We plunged headlong down the street anxious to see the most bombed hotel in Ireland, but then the sky let loose enough water to drown fish–
Our two friends and my husband voted for shelter in the historic Crown Bar across the street from the hotel. The Crown Bar and Saloon is know as the most beautiful bar in the world, but I’m sure they were drawn more to the promise of Guinness and shepherds pie. Me? I go with the crowd, but only literally.
Striding out, loving the puddles at my feet and the gift from the clouds, I splashed on ahead of my umbrella holding and hooded companions. We left a drought and threats of forest fires back in New Mexico. I tossed back my hood and laugh, just loving all that water.
Soaked from head to toe, and totally delighted, I shoved open the stained glass door of the Crown Bar and Saloon and stepped into the darkened establishment.
The three men who were sitting at the long bar turned their heads in unison and stared. The bartender stopped pouring and looked up at me, too.
Now you need to understand that Irish gentlemen are a wee bit conservative in their attitude toward the women of Ireland. I knew that. I knew the women in Ireland weren’t given the rights to seek divorces until the mid 1950’s. That’s just a hint of how women in Ireland haven’t yet caught up to their American counterparts, but momentarily, I had forgotten these cultural differences until I saw the look on those faces.
I felt more than self-conscientious. I stared back not knowing what to say about my rude intrusion.
“Say, lass, where de ye come from?” The elderly man in the middle raise his hand toward me. The other two men held their mugs steady in their hands and their eyes steady on me.
“America–North America–actually New Mexico–that’s in the United States.” I took a tiny step closer and kept eye contact. I’m no fool. I’m not about to show fear.
“Well, then, let me ask,” he said, “did ye swim all the way?”
I so love Ireland.
There’s a reason why Ireland is called the Emerald Island, there’s a reason why New Mexico is a rather brown state. Here in New Mexico we celebrate rain, in Ireland they apologize for all the wetness.
But think of this, weather–it’s not good, it’s not bad. It just is. Granted, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, and all extreme weather is frightening when we don’t feel safe. But each time when temperatures hit 100 degrees in June, or when rain storms pound down in July, or when the snow piles up in February we face change from what we’ve considered normal during that year.
As a writer, I love all variations in weather. I’m one of those when the radio announces a tornado watch, I run out to watch. Not living in tornado alley is probably a good thing in my case.
I don’t want normal. I want experiences that lead to emotion, urgency, and something unusual. I’m sure you might discover stories of the unusual and a sense of urgency if you checked out the most bombed hotel in Ireland, but I’ve found changes in weather create an urgency, the unusual, and always connect to honest emotions.
I learn so much from others. Please share your weather secrets in the comment section below. Is weather an important part of your life and your writing?
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