Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Green Beans and Gratitude

Okay, well...I've carried about twenty bags of groceries into my house, cut more onions than I care to think about, shoved more stuff in my oven than it's seen in months, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! And...I'm not the one who's having Thanksgiving this year! 
Thanksgiving is a mega-event with two huge Irish families coming together (the pre-birth control set). In the old days, pre-microwaves, they did all of this with six/seven kids running around. TV was black and white and they had no childcare either...they couldn't even toss a dvd in to occupy those ankle-biters! Wait, I was one of those ankle-biters...well, not in one of these households. I grew up in a NJ household, this is a Northern Westchester crew. I was of the shanty-Irish variety, although my father would have none of that. To him, we were just as "white curtain Irish" as any other! But we were always told to mind our manners, or the neighbors would think we were no better than shanty Irish. On a visit to County Mayo, the home of my mother, I found out that they had no knowledge of that saying...or perhaps they wanted no part of it, I wasn't sure about that. Their silence made me think about it anyway. I've never used that expression again, until now anyway. I began to respect what that expression really means to the many who starved over there in the "old country."
For now, we're living off the fat of the land...literally! I do LOVE Thanksgiving. What could be better than coming together one more year to stuff our faces, share our stories, and celebrate all the ages and stages, the face of the good life? So, it's back to the green bean casserole, and oh yeah...the creamed onions for Grandpa too.  Nothing new, only the familiar. This is the only time all year that I can honestly say I will be opening a can of Campbell's mushroom soup. Have you ever wondered about that wobbly white stuff inside that can? I sure have! But for now...for the sake of tomorrow, it's all good. (And Dad...I will be sure to mind my manners too!)


Smileyblueyes said...

Ah, hello Gael, my irish-sister soulmate. Reading your blog is like going home for me. And I, too, prepared green bean casserole for an army, with a grateful heart, and reminisced the days of ol' with splashes of irish music, while preparing the chestnut sausage stuffing. How is it that we could be so far away from our own childhood and yet, so similar in adulthood? Must be something sacred given to us by our ancestors that we strive to pass on to our own...don;t you agree? Grace filled moments...that is what I call them.
I see by your finally made it "home" to Ireland. You deserved that. I still haven't been back since I was 9. But the dream remains the same...
I am sorry I missed you at the SPHS reunion. We will chat...and catch up....I am glad I found your blog, leprachaun friend. We have so many things to catch up on......Smileyblueyes, of course. follow the links to my web page for school...."about me" you will laugh at the photo from third grade.....

gael lynch said...

Well, what a treat Diane! I tried to contact you only recently...left a message at Classmates, I think it was.
Not to worry about the reunion. Nancy Rip. contacted me and we went together. Saw a few of the people that Nancy was mostly involved with, but not really too many others that we hung around with.
Diane...4 kids! You did me one better! I have 3 kids...Matt, 26, Cait, 23, and Tim, who's almost 20.
I can't tell you how important that trip to Ireland was.
It amazed me. I felt like it really gave me a true spiritual connection to my mom for the very first time. I haven't been the same since. :) Tommy and I are enjoying our sometimes empty nest, but we also love having our kids home! I'm so excited to be back in touch with you. Life comes full circle once again! Let's stay in touch this time. I email back and forth with Nancy and Deb too. Talk to you soon. Loved the third grade photo of you!!! Remember how you used to drag me up on stage to "fake Irish stepdance" with you?! I have a teacher that I teach with who reminds me of you...and guess what--she convinced me to TEACH Irish stepdancing with her as a fundraiser donation! Boy, did I laugh! Thank God we never had to actually do it!! I was going to be the girl on the sound system.
Life is good...we live differently. You may know that. Tommy is in a wheelchair...but crazier than ever. He's home full-time and I go to work. He delivers flowers to me at least once every two weeks. I'm very, very blessed!!!