Top of the morning to you! Today is a special day in my family~you see I celebrate all things Irish, not just today but every day. As many know, last year hubby and I had the privilege to travel to Ireland to see where my grandparents were raised. These are some of the photos we took.
father was born in County Kerry and her mother was born in County Longford.
From what we know they immigrated to the United States while in their
20's, their families probably looking for a rich new land after having
gone through the results of the potato famine. The details are sketchy
and much is unknown, including how they came to know one another. I
will say though that most immigrants were a tight knit group of people
and being that they settled in San Francisco, I can only assume this is
where they met. My mother had a brother and a sister and lived most of
her life in San Francisco, until heading to Palo
Alto with my father and our family. I never met my grandparents and
from my recollections my grandfather died when she was in her teens and
her mother was an invalid. Mom took care of my grandmother, who died a
year after her father and also cared for her brother and sister. Mom
often said her mother had an unusual sense of humor which I believe she
passed on to my Mom, as well as to my brother.
My fondest memories of my Mom were of her trying to teach me how to do a
"jig". Often Mom would slip into a brogue and when I was in college
while visiting Canada, many thought I was from Boston due to my
pronunciation of certain words...which I felt came from Mom nd was verified when we were in Ireland.
Many of the stories I grew up hearing and believing revolved around
Leprechauns and Banshees as well as "plates dancing on the walls, due to
the little people". My brother and I often laugh about this now
wondering if it was the Irish Whiskey that influenced what my
grandparents saw. Every year on St.Patty's Day Mom would put on green
clothing, green plastic shamrock earrings and wear a Kelly green plastic
hat. My dad always sent her green carnations, for this was how they
celebrated the day. Even now I still look for green carnations at the market and decorate with special pieces; this years I've got a few more pieces of Belleek pottery out. Of course, we always ate Corned Beef and Cabbage,
although I think this is more of an Irish-American dish.
My brother has so many of my parents traits, a wonderful sense of humor,
an incredible work ethic and deep loyalty to family and friends. I
like to think I carry some of their traits as well~a bit of moxie, a tad
bit of stubbornness(!!!)and of course deep loyalty to family and friends. I never knew mom as an adult, but I know her "Irish eyes are smiling" down at me.
Our daughters grew up celebrating St.Patrick's Day; I would often
sprinkle gold glitter on their bedroom dressers and play other small
pranks, telling them that the Leprechauns had visited our home. All of
our grands have been raised knowing this side of their heritage and the
importance of wearing green today.
When you visit the land of our grandparents, it is amazing how traditions and habits are explained. I am so proud of my heritage and the history our family shares. Hubby and I will be having a traditional American-Irish dinner tonight; I said American Irish because they really didn't have Corned Beef back in Ireland~more likely it was lamb or just potatoes. We will be toasting the Emerald Isle and my family.
We might even be watching a few Irish movies tonight like Leap Year.
May your day be filled with a bit of Irish!
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