Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day

My mother was a collector and passed that passion on to me. When she passed away this past January, I inheirited all of her collcetions as I have no living sibling. I have to decide what to keep and what to let go. I will keep her china collections of course. My dad used to buy her Belleek and she wanted me to keep that. It's the only thing she asked me not to part with.

There are several other pieces but these were her favourites. My dad bought her the harp during their first trip to Barbados about twenty-six years ago. I would love to find out more about the teacups which are Royal Albert. There is a set of six, two yellows, two pinks and two greens. If you are familiar with these, I'd love to hear from you.

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

My grandmother, Eleanor, came to Canada from Monaghan County, Ireland when she was just sixteen years old. She came to live here with her two elder sisters, Sarah and Mariah. Imagine such a trip at such a tender age. She never again saw her mother but continued to send money to her right up until her mother's death. Her father came to Canada to see his daughters and one of his sons. There was always this delightful story of how my mother took a rag and cleaned his shoes and then climbed up on his knee and washed his face. His daughters, in an attempt to impress him with Canada, took him to see Niagara Falls. His comment on the Horseshoe Falls was, "Sure and it would be something it they ran the otherway."

My grandmother told us so many stories of Ireland and her family that I almost feel as though I grew up there. My grandmother never lost her Irish accent and when she talked with her sisters one of the things they used to say was 'do yah mind the time . . " or "do yah mind Mister Peeps and the time he . . ."

My grandmother used to tell us stories of Faulkland Castle where my great, great grandparents Lord and Lady Martin lived. The castle has long since left our family and fallen to ruins. These are pictures of their portraits and they don't really look the part of the Lord and Lady.

What fine memories I have of my Irish family. Below is one of the piggies from my mother's pig collection.

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