This is the view from the back porch at my mother’s place in upstate New York. It’s about 20 minutes from Cooperstown; other than that, near nothing. It was my parents’ second home, bought in 1979. They had 76 acres at the start, eventually bought the land around them, more than doubling it. For second generation Irish growing up in poverty in New York City, this was the ultimate dream for them–to own a beautiful stretch of land. They named it after the place in Country Kerry that had been the home of my father’s people: Coomnakilla (in Irish, the Valley of Churches.) My father passed away on Staten Island, in the home where I grew up, suddenly and unexpectedly not long after the devastating shock of 9/11. His spirit lives on at Coomnakilla.