I left Texas for Ireland last summer with a great deal of trepidation concerning the future.
All spring, the West had been on fire, and I could see smoke from wildfires burning just an hour west of my home in North Texas. With an eye to gusting west winds, I packed important papers, manuscripts and family photos in the car. I kept my purse and pet carrier by the front door, ready for a speedy evacuation, fortunately unnecessary.
I knew two gas wells were going to be drilled right behind my house, on the other side of the hill. I worried about the noise and the possible pollution and even catastrophic blowouts that could occur.
Then the summer heat and calamitous drought arrived, early and unbearable. “I can’t stay here,” I thought. I didn’t know if I could continue to live in Texas the rest of my life. But where would I live?
Ireland was cool and rainy and green. A whole different world. My hope was restored.
But despite the charms of my temporary hometown, Portumna, its gracious people, and all my adventures in the Emerald Isle, I was homesick. I missed my family, my friends, my cat, my bed, my view. More than I ever anticipated.
Check back here next week for Home at Last, Part II. Meanwhile, you can read more of my Irish adventures in earlier blog posts, or see my travel story and photos at www.360westmagazine.com, “Digital Edition,” “May 2012.” Go to “Contents” and click on “Destinations.”