Trip of a Lifetime

My husband and I just got back from the trip of a lifetime to Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland. Let me emphasize “trip of a lifetime”, as the last time we both had the opportunity to visit the country of our roots (Ireland) was, let’s see… NEVER! So naturally I wanted to preserve the joy of everywhere we went and everything we saw with a souvenir from every shop we visited!
After shopping our way through four countries, one of our last stops was the Blarney Mills in Ireland. My Visa card started doing a jig within 5 miles of the Mill and then a full-on reel as I entered the store! I instantly spotted a heavenly display, that I am sure was hastily arranged just for me when they received the text that I was on the bus pulling up. It was a whole presentation of Irish linens, cottons, laces and baby clothes! I had to sit a moment to contain myself but the vibration of my credit card propelled me towards these gorgeous turn of the century children’s nighties. You know, the kind you would see in a 1920 Christmas movie. Made of proper 100% Irish white linen, with long, gathered lace-edged sleeves, 4 mother-of-pearl buttons adorning the bodice, 6 pleated tucks on the hemline and Irish lace peeking out from underneath, and embellished with petite pink embroidered angels flying ethereally throughout the garment.
My sweet grandbabies came to mind as I pictured them with their copper tresses tied up in satin ribbons, holding the edges of their nighties as they curtsied to the camera. Yes, it was obvious I had to buy them, especially since I realized the Lord’s blessing was all over this purchase. Amazingly enough there was just one size 3 left and one size 6. A miracle I would say!
Now to get the husband to disappear for 5 min so I could make this purchase without any silly discussion that there was no longer any room in our luggage to get anything home. Again, my prayer was answered… I screamed, “Squirrel!”, he left my side, and I was granted my 5 minutes of buying frenzy.
When we got home we reminisced about the trip through all the pictures taken and all the gifts that we brought home tied to the tail section of our airplane.
The first recipient of one of the heavenly sent Irish nighties was for my 2 year-old grandbaby, Maggie. My son Facetimed me so I could see her twirling and dancing about their living room in her beautiful new nightie, it was just what I had envisioned her doing when she tried it on. I was thrilled that the month of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and WWII rations to afford this trip weren’t for naught.
My daughter, living on the east coast, received her package of love from Ireland several days later and she, too, Facetimed me. There was no twirling and dancing about their living room. Rather, there stood my 4 year-old granddaughter, Lorelai, wearing her gown, her angelic face looking straight into the camera. I exclaimed, “Oh, Lorelai, you look so pretty! Do you love it?” To which she replied, “Gammie, what were you thinking?”
Not exactly the emotion I imagined. Once again I exclaimed, “Don’t you love it?” and once again, but a bit more dramatic, with her arms reaching out to me in a questionable gesture, she repeated, “Gammie, what were you thinking?!”
At this point I was thinking, her 2 year-old cousin, Maggie, would soon be inheriting a brand new, never worn, size 6 Irish linen nightie from the Blarney Mills in Ireland that I had to smuggle home on the tail section of a 767. A little disappointed with her reaction, the Lord reminded me that He has asked me numerous times, “What were you thinking?” And, amazingly, unlike my reaction to Lorelai, He never gets disappointed with me!
However, from now on I’ll just shop at Wal-Mart for flannel Spongebob Squarepants pjs…

Maribeth Benson, a.k.a. “GammieMaribeth”