12.13.2007

Stories told by flowers: Lorelei


These are Lorelei's orchids. Lorelei doesn't garden particularly, but she's always liked having some greenery in her house. Some friends gave her this beautiful orchid plant as a house-warming gift when she and Roland moved into their place in Dublin. She told me she was worried about taking care of it and did I know what it needed. Ooo sorry, orchids don't tell me anything about what they want. So she did her best. And would you please just look at this incredible, fantastic display of gorgeous, outrageous blooms!?


I've known Lorelei since she was in high school -- that would make it about 14 years. She was one of my students and what a joy! Every teacher's dream -- a fun, excited, laughing out loud, full of life-type person. I don't think I've ever met anyone quite so out-going. She makes friends easy as pie and stays with that friend forever. I can't believe how many people she knows and how long she's known them.

This is Marsood and he is her godson. He's the child of one of Lorelei's very, very good friends. Marsood's parents are amazing people. They have six kids -- some are his from an earlier relationship, some are hers, some are theirs that they've adopted. And these guys were willing to take crack babies and give them love and a home and an education. They truly are remarkable.

Earlier this year, Lorelei decided to make one of her life-long dreams come true: she was moving to Ireland. She'd talked about it for years. And then, out of nowhere, she met this lovely Irish man. And Lorelei doesn't fall easily in love. In fact, in all the years I've known her, I don't think she ever had a boyfriend. She liked guys okay, but maybe there wasn't a lot of trust there. Her friends must have given her about a dozen different going away parties.

Probably the hardest person to say good-bye to was Marsood.


Roland is the lovely Irish man that Lorelei met, fell in love with, and moved to Ireland to live with. I haven't met him yet but from everything she's said, he's a sweetheart. I'm really, really, really happy for both of them. They go about Ireland pretty regularly, finding interesting hikes, walks, farms, pubs and....

That was quite a hike that day. They climbed Croagh Patrick Mountain. I think Croagh means Saint. Nice view, eh?


People make pilgrimages to Saint Patrick Church at the top of the mountain.

It makes me very happy to think of Lorelei dancing through the woods with her young man. That's the thing about caring for someone: you really want them to be happy in their life. I think she looks happy, don't you?



Lovely spot. I'll ask Lorelei where they were that day. When you go to Ireland, you can take this walk too and see this view.

Recently, Lorelei and Roland traveled to Belgium, where Lorelei's mom was born and where her maternal grandmother lives. As long as I've known Lorelei, she's told me wonderful stories about her bonnemammy. And of course she wanted Roland to meet her.

Naturally you don't travel all that way and skip seeing the sights. When Allison and I went to Europe after she graduated high school, we visited Mont St. Michel too.

I need to ask her about this one. What the hell is an anchor doing in the front yard of a castle, for crying out loud? Oh well.

So that brings us up to the present -- okay, this is a few weeks ago. Roland cooked Thanksgiving dinner while Lorelei

trimmed their tree. Isn't it beautiful?

It's kind of hard for me to really "get" that Lorelei lives in Dublin, in Ireland. That's weird, you know? It'll be more understandable when I go visit her. I do miss her, a lot.