Almost all of my family and friends know that I was accepted into the UMSL Irish Studies program. I’ll be spending 5 weeks in Ireland taking classes at NUI in Galway. This, naturally, comes with challenges. The first was realizing I’d be the oldest – by far!!! – student enrolled. Next came the panic of knowing this was REALLY happening and of all the things that could go wrong here at home in those five weeks. Then came trying to book a flight there and back – no easy feat!! In fact, I became so distraught I damn near had a panic attack, so Scott took over and finally, after about 4 hours, we figured it out. Nick, I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to see you on your birthday this year. I’ll raise of glass of Guiness to you, though, and thank all the gods that be for giving you to me 25 years before. Now, all I have to do is find lodging for 2 nights before classes start (shouldn’t be that hard) and find lodging for the week after classes end when Scott will be able to join me. This will be the first time I’m traveling so far alone and, I’m not going to hide this, I’m a bit terrified. I’m trying not to panic again, but now I’m thinking about all the packing and things I might need. Medication. Clothes. Shoes. Shampoo and conditioner. Razors. chapstick. bonine. notebooks. pens. computer. outlet converter. Euros. contact the back and credit card company. SO. FREAKING. MUCH!!! Then, a sudden thought occured to me. Ireland is a very, very civilized country. They have STORES there!!! As long as I have my medication, identification, passport, and credit cards sorted out, if I forget something, I can just buy it there. Whew!!! Only 3 months to go!