My mother will be visiting Ireland in about six months. I wish I were going. I've always wanted to visit the land of my ancestors. I want to see the green rolling hills, the castles, look for lucky four leaf clovers and maybe catch a glimpse of a mischievous leprechaun. I won't be kissing the Blarney Stone because I've already been blessed with the gift of gab though I'd still like to take a picture of this famous stone. I don't drink but I can't visit Ireland without stepping into a pub or two and sampling the local brew.
My mother is taking this trip with the senior citizens she went with last year when they toured England, Scotland and Wales. She enjoyed last year's trip and since she'd never been to Ireland she didn't think twice about going. The itinerary includes Dublin, Limerick, Waterford and I don't remember the rest.
I've read quite a few books that take place in Ireland. Among these books were Angela's Ashes written by Frank McCourt and a series of books by Martha Long. Both of these authors wrote about their poor childhood. Martha Long's first book is Ma, He Sold Me For a Pack of Cigarettes and was a bit difficult to read because it was so sad. Martha talks about her poor depressing childhood in 1950's Dublin. I don't know how she survived but survive she did as she talks about her ups and downs, struggles and accomplishments in the series of books that followed her debut novel. Another poor Irish child was Frank McCourt. He was born in New York, U.S.A. to Irish parents who moved the family back to their homeland when he was about 4 years old. He wrote about his poor childhood in a book called Angela's Ashes. I would love to visit Limerick and see the places of Frank's youth mentioned in the book. I wonder if I give my mother a list of my places of interest in Dublin and Limerick would she take a picture for me? Probably not since she's travelling with a group. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait until I can make this journey myself.
My 3rd great-grandparents on my maternal grandmother's mother's side of the family were Patrick Devine and Emily Sheldon. They immigrated to the United States from Ireland. I have no idea what part of Ireland Emily was born in but I hope to find out before my mother's trip. I found a record a few months ago showing a Patrick Devine born in County Mayo. I'm 98%, no make that 99% sure that this is my Patrick. The next blog post will be 'Poor Patrick'. My mother is not visiting County Mayo on her group trip to Ireland but I'll be sure to add this county to my itinerary for my dream trip to Ireland.
I'm looking forward to my Irish adventure in the future but until then I'll have to be content with looking at pictures and brochures from my mother.