School Vacation – A week of chasing stories, ghosts, and a land not forgotten

BOSTON – It seems strange, given the number of snow days we’ve just had, that we are about to start another school vacation. But who am I to complain or question this wisdom.

SnowDay - 1

For the next seven days, my wife and I are going to travel through the countryside of Ireland and try to recharge the batteries. For my students who might be reading this, yes, that’s considered a euphemism for the infirmities of passing well into the fifth decade of life.

Anyway, we are heading overseas to rest, read, eat, and in my case, write. I hope to post a few stories from the other side of the Atlantic and let everyone know what the people on the other side of the planet think about the turmoil and issues that seem to fill the newspapers and televisions every day. But I promise the posts will not center on our political affairs.

Ireland 2012 - Day Four - 03

Our trip will take us to Heathrow, Dublin, Adare, Limerick, and many of the places we have come to know and love along the southwestern coast of Ireland. The weather will be balmy (45-55 degrees), but as I told my students on Friday, we are not going there to head to the beach.

For us, it’s a time to decompress, forget about the issues that seem to consciously and unconsciously fill our minds as we try to do the best we can. In some sense, it’s a chance to take a deep breath, fill our lungs with clean air from another part of the planet, and look at things with a from a slightly different point of view. It’s a chance to slow down, something we don’t seem to do often enough.

So if you happen to read this and you are wondering what it will be like in Ireland today, follow along. I can assure you it will be an adventure. Day one begins …

Twitter: @DavidArenstam

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David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at