Breakfast and Back to School

The next morning Dorothy returned. We asked her if she would mind first coming to breakfast somewhere with us. Apologizing profusely, she said she hadn’t even considered we might not have been able to buy provisions yet. We didn’t dare tell her we hadn’t had dinner the night before. Luckily, she didn’t ask — she would be have mortified.

She led us to a gas station at the intersection of the Aghamore road and the highway just up a ways that sold basic provisions and also served a full Irish breakfast: scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, baked beans, potatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, and tomatoes. We would never have known…a gas station? While Dorothy sat patiently with us, we ordered: eggs, toast, bacon, potatoes, no beans please, hold the black pudding.

Our first stop was to the old schoolhouse which Gino’s mom, Marie, had attended a couple of years before she was whisked back to the U.S. with her mother and siblings. The school was now an antique store at the edge of the highway.

Originally Gino's mom's old elementary school, this is now an antique and junk shop

Upon entering, we were greeted by a Scotsman who was minding the store for the owner. He was in the process of starting a “turf” fire in the old original fireplace. (Marie saw our photos later and remembers that very same fireplace from her school days.)

A "turf" fire -- fueled by pieces cut from a peatbog

The rooms of the former school were now filled to the rafters with stuff: antiques, junk, oddball bric-a-brac. It was fun picking through, not only at the random merchandise, but looking past it all to see original walls, floors, and windows. It was a thrill, especially for Gino, to realize we were walking on the same floors his mom had walked on as a young child going to school.

Mom picked out a cute little vase to buy. The Scotsman explained that the owner’s partner, an Italian, had picked it up in Italy. We kidded Mom that she came all the way to Ireland just to buy something Italian.

After a friendly chat with the Scotsman, we drove on to the local cemetery.


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