Moving to Ireland Musings

Procrastination: a terminal illness

It’s been over a week since I put in writing that I’d throw down another post, the very next day, about how I came to discover that the story I heard in Miltown Malbay was true.  At this point, it’s like, “what story?  Let me go back and refresh my memory… oh right, the old Irish chap and his uncle’s hotel.”  If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself over the years, it’s that it’s hard for me to follow through on things unless under threat of consequence, and if there is that threat, under extreme duress of waiting until the last minute.  This particular situation doesn’t really apply, as there’s no real consequence, but it brings up some other interesting things going on right now with my upcoming move.

But first, let me finish off the continuation of my last story.

So.  I don’t know why, but I never thought to actually look into the things this priest told me.  That’s strange for me, because I google stalk like a real predator and I enjoy the challenge of trying to dig up useful bits from various corners of the interwebs.  But, mid-way through writing, I decided I’d try to take the few pieces of information I did know and maybe piece them together.  I started off with the search term, “Baltimore fire 1904 hotels.”  This brought up several websites that referenced the fire and a few different hotels affected by the disaster.  It didn’t take long at all to find the Mullins Hotel.  That sounded like it could maybe be Irish, so I searched, “Mullin surname Irish.”  According the the website Irish Times, “Mullan, together with its variants Mullin, Mullen, Mullane, McMullan, and Mullins, can have a variety of distinct origins. [I]t may be the anglicisation [sic] of the Irish name Ó Maoláin…”

From there, I looked further into this hotel and found that it was owned by a man named Martin Mullin.  There wasn’t too much about him other than the fact he owned the Mullins hotel and Mullins Restaurant (110 W. Baltimore St and 3 N. Liberty, not sure which is which) with a Thomas Mullin (brother?) and that sadly, he was 1 of 5 to die from complications that arose after the fire (pneumonia, TB, or likely another respiratory illness).  For the final piece of the puzzle, I ended with, “Mullin Miltown Malbay.”  Sure enough, the first result was for a Canon Seamus Mullin, a now retired but former Parish Priest in the town.  Google images sealed the deal.  This was the guy.

I still find myself amazed at what kind of stuff exists on the internet.  What’s more amazing is that this priest’s contact information was listed on the archdiocese website.  I’ve thought about contacting him; telling him that his story stuck with me, inspired me to write, and ultimately led me to find out about his family’s past in the place I now call home.  I’ve thought about going to the locations and taking pictures of them, then trying to find photos of the buildings before the blaze.  Personally, I would love to get an email (or better yet, letter) with that kind of stuff.  But I’m not most people.  Would he find it weird or even creepy?  Maybe.  Who knows.  Knowing me, I’ll probably end up doing it anyway.

With this part done, I finally feel a bit of closure.  But procrastination to write isn’t my biggest problem right now.  My projected move date is looming in the not-so-distant future yet I continue to do next to nothing to ready myself for it.  There are repairs I need to make: sealing the skylight then repairing the water-damaged drywall, filling giant screw holes in the walls from the last tenants, painting.  Then there’s making this place presentable for a slew of possible tenants who are going to roll through.  My room is better than it has been in awhile due to bursts of motivation here and there (not Hula-related), but it is still not fit for the eyes of strangers.  It seems the list only grows on the day to day.

I did however manage to do some landscaping this past Saturday afternoon.  I willed myself out of bed around 9 am and headed to Walmart in Glen Burnie where I loaded up with flowers and potting soil.  When I got home, I cut the glass and planted the flowers in the once weed-ridden pots out front.  I think it turned out pretty well.  Hopefully now whoever that woman is who keeps coming into my yard to pick up the neighborhood’s trash tumbleweeds will stop thinking I’m some kind of miserable tramp and blight on the block.

I’d like to think I learned some valuable lessons from my last international departure.  The stress and money I wasted by leaving everything until the last minute nearly gave me a stroke.  Yet, I see myself falling into the same patterns; thinking I have more than enough time and that my list isn’t really as labor-intensive as it seems.  What is the most ridiculous about it all is that I openly recognize this is happening but I’m not attempting to change.  Maybe I like this kind of torture.

I’ll end this one not with a promise to write again tomorrow, but to try harder to change my current course toward a calmer path, where I break up tasks over a series of weekends until I reach my last day and board the plane not in a lightening storm of nerves, but with a sense of serenity and excitement for this next adventure.


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