Updated: Mar 15
Biddy was exactly what we needed. Biddy is exactly what everyone needs.
I found her, while digging deep on the internet, trying to find unique things to do, while vacationing in Ireland. There weren't many details or reviews about the experience , except that she tells stories, and that it would certainly be the best memory of your vacation. So taking a leap of faith, I made the reservation, while nervously crossing my fingers.
You see, we only had five days in Ireland, so we would not be going to the Cliffs of Moher, we would be heading to Biddy's Cottage instead.
My husband was not exactly optimistic, as we parked the car, and began to walk up a curvy road, with the beautiful Irish Sea to our east.
The homes were large and stunning in Dalkey, which made me nervous, as I was told to look for a small cottage, of which there were none. However, as we wandered a bit further from town, I noticed the quaint home, with the red Dutch-door. Our knock was quickly responded to, with a smile and a hug. Immediately my anxiety faded, I unequivocally knew this was going to be a highlight with the family.
The six of us sat at attention, on the couch, and various adorable chairs, as Biddy took her spot in the front of the room. We exchanged introductions, and then this incredible woman transitioned into an Irish storyteller, full of wit and humor.
We followed Biddy with our eyes, as she moved around the cottage, talking about her heritage, family, and personal encounters. The backdrop to her silhouette was pictures of kin; going back generations, a fireplace with the iron arm (still intact and usable), and folk-art paintings that she created with her own hands.
From time to time, Biddy would disappear into her kitchen, and then emerge with amazing treats (homemade Irish oatcakes). She continued speaking as
she poured us tea, full of fresh infused elderflower.
We dared not move, for fear the beautiful stories may end, sitting mesmerized, as we
emphatically listened. She was able to engross of all my children, my husband and my mother-in-law spinning her picturesque yarns, moving with ease from one subject to another.
At this point, I truly believe I had my first girl crush, because Biddy is one of the first women I have ever met, that truly looked completely comfortable in her own skin. Her heart is in her storytelling, that is why she welcomes travelers and strangers into her home, because she wants to share with others what she loves, what she believes.
There was once a time when you would knock on a door; and visit with one another; with your relatives, with your neighbors, with your friends. Unfortunately, now that is a fading act.
However, Biddy is breathing life back into the idea of connecting to one another, and holding value in passing down stories from generations long ago. Biddy, thank you for inviting us into your home, reminding us of why we are truly here; to connect, to talk, to love one another. You undeniably were our favorite stop in Ireland. I will carry with me the stories you told, and the inspiration I felt in your living room.
Since we have been home, I find myself increasingly interested in the stories my mom is telling about her life, and those of her parents and grandparents. I now hang two large photos of my relatives, from the year 1909, in my dining room.
I will not wait until holidays to have family and friends over for dinner, and I will be sure to share the stories that these pictures capture.
I love the red door that welcomed us, for it made me remember once again, what is important. Connection and conversation. Thank you Biddy!
Lucie Dickenson is an inspirational blogger, wife, and mom to three unique and wonderful teenagers. Through her writing and in her personal life, she loves to inspire others, finding what makes their heart sing, so they can live in their truth every day.