What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Importance of Coordinates July 20, 2017

I spent three summers living in Alaska. I love the quirks of that beautiful place, and you sort of get that feeling that it’s preparing you for other adventures in life. Like how you start to feel super cocky about living in a place where an address is really just whatever mile marker you live closest to, and a prayer that your mail actually gets to you. And then we went to Ireland.

The first two days were fine. We were staying in a city. We’d bought the update so our Garmin worked in Ireland, which sort of felt like cheating, but whatever. But then Killarney happened.

Killarney is amazingly beautiful. We got there before dark and wanted to poke around the outside of the national park to see what sorts of things we wanted to do the next day. We found the park, found a way in, found a ruin.


It was simply breathtaking.

I had naively been expecting Killarney National Park to be like an American national park—all rough trails and long forgotten woods. But it was more like an estate placed in national trust. Beautiful lawns, ruins, paddle boat rentals, a castle but we’ll get to that later.

We figured out what we wanted to do on our big park day and decided to head back to the hotel. Put the hotel in the Garmin…nothing. (more…)


The Hair Hacker April 27, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was little, my parents used our house as a Bed and Breakfast. To me, that mostly meant having ten minutes to find every sock I had lost in the house when someone called from town and wanted a room for the night. But every once in a while, there was a guest that stood out.

There was one regular who came to the Inn all the time. He was divorced, and every time he had his two girls for the weekend he would bring them to the Inn. I don’t know if he didn’t have room for them at home or if he just didn’t want to be on his own with two children, but whatever the reason, two weekends a month he would show up. One of the girls was a little older than I was and really cool, but the little one was just a little crazy. She was always nice when we played together, but she had a very strong desire to cut her hair.

Whenever this family was coming, my mother would have to go through the inn and hide everything that could possible cut hair. Sewing scissors, nail clippers, everything.

If you forgot a Swiss army knife, that kid would find it and start chopping off chunks of her hair! (more…)