25 September Thursday
Nonnie went to visit another woman who had recently lost her husband. The death had happened some months ago and far away. Nonnie went to pay her respects now that the woman had returned here. She asked if the husband had been buried close to their family home. The woman said that he had not been buried but cremated instead. She said she still had the ashes and had not yet decided where to put them. Nonnie gasped and dropped her head down hard on the table. She banged her head a few times and she moaned. She lifted up her head and said Oh How could you cremate That Beautiful Body? Then she banged her head down again.
24 September Wednesday
We drove to Thurles to take the train to Dublin. Once we were on the platform, we saw that there was an earlier train and that the earlier one was an Express. There would be no stops until Dublin. We decided to get on that one instead of the one we had planned for. After a few minutes, an announcement came on and we were told that the Express was running 12 minutes late. We did not mind. it meant that we would still be in Dublin sooner than we had planned. We were looking forward to tea and toast in the dining car.
As we boarded the Express there was another announcement saying that there would be an unschedualed stop at Port Laoise. The train was packed. Every seat was full and there was not much standing room. Just about everyone on the train was going to The National Ploughing Competition. The Ploughing is in Port Laoise this year. Almost all of the people who had boarded at Cork where the train originated were going to The Ploughing. There was no tea and toast in the Dining Car for us. There was no Dining Car. No doubt all those farmers and their families who were going to The Ploughing had eaten their breakfast hours ago, well before leaving home and probably before they had even done their farm chores.
At Port Laoise, the cars emptied out. We looked out the windows as the platform filled up. There were many buses outside the station waiting to take everyone on to The Ploughing. The few of us who were left on the train looked around and smiled at one another. Suddenly there was so much space. None of us needed more than one seat for the rest of our journey to Dublin, but there was so much space after everyone got off that we felt fortunate.
21 September Sunday
Today I was told that each of us dies twice. The man who told me this said that You die once when the breath goes out of you. You die again the very last time that someone says your name out loud.
20 September Saturday
Last night we had our first rainfall in weeks. It was a good soaking rain. It was probably not enough rain to make the farmers happy, but nonetheless, it was welcome rain. I took the walk through the woods and along the river in Cahir. It was no longer raining but there was a bit of drizzle in the breeze or just blowing off the trees. I met John, the Ancient Man, and we stood together in the dampness and spoke for a while. He had his umbrella but he did not put it up. I had a hood on my jacket but I did not put that up either. It was not really wet. He asked me about Emily and I told him that she had died. He was very sorry to hear it. He spoke about how he still looks behind him for his Ancient Dog who died two years ago. He still looks for her and he still feels surprised not to see her struggling long behind him. I know exactly how he feels.
I told him that he was looking well and he told me that he had Gone to 90 since we last spoke. He said his sister had Gone to 92 and that she has started riding herself out in a wheelchair. He is disgusted with her. He is still walking his 5 miles every day but he said that he is walking more and more slowly, so it takes him a lot longer than it did even a few months ago. Most of his day is now taken up with his morning walk. He does not want to shorten his route but he might have to consider it come winter. He asked me if I had heard the news about the Irish woman who had won 87 million euro on the lottery last night. No one knows who she is or what part of the country she is in. He is hoping that he might come across her on his walk today. He asked me if by chance she was me.
19 September Friday
It is not a wise thing to offer someone A Ride. Offering A Ride is a salacious invitation. Offering or asking for A Ride in a public situation is bound to cause some sniggers, especially if the one doing the offering is a woman. It is best to offer or to request A Lift. That way there is no danger of a sexual implication.
18 September Thursday
I just learned that Oliver Hackett is dead. His death was not recent. He died back in March. He had been unwell for a while. I was surprised that I missed the news of his death. The imperative of death makes such things big news when they happen, and immediately after that they are simply Already Known Facts. I had not even noticed that his grocery shop was closed and that the doors to his big shed where locked up tight. He sold firewood and coal and canisters of propane gas out of the big shed. I just did not pay attention as I passed by in the car. I did not pay attention for many months. There were several years when Oliver was trying to sell his entire business with his house attached. He had it listed on the internet. I am not sure how long he was trying to sell it, but after he died I guess neither his daughter nor his son wanted to take over the whole operation. Oliver often had a tetchy manner. Once he was delivering several loads of firewood to us and he said something about me being English. I said that I was not English. I told him that Simon is English but that I am not. He took offense and acted as though I had been lying to him for years. For a long while, he refused to speak to me at all when we met. If I entered his shop he made a snorting sound and ignored me. I do not think that he was angry because I was an American. He was angry because he had been so certain about who I was and he did not like to find himself wrong.
17 September Wednesday
There is a new sign announcing Wool Buying Every Thursday at the Co-op. The Wool Buying on Thursday is not a new thing, but the sign is new.