Saturday, June 25th, was a quiet day spent sleeping in and attending a strategy session with the Murphys. A big presentation was scheduled for that coming Wednesday evening, and since it was one of the final pieces of my agreement with the St. Mary’s Board of Management, I was excited to complete the document and presentation.
Sunday I met the girls (Iris Lynch and Marguerite McDonagh) for noon lunch at Busker Brownes. We were bummed to discover that due to the Irish playing France in the Euros that afternoon that the jazz band would not be performing. We enjoyed our fish and chips (the girls) and spinach and ricotta ravioli (me), and then I drove the girls back to Iris’s apartment. What should have taken 5 minutes took us nearly 40 minutes because of the Galway triathlon and the resulting road closures. We just missed the kickoff of the soccer match and enjoyed afternoon tea with sandwiches and cake, courtesy of Iris. I will never forget the sights and sounds of Marguerite jumping out of her chair, cheering when Ireland scored and cussing when France scored, the girls talking about the dirty play of the French team, and ultimately how sad they felt for the Irish lads (both on the team and in the pub!) when they lost 2-1.
I enjoyed the afternoon with the girls, leaving at 7pm for home, stopping by Dunnes for groceries and a quick dinner. That evening was spent doing additional work on the project for Wednesday night.
On Monday I had an early morning visit to the Galway Clinic to get an injection in my left foot. As many of you know, my feet have been very sore for quite a while now, and with the help of my good friend and physio Mike Lynch, we had determined that the next step was a steroid injection into my 3rd metatarsal, where I seem to have bone marrow swelling and degeneration. The wait to check in and prepay took longer than the procedure itself, and before long I was driving back home and continuing to work on the presentation documents. That afternoon I attended a meeting with an expert related to the ideas being put forth in our presentation, followed by a work session with Ciarán.
Still exhausted from the previous weeks’ travels and having houseguests, I took a nap and intended to work later that evening. However, as I set up my computer I realized that I had left the power cord at Mary’s. My battery was dead, and the updates would have to wait.
I was expecting my final set of houseguests to arrive sometime Tuesday afternoon. Friends of ours, Matt and Kera Smith, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, had been touring Northern Ireland for a few days and were driving to Galway. They were to spend a few days with me while Matt worked a clinic for the Barna basketball club.
I was extraordinarily busy with preparing for the presentation, and barely saw my guests during their first 2 days in Galway. I had barely managed to get the bed linens laundered, the bathroom cleaned, and the kitchen cleaned up before they arrived. Fortunately, they were gracious about the “lived-in” condition of my house. I was able to leave a work meeting with the Murphys to get them settled into the house, with tea and sundries upon arrival. They were easy guests and despite a small problem with the front door that necessitated an urgent call to the locksmith, I enjoyed having them stay. I was so busy that I didn’t even get a selfie with them, but they took one for me to share here.
Wednesday I was able to spend a few minutes picking up some gifts for Tim and others back in the States before a quick visit to Mary’s to make final edits. I decided to make a special gift for Tim’s birthday (July 1st) that required me driving around the roads we frequented. Eventually I made it home and after the locksmith helped me get back into the house, I was able to finish the last of the edits to the strategy document, handout, and presentation before preparing myself for the evening’s presentation. A final run-through with Ciarán and we were ready. Nearly everyone invited attended the presentation, which we were very pleased with, and Ciarán gave an excellent presentation of our strategic plan. A few hours later, I was headed home to a late dinner delivered by Apache Pizza and a Viber chat with Tim, which developed into a bit of a row.
On Thursday I slept until noon. I was so tired that I had developed dark circles under my eyes, which is really rare for me. I couldn’t seem to catch up. I had a huge list of things that had to be accomplished before I left Ireland the following Tuesday, and I managed to check off a few of those items before dashing out into the rain to collect some special-order gift items in the city centre. A quick sandwich at Costa Coffee, followed by a physio session with Mike, got me through the afternoon. After the session with Mike I met with Ciarán to debrief from the previous night’s presentation. By that time it was early evening, and I headed to Woodies to buy some plastic storage tubs for the items we planned to leave with our friends the Hannagens until we returned to Ireland. I did some more work for Mary’s and then drove up to McSwiggans to have dinner with Matt and Kera, who had just finished 2 camp sessions with the Barna club and a training session with the St. Mary’s Basketball Club. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had some time to finally catch up. We returned home around 11pm and I went back to work.
On Friday, Matt and Kera left for the south of Ireland to complete their final days in Ireland before flying back to the States from Dublin. I had lunch with Ciarán, followed by a chat with Yvonne, and then collected and cashed the final reimbursement check from Mary’s. I needed to get the car cleaned before returning it on Tuesday, so I tried the valet at the Corrib Shopping Centre, but it was going to take longer than I had the time for at that point, so…it was back home after a few errands, a quick nap, and then the big job of sorting what would be stored in Ireland, what would be donated, and what would fit into my 2 suitcases to be taken back with me to the States. I had a birthday chat with Tim, and we decided we’d celebrate after I returned to the States next week.
Saturday I went to the G Hotel for lunch with Yvonne, and we enjoyed catching up while my car was being valeted. Afterward I ran a few errands, chatted with Tim, and continued sorting and packing. It was hard to believe that in 3 days I would be leaving Galway.