Bleary-eyed. It's 5 am when I arrive in Shannon. Which is past my bedtime, I think, in Florida. My mind is a blur, everything is moving in slow motion. Coffee. Yes. It's quiet here in the airport. No rushing about or jockeying for position. Soft voices, kind faces. Even the public announcement voice sounds friendly. And then a familiar face appears (Listowel's ambassador extraordinaire, Damian Stack) and we are off chasing the sunrise on the way to Listowel.
There was a bit of light snow on the roads along the way. A dusting of Christmas, better than a red carpet welcome.
Waiting for me in the flat is a copy of Christmas in Listowel, a coloring book collaboration with illustrations by Olive Stack and story by yours truly. It is the first time I've seen it in print, and it is a beauty. An auspicious beginning, and a real honor to work on a project like this with Olive.
The shops in Listowel are all decked out with holiday decorations following the theme of the Lartigue Monorail and Listowel's North Pole Express (more on this later). A wonderland of coordination among the local businesses. I am already delighted. When it stops raining, I'll head out and get some photos. Um, oh yes, it doesn't stop raining here. I'll just grab my raincoat then, shall I?