Missed Opportunity at the Loughcrew Cairns, Ireland

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March 18th 2012
Published: March 18th 2012
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Louie, my shelter mutt dog, woke me up at 5am, even though it’s Saturday. This is our normal routine. I often refer to him as “Louie, the alarm clock.” He knows exactly what time he gets his twice a day treats. The treats are actually medicine conveniently hidden in a piece of hotdog. Poor Louie has seizures. Of course, if Louie gets a treat, the other 3 dogs get one too. Reluctantly, I get out of bed, stubbing my toe in the process.

I arrived at the Lough Crew Cairns, Ireland about a car length before he did. Despite the empty parking lot, he chose the space right next to me, almost running over my foot as I exited my car. Irritated, I took my time gathering my things before starting up to the cairns. I really didn’t want to hike with him. Had I known the hike would take me 45 minutes, hiking at a 45 degree angle for most of the trail, I probably wouldn’t have attempted it. After devouring an energy bar, I boldly started up the hill on my own.

My dogs have been my constant companions for the past few years. What’s a single girl to do? I’ve been on my own for 3 years now. I often joke that if a guy can prove to be better than Louie, he might have a chance. After breakfast, the dogs and I settle back into bed for a little TV. A late winter storm has dropped tons of rain on the area over the past few days. The creeks are approaching flood stage. A walk this morning is out of the question.

I was breathless and tired when I got to the top of the hill. Laid out in front of me were 7,000 year old, Neolithic period cairns. That made the climb in the wind and rain more than worth it. This is what I flew 6,000 miles to see. Only four of us had made journey, including him. He struck up a conversation with me, teasing me about the time it took me to reach the top, the exchange rate of the American dollar, and kissing the blarney stone. Reluctantly, I let my irritation with him go and engaged in chit chat.

The only thing on TV at 6am seems to be the Newlywed Game. I find myself watching the game show a lot. I won’t say how much. The excuse I usually come up with is that I really like game shows. What’s the harm in that? It also occurs to me that I also enjoy the “love stories” of the couples on the show. I’m clueless when it comes to flirting. I think I’m just out of practice.

“Have you been to Sligo?” he asked. We had one significant thing common. Both of us were into searching out the Neolithic places in Ireland. I answered his question with a curious “No.” “Neither have I.” he stated. “I’m going to save it for next year.” I quickly said goodbye and headed for the cairn closest to me. Inside the cairn, it dawned on me that his man was actually flirting with me. How many people climb 45 minutes, at a 45 degree angle in driving wind and pouring rain to see something that is 7,000 years old? I completely missed that opportunity. But we always have Sligo next year. I’m already planning my return trip.


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