This time of year is one of my favorites back home. Connecticut is well known for the beautiful autumn season and the many traditions that go along with it. Apple picking, corn mazes, colorful foliage changes, homemade pies, apple cider, pumpkin carving, hay rides pulled by horses, and my absolute favourite apple cider doughnuts. Recently, I find myself thinking less about the pumpkins back home and more about the fact that I’m falling in love with Ireland. Aside from all the rainy days, are these incredibly kind people who make a point to welcome me to their country.
This week I was treated to dinner with one of the families associated with the Celtics and I loved every second of it. The Nealon family has 6 children, two college students, and one Dutch fellow all living under the same roof for the year. We joked about their family being similar to the Brady Bunch and Cheaper By The Dozen! Spending the evening at the dinner table with a home cooked meal was not the first thing I expected to be treated to when I arrived in Limerick. We discussed some Irish slang words and listened to Taylor Swift (Matt’s favorite singer). It was such a treat to sit on the couch and relax with everyone! We watched Harry Potter and enjoyed a slice of warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The everyday chaos of class, practice, training, and coaching keeps me very busy, but spending quality time with others once a week is an absolute delight.
As the leaf’s change from their original green colour to the warm yellow, red, and orange I see more beauty to this country. The city of Limerick is picturesque with the Shannon River running right through it and the countryside towards Claire has the quaint grass fields filled with horses, sheep, and cows. But the true reason as to why I’m settling in so well is because of the kindness the local people have provided. The real beauty of Ireland is found in the people that live here.