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“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31)

…well if we must!

Dear family & friends,

We arrived in Ireland yesterday and are doing great.  First things first – Mass at St. Colmcille, then straight away to The Lord Mayor’s pub in Swords.  Slainte!

I’m feeling fantastic.  The only side effect of of round 1 of immunotherapy has been a very mild rash on two fingers, which I have managed with some steroid ointment.  I figure the steroids are an opportunity, so let me know if you can tell that I’ve bulked up a little in any of these photos.

Today we toured the sites associated with St. Kevin in Glendalough (below).  To get there, we drove through Hollywood and sang “Changing Your Demeanor” by the Chieftains:
     In Hollywood I long to be
     No not the place across the sea
     But in County Wicklow, Ireland’s lovely garden
     Where no pretenders will you find
     But decent people warm and kind,
     And flocks of friendly sheep into the bargain.
This song is a true story, it turns out.

Then we went to Kildare and sang “The First Love in Life” by the Irish Rovers:
     If I chance for to go to the town of Kildare
     All the girls all around me they flock on the square
     Some bring me a bottle and some bring me cake… (it goes on like this)
This song, while not strictly true for us today, was pretty close because one of Kendra’s readers, Christine, met us there with some snacks and a warm smile.  Being married to Kendra is better than the daydreams of “The First Love in Life” for many reasons, but one of them is that we actually sort of get treated by celebrities in some places #sheskindofabigdeal.

In Kildare we went to The Round Tower – the tallest in Ireland.

Also, since a rash isn’t a very tough-sounding side effect and ointment sounds wimpy, I’m pretty embarrassed just mentioning them.  So I’ve gone out of my way to punch the Man Card a few times in other ways: driving a manual transmission (left-hand stick) rental car on the left side of the road (this is not trivial, people), plus changing a flat with some of the kids when one of our cars got one.  It played out much better than A Christmas Story.  No Lifeboy needed.

From our rental house in Coolnaskeagh tonight, we head to Cashel and Cobh, then stay in Portmagee on the West coast of Ireland tomorrow.  We’re going to do a boat tour of Skellig Michael, see the Dingle Peninsula and see the Cliffs of Moher.  We’ll see Croagh Patrick, do a Knock pilgrimage, and see Oldcastle, Bru na Boinne, Knowth, Newgrange, Monasterboice, Navan, Bective Abbey, then back to Dublin.

We bring all your intentions with us, so just think of it, and we pray for them daily.

With fortitude and paidreacha for you,