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Thanksgiving Day in Dublin, Ireland

Updated on November 29, 2016
juneaukid profile image

Richard F. Fleck spent six months in Ireland with his family while doing research on sabbatical leave at Trinity College Library, Dublin.

Trinity College Library 1972

Trinity College Library, Dublin
Trinity College Library, Dublin

Thanksgiving Day in Dublin, Ireland

I took a six-month sabbatical leave in Ireland a number of years ago. My family and I stayed at my wife's old homestead in the Irish countryside. I would frequently take the train from nearby Dundalk to Dublin to stay with my wife's relatives on Phibsboro Road in Dublin, not too far from Trinity College where I did research on Thoreau's influence on Irish writers during Ireland's quest for independence.

It just so happened that on the American Thanksgiving holiday, I found myself doing research at Trinity College Library in the Long Room (see image). I didn't think much about the fact that I would not be with family and friends sitting down to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

I requested a number of books to look through for my research that were brought to my desk in the Long Room. As I read through pertinent sections of each book and took notes, I looked up into the seeming miles of shelves of classic, musty old volumes and thought it was quite novel that a library should be open on Thanksgiving Day. But of course, there is no Thanksgiving Day in Ireland, nor any other European country. Nonetheless, I got a kick out of working on what was for me Thanksgiving Day.

But as the day wore on with the tolling each hour of the Trinity College bell, I grew hungrier and hungrier. I left my books on the table and walked out into the streets of Dublin looking for a restaurant. When I found a suitable place to eat, I sat down and looked at the menu. No turkey dinner! So, I ordered sausage and chips with malted vinegar and a cup of hot tea. Somehow, it didn't quite do it. I had a sudden rush of homesickness and felt miserable and lonely as I ate my sausage and chips.

I tried not to think about joyous Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends near a crackling log fire not unlike those of the pilgrims in the old Massachusetts Bay Colony. Oh how I missed it all as I left the restaurant and walked out into a heavy rain under grey skies and trudged back to my pile of books at Trinity College Library feeling like Jonah in the whale's belly.

Be Truly thankful this Thanksgiving when you sit down to a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie with family and friends!!


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    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thanks Chinafood, I appreciate your comment from a while ago. I just returned from Ireland.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Again thanks for your comment torrilynn

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      I really did enjoy reading your story. the ending was quite sad but overall it was very well put together and well written. Voted up and shared.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you, Ashley. Good luck in London

    • Ashley Hagood profile image

      Ashley Hagood 7 years ago

      This is an interesting hub. I moved to London to study for a few years and spent most of my Thanksgivings doing research too! Thanks for sharing.

    • chinafood profile image

      chinafood 7 years ago from china

      Ireland is really a beautiful place

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you Hello,hello. Trinity College Library is utterly amazing--The Book of Kells is housed there as well.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      That was a lovely description of how you missed the Thanksgiving dinner. It is amazing what we are accustomed to and miss it. That library is absolutely amazing. Thank you, juneaukid, for the lovely trip down memory lane.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you, Tom

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      We too often take for granted that which is precious in our lives. Thanks for sharing this story.