Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ye'll be Doin' it Yerself, Then.

In 1912, my Grandfather did a very dumb thing.  He was a shoemaker in the city, and he decided that he was sick of it and wanted to farm.  So he bought a small farm in the town where I now live, though it wasn't the house where I live now.  What was so dumb about that?  You see, he did it without consulting my Grandmother.  The first she heard of it was when he told her that they were moving.

I remember my Grandmother well, because she lived with us when I was a child.  She was a bit of a spitfire even then.  And, back in 1912, she was, apparently, not one to be ordered around.  "Why sure," says she.  "I'll go to the country with you.  But, you're going to have to do all of the moving by yourself, because I'll be takin' the boys back to Ireland for a long visit while you're doin' it."  And, yes, to her dying day she carried just a bit of an Irish accent, just a faint lilt, at times, but I remember the music of it as she read to me.

So, off she, and my Uncle and Father went to Ireland, to Ballydehob and Skibbereen, where her family still lived.  My Dad was nine, and he had a grand time on the ship both coming and going.  He was the only one who didn't get seasick, and, while Grandmother and my Uncle were trapped in the cabin, in misery, he had the run of the ship.

They spent the summer in Ireland, and Dad often talked about how beautiful and green it was.  I think that it remained a bright time in his memory, for his whole life.  In the fall, they sailed back to New York, and took up residence in their new home, where Dad made himself right at home, with his new pet crow and cow.  But, those adventures are for another time.

They brought this little bowl back with them,  and it still remains, sitting on the what-not, where my Grandmother had placed it prominently, to remind Grandfather that she was a partner in their marriage, not someone to be ordered around.

20 comments:

Tina said...

Made me chuckle lol because I did this too...when we moved into the house we live in now,during the move I took the kids(3) to Germany, and when we came back we were all moved in...it was great....way to go Grandma!

Sharon said...

I must remember this tactic, if he wants to move again......

Vicki Lane said...

Love the hands on hips stance of the little pot -- perfect!

wiseacre said...

I wish I had the cash when the kids were young to buy a new place to move to. I could have used the break :)

Liesl said...

Amazing to have all that info about your family from so long ago, it gave me a good chuckle! Thanx for sharing that Louise,have a good one !xoxo

Lori Skoog said...

What a sweet story! Love the pot.

texwisgirl said...

Vicki Lane said it perfectly. Full of sass, alright! What a great story!

Sandra said...

What a great story! Way to go, Grandma!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

What a wonderful story!! I like Grandma!

Sheri said...

Your grandfather must have been a good shoemaker, to finance a new house and a trip. I love the little pot. It's wonderful that you know the story that goes with it.

Madi and Mom said...

Way to go Grandma!!!Oh my you have to love a spirited lady of the 20th century. I have a little Irish in me too....but as most will tell you I'm mostly Southern American. LOL
What a precious story full of memories and I love the little pot.
Hugs Madi and Mom

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Louise! This is a great family story and memory! I admire someone like your Grandmother for doing just what she said she was going too, I have a feeling that spirit got her through a lot in her days!! THANKS for sharing!!

rosek1870 said...

Hi Louise! Coming from an Irish family I could just picture my grandmother saying that! In fact when my grandfather got a job in Ossining, NY Grandma stayed in Albany with the kids and made him come back and forth once a month. Gotta love those stubborn Irish Ladies! Great pot, I still have the hot chocolate set my great grandmother brought from Ireland when they came to this country.

kattsby.com said...

What a lovely story, and how great that she was able to carry out her plan! Precious memory for your father, obviously. So many people of Irish descent [and all the others too] never get the chance to go there.

I've been away from my homeland for seven years now, and it feels a little ... strange.

Jim said...

What a great story Louise! You know my great great grandfather and a lot of his sons were shoemakers. Must have been a trade that was needed back then more than it is now.
Yes, you don't want to be messin' with the Irish! He probably learned that along the way!

Terry said...

I love your grndmother's spunky spirit!

Judy's Corner said...

Love it!

Dreaming said...

I can just hear your grandmother and her Irish brogue. Good for her! Thanks for sharing such a fun story.

Canyon Girl said...

Great story and I would love to hear more about their farming adventures.--Inger

KB said...

I admire your grandma's spirit - it was rare for a woman to demand to be treated as a partner in a marriage in those days, I think!