Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A personal note about...

A couple of years ago, here on my blog, I wrote about my families connection to Ireland in a Book Talk entry. Being that it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd share another incident that happened on the same journey.

Let me state that I was young, 17, making my first trip abroad and alone. Mistakes were made but I loved it so much, I went back again a few years later with my Mom. In size, this is a small country and yet its heart is huge.

Anyway, that first trip was short and sweet with the intension to see and experience as much as possible in my break after mid-terms. My grandma was with us then and she talked up checking out the place her father and uncle were born - the last Irish decendents in our family. There's no way I'd say no to Grammy, so I had a mission: visit County Carlow.

What? You haven't heard of it? Not to worry, it isn't one of the big ones although it was simply beautiful. No one knew the exact name of the village and wanting to making my grandma happy, I went to the only place she frequently mention and that I could catch a train from Dublin to and that was Carlow Town.

Haven't heard of it either? Not to worry, it was a lovely town. I remember walking over a bridge and enjoying the various shops and crowds of people out and about. There was a beautiful old building on the edge of town with a stunning orchard leading up to it. I took pictures, ready to pass them on to my grandma and show her the wonderful place she came from. I made my way to the side and there was a sign declaring what it was: a mental institution.

My family still has a good laugh over this discovery.

Next time someone tells you they're off to trace their roots, have a smile for them and wish them luck. Who knows what they'll find out.

Happy St. Patrick's Day All!

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