Passport, check. Tickets, check. Ashes, check. Green toenails, check.
If you know me, you know that for 20 years I've been talking about going to Ireland. If you read my column, you know that my father died a year and a half ago. You may also remember that he was never prouder than when he received his Irish citizenship about four years before he died. Well, he left me that Irish passport and I decided that getting his ashes to Ireland myself would be the perfect tribute to his love of Ireland and my own need for adventure. So I set the passport on my dresser and focused on making that dream a reality.
I've worked every extra shift I could at Channel 2. I've found and booked hotels and deals on the Emerald Isle. I've gotten ahold of my father's ashes and the documents for carrying them internationally. And I have done all of this with my sister-in-law in Texas, who was hoping to take my brother's ashes to Ireland someday. It made perfect sense to do it together.
And of course before anything as important as traveling internationally to sprinkle human remains, a girl needs a manicure and a pedicure, right? It wasn't my idea but it was a good one and I was glad to go along.
I know it's a regular investment for some, but nails are pretty low on my priority list. I had them done for my own wedding about 25 years ago, and only a couple of times with friends since. And I had truly forgotten how nice it was to just sit and let someone pamper you for a half hour.
I am well aware that my hands look like I've chewed my way out of a trap and so I chose a rather conservative shade of nude for my fingernails so as not to draw much attention to my hands. But when the nail lady asked me about the color for my toenails, without hesitation I said, "Green, for Ireland."
Sure, I realize that my toes will be in boots for most of my trip. But I know they're green. I think that the idea of green nails was a bit much for my kids. But it did show a bit of independence and frivolity, something they don't always see in their mother. and you know what? It's gotten me quite a few compliments. It's adventurous for me. And that's just another small step toward the Emerald Isle.
So, I will stick with my gut, with a move toward realizing a dream and with my plan for this trip. I think small steps like this will lead me to just the right spot for my father's ashes. Our family is from a town called Sligo, he loved Galway Bay, but until I see them I don't really know where he, or I will end up. But isn't that what real adventure is all about?