.) and I took the bus into Grafton Street to go to Dunnes and to get necessary bedding and towels. My room has an ensuite bathroom so I immediately got in the shower and took a nap when we got back (I also had a very tearful phone call with my mom). It's amazing what water and sleep does for mental health! I'm now feeling much more comfortable and at peace with the whole situation. Once we get internet, I will feel even more so.
I have realized how much of a city girl I am not, however. Luckily Stillorgan Mall is very near by and is much smaller and less busy than Grafton Street!
This song was going through my head on the plane so I'll post it for my Irish ending:
Oh fare-the-well, dear Ireland, my own dear native land.
It breaks my heart to see friends part
for it's then that the teardrops fall.
I'm on my way to Amerikay,
will I e'er see my home once more?
For now I leave my own true love
on Paddy's green shamrock shore.

Our ship she lies at anchor,
she's standing by the quay.
May fortune bright shine down each night,
as we sail over the sea.
Many ships were lost,
many lives were cost on the journey that lies before.
With a tear in my eye I'm bidding goodbye
to Paddy's green shamrock shore.

So fare-thee-well my own true love,
I'll think of you night and day.
And a place in my mind you will surely find
Although I'm so far away.
Though I'll be alone far away from my home,
I'll think of the good times once more.
Until the day, I can make my way
to Paddy's green shamrock shore.

And now the ship is on the waves
May heaven protect us all.
With the wind in the sail we surely can't fail
on this voyage to Baltimore.
But my parents and friends did wait til the end,
til I could see them no more.
I then to a chance, took one last glance
at Paddy's green shamrock shore.