When my grandmother (Nannie) Catherine Kearns came from Co. Wexford Ireland in the early 1900’s she did what most young ladies from Ireland did, they worked as domestics. These immigrant women, washed, fed and clothed the wealthy of America. Those were the only jobs they could get. My grandmother left Ireland and the Irish behind. To my knowledge she never saw her family again. Her main focus was to be an American and that she was. My mother was one of six children, five who married and produced quite a brood of Irish clansmen. I am one of my grandmother’s forty grandchildren, I was on the young end of the line. My most vivid memory of Nanny is not of her singing Irish lullabies, or Irish songs about long lost loves, or Irish fighting songs, no pubs songs at all. I do however remember those times when all of my cousins, and our parents spent Christmas at my Nanny’s two bedroom cottage like home, packed like sardines, toward the end of the day someone would ask her to sing , sing the one and only song I ever remember her singing, George M.Cohan’s You’re A Grand Old Flag, as the room grew silent we would wait until she was ready. Thinking back I get choked up thinking what this song meant to her as an immigrant and all that she left behind to become a true patriot. For some reason no one knew when my grandmother’s exact birthday was although I know that she was born in 1887 in Erie (this according to the 1940 US census), so we celebrated her birthday on July 4th. So here’s a Happy Birthday to America and to my Nanny. Feel free to sing along!
You’re a grand old flag, You’re a high flying flag And forever in peace may you wave. You’re the emblem of The land I love. The home of the free and the brave. Ev’ry heart beats true ‘neath the Red, White and Blue, Where there’s never a boast or brag. Should auld acquaintance be forgot, Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
I was lucky enough to go to Boston this past week for a Light room seminar. I had lunch with one of my oldest friends (and I mean that in every sense of the word Gary!). I had wanted to spend a little time in the city, but I had to get my car off of Beacon St. within minutes or be ticketed…as I was walking past the John Hancock building this is what caught my eye. The moment I had was just fleeting, but I love the way it turned out.
Today is Father’s Day and I realized that I have been without my own father to celebrate with longer than was able to celebrate him, to tell him what he taught me, how I loved him, and that I did listen to the lessons he taught me. I never got to thank him for providing for his brood of eight, and for baking us bread, and growing us vegetables. He never got to meet my four boys, who would have love him, and he in return. I never got to laugh over the time I asked my mother if I could get my ears pierced (I was turning 9) and she said to ask my father. I am pretty sure that when my father said yes, my mother went nuts, and told me that if my father wanted my ears pierced he could bring him. And he did. And I am pretty sure that my father waited over 2 hours because he was not going to go home without my ears pierced. I still laugh about it to myself. So thanks Daddy for all the laughs, and for being stubborn and getting my ears pierced for me. Happy Father’s Day and keep up the good work watching over me!
After taking a small sabbatical from blogging, I’m back with some words and photos I hope you’ll enjoy. My last post was from my favorite in the world, well my world at least. The Adirondack Park is full of everyday beauty, some of which I have never had the time, or maybe the inclination to stop and really admire. Last week on my mini vacation to Lake George I decided that on a trip to town instead of rushing to town, and rushing back to the landing I would make sure I stopped and actually took in some of the beauty. With that being said it was well worth the slowing down and enjoying what’s around me.