I drove down to the bowels of the country today, back into a lost place, the Ireland that I had thought no longer existed. Middle son had a training in Thurles, Tipperary and so we headed off at nine am to make the two and a half hour journey. Actually, just writing two and a half hours doesn't sound long at all but when you have to navigate narrow roads and potholes and tractors and dangerous cow crossing signs it really is a long time and never mind having to retrace that same journey to come home. Being in the car with your sixteen year old is highly recommended though. You learn a lot about the individual beside you. You talk. Nothing forced. Sometimes it crosses your mind that maybe you did not change his diaper and wipe his sweet little ass or breast feed him into the ungodly hours or wipe his nose and rush him to the emergency room at midnight. No. Beside you sits a confident young man with quite a definite slant on life. A fresh breeze or rather, a raging storm with soothing bamboos rustling in the background. Who happens to see life as a, well, a Basketball game, an art, a soaring leap, a rebound, a swish with many points. I tried to tell him that life wasn't always like that, that someone could come along, twice as fast, grab the ball and sorry dear son, but run with it. He discounted Mom's wisdom, his phone was alive with incoming text messages. I turned up the music and wondered at Bob Dylans wisdom, the poet he is. When I got to the drop off point he leaped from the car and joined the other giants waiting to go into the gym. He was staying over night, to be hosted by a Basketball Family and so his Dad will make the journey tomorrow to pick him up. On the way back I had loads of time for contemplation. I thought about how much one does as a parent, the sacrifices one offers up. I spent the whole day devoted to what his needs are. If I could spend five hours writing......I won't even go there. I got something out of today though. I fell in love. I fell in love quite unexpectedly. Driving along lost in my own thoughts and I saw the sign Animal Sanctuary sign out of the corner of my eye, about an hour out of Galway. I pulled over. Drove up the narrow road to the big old gates that opened onto an avenue to lead me there. I met two women who work there, Jackie and Emma, both devoting their lives out of compassion for the unwanted beagles, terriers, collies, mixed breeds, old dogs with hernias, the washed up, unloved that filled the compound. I told them I was thinking about a companion for Lenny. A female. Missy was introduced. She is adorable, a tricoloured, rough haired terrier, she wagged her tiny tail, licked my hands. I filled out the necessary paperwork and now await a home visit from the Animal Welfare Warden. When I got home I was excited to tell hubby about Missy. She is so cute, I said...wait til you see her. Why don't you drop in tomorrow on your way from picking up son, I said. He looked unimpressed. Please, just check her out. He looked weary. Please I said. He eventually agreed. I did forget to mention the details that she seems to be suffering from heavy dose of worms, poor Missy, and the very real fact that she might, operative word here, MIGHT be pregnant. I hold my breath. Lets hope she's not.