Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wearing of the Green

Our Ireland National Flag that we fly during March to celebrate our heritage.

Wearing of the Green

O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that's goin' round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick's Day we'll keep, his color can't be seen

For there's a cruel law ag'in the Wearin' o' the Green."

Saint Patrick's Day is more than a simple holiday to me; it touches my heart as I remember a brave couple who boarded that ship in 1842 bound for St. Johns, New Brunswick...

Dennis and Catherine Cussen along with their children left behind all they held dear to start a new life in a new country. After arriving in Canada they later went to Boston and then on to Wisconsin to settle. I wonder if they or my Great-Great Grandfather William ever thought of the generations of descendants they would not live to see. I think of them often, but mostly around Saint Patrick's Day when the entire world seems to become Irish.

While we celebrate with green beer, Corned Beef dinners and parades we often forget that a vast amount of the Irish people who came to our shores did so out of desperation. And while nearly 2 million people fled Ireland seeking a better life throughout the world, more than a million of them died on Ireland's soil during this time.

Table arrangement for our St. Patrick's Day family dinner.

I grew up listening to Irish and American Folk music and the sound of a good ballad sends my heart soaring and my mind wandering to a place I have never set foot in. I have been to St. Johns and found the surrounding countryside in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia to be breathtaking... oh how I wanted to be able to cross the sea and glimpse the home of my ancestors. If I close my eyes I can just hear the beautiful music that my daughter Becki and I listened to at a traditional Ceilidh while in P.E.I.

Our fountain gone green.

When our children were small I would wake them singing When Irish Eyes are smiling and put them to sleep with An Irish Lullaby (Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra), they loved one and hated the other! Often they would wake on St. Patrick's Day to coins of gold or a golden nugget left by the wee people in exchange for the potato they had left out and we'd drink green koolaid or some silly something I made up...

This year I whipped up a complete meal with Jameson and Orange Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef and Carrots, Buttered Steamed Cabbage, Champ (mashed potatoes with chives) and Green Beans. For dessert we had Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting... which were wonderful if I do say so myself... my son-in-law seemed to love them!

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Glazed Carrots and those wonderful Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes...

As I sit here at the computer I can hear Althea Clare (named after the county in Ireland) talking with her Papa; earlier she cried as Dorie Jean  (named after a Dory which is a small fishing boat found in Ireland and other coastal areas) left to go home . I love telling them stories of the wee folks, singing Irish songs to them and helping them know where we came from so long ago.

Becki and Althea wearing their green at the local St. Patty's Day Celebration.

A Wish for a Friend

Wishing you a rainbow

For sunlight after showers—

Miles and miles of Irish smiles

For golden happy hours—

Shamrocks at your doorway

For luck and laughter too,

And a host of friends that never ends

Each day your whole life through!

If you'd like to read up a little on Dennis and Catherine Cussen just click to link below.


Doreen said...

great reminder of what St. Patrick's Day is all about. I think I am 1/4 Irish.

Carolina Mountains said...

My grandmother was a Dillon from County Cork! I have never been there but will go someday. Lovely post. Happy St Pat's.

Pauline said...

Oh darn, you brought a tear to my eye. I too grew up surrounded by Irish tunes, my father's favourite to waltz around the lounge with us was An Irish Lullaby. My seven brothers carried Dad's casket from the church at his funeral to that tune. And we all sang Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra and my sisters and I sort of waltzed along behind. The song was planned but the waltzing wasn't, we all just naturally did it.
Your celebrations look just wonderful! Or "grand" as my dad would have said.

DawnTreader said...

I had not idea until recently that St Patrick's was celebrated outside Ireland at all.
DawnTreader's Picture Book: Friday My Town

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

I am 1/4 Irish and my paternal grandmother used to sing to us but her stories about her mother and family were cut short as her mom, Maggie Fitzgerald, died at a young age and my grandmother had to take over helping to raise 7 children. Wonderful post. Loved it

Sandra said...

way cool post, a real Irish family

Pblacksaw said...

It's funny though that when Irsih music plays everybody breaks into a jig.. you reckon we are all Irish on that day??! I love Beckie in green hair..

Sarah said...

Oh what a sweet post!! Thank you for sharing your traditions with us!! I loved this!! Hugs, SArah

In the eye of the beholder said...

This is an awesome way to share an Irish Day! What a great job you've done! Love it!

spiritsoflena said...

Great post! I really loved the fountain shot. Those cupcakes look wonderful.

J9 said...

It is a great day to remember those who came before us to make our lives better.

Rebecca said...

Love the green fountain, but the hair takes the cake!