Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Travel Tails

Such a Dream

Imagine going to bed at night and once falling asleep, experiencing the most amazing dream. I’m talking full colour, vivid as if experiencing, fully immersed dream, like being in a movie. Come morning, I remembered every bit of it, every detail and shared that with my family.
“I had the craziest dream last night,” I started with a grin, “so crazy. There was this crazy runaway, it was so exciting … horse runaway, not truck,” I added with a grin because I knew where his head would immediately go.
“I figured as much,” hubby snorted, “you were twitching and jumping all over the place. I couldn’t get a wink of sleep.”
“It was so good,” laughing, I shrugged, “It was like being in Ireland last night, and I didn’t have to get on a plane.”
The dream was forgotten. The day went on, and before we knew it, it was time to fall back into bed. Lo and behold, the dream repeated itself all over again, every nuance, every bit of it in clear detail. I woke exhausted from all the times hubby woke me from it. The next night, it replayed once more. With a sigh, I gave in and began to write it down. I knew it would keep repeating, night after night, until I did. After all, this wasn’t the first time I’d experienced such a vivid dream. It had happened before, many years before, right after sweetpea was born. By the time it ended, I had written a whole novel worth of story, tried to pursue it but got nowhere, and swore I’d never allow it to happen again. Never again, would I lose so much of my life, to something that absorbs so much time. Now here I was all over again, with a repeating dream that wouldn’t go away until it was written down. Only then, would it continue. I was very familiar with the drill. I had no choice in the matter. I was doomed to night after night of the same dream, if I didn’t get it out.
That was the beginning. Three years later, I had enough written to create almost three, big novels. Still, I knew from past experience that there was no point in getting my hopes up. It’s just not that easy to get published. A few friends read what I’d written and loved it, but that was it. Then I met someone who knew how to type and was handy on a computer. I sold her a couple of horses, and spent quite a bit of time working with the horses and her. In return, she offered to get the story moved from paper to the computer. There came a point where I realized that I should give it another try. Sure, the last novel I’d dreamt and written down hadn’t gone anywhere, but this was a new story and a new time in my life. This dream was happening across the ocean, in the lands of the Celts and Gaels. Like the young woman in my dreams, I had to go to Ireland and Scotland. I had never been anywhere over the pond, and I simply had to go. How else would I know, if anything I saw in my dreams was real? The problem was, to afford to go. Still, the idea continued to nag at me, and I began to scour the ads for the best travel deal.
As always, sweetpea and I were busy with the horses. We were still raising Morgan horses, though not showing any longer. I also gave some riding lessons to help new owners and to add a few pennies to the coffers. We weren’t going to get to go to Europe on wishing. We had to raise some cash. This was the same year that Sweetpea bought back a gelding we’d sold years before, as well as bringing Chico into our lives. The gelding was sold, as were a few other, good Morgans we had for sale. The old boy, Chico was a great lessons horse, and we used him so much, it was hard to imagine what we ever did without him. Suddenly, we had enough money to go on an adventure. Still, as a good Manitoban, we still needed to find a good enough deal. We didn’t have money to burn. It was important to be frugal and find the best prices possible on everything. That perfect deal suddenly appeared, and we leapt at it. Two days later, sweetpea and I were on a plane, winging our way to a new experience. We were going to travel and experience the world like the main character in my dream did. No plans other than riding as much as we could, and immersing ourselves in the country and culture. We didn’t book anything, no accomadations, no tours, nothing. In order to really experience it, we had to stick to the dream. Everything would fall into place if it was meant to, and we were eager to get started.
After a long flight over that took all night, we arrived in Dublin, Ireland, tired but too excited with anticipation to be bothered by it. Ever mindful of our limited budget, we scanned the board at the bus station for where to go. Drawn to a special, seven Euros to go to Cork, we smiled at each other. It was as good a place to start as any, Cork it would be.
From Cork, we took the bus to Blarney. After all, it was where Blarney castle and the Blarney stone were. We had to go there. We meandered all over Blarney castle where my teen girlchild leapt over a gap of long-absent flooring that spanned a drop of several floors, to explore a room, then easily leapt back again only to declare with disgust and a wrinkled nose that it smelled like pee. We enjoyed beautiful gardens, kissed the Blarney stone and climbed so many stairs. Castles have a secret way out, in case of siege. Sweetpea and a stranger found the appeal of a dark space under the castle far too appealing, so while the stranger’s wife and I stood there wondering why they would go into the inky darkness, they ventured into the black void to nowhere. Shaking our heads, the wife and I shared shrugs and grins, sometimes you have to let the explorers go see what there was to see, even when visibility was at zero. They only returned because they couldn’t see what they were doing, or where they were going.
“A torch,” the man called back to us, “if only we had a torch.”
“Yeah mom,” sweetpea agreed, the regret in her voice evident, “if only we had a flashlight.”
I’m sure if we ever go back, she’ll be prepared with that flashlight, and finish her explorations. Even without being able to see how far under the castle she could go, or where it led to, the castle and grounds were amazing. The castle ruin was impressive, as was the private residence of Blarney manor house.
After a day of exploring, we spent our first night at a bed and breakfast that used to be a monastery. Over three hundred years old, it certainly fit with what we wanted to experience. We were welcomed with tea and fresh, blackberry scones served from a silver tea set on a silver platter. Somehow, it was fitting … perfect to end our first day of new experiences. The antiques in our room only added to that. The adventure had certainly begun. The next day we overslept, as the lack of sleep had finally caught up to us, but were ready and eager to get to it. After all, we were in Ireland, land of the horse. We had to find new adventures and horses to ride. Our adventure had only begun.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB