Hunting for my Genes

I have been talking to dead people. Searching for long lost people.
Hoping they will speak to me, or at least tell me where they- and I-
come from.
My parents divorced when I was two years old. They both remarried,
but I never saw my father again. Times were different. Choices were
made and new lives were forged… At what cost…? He didn’t show any
interest in knowing how I turned out, whether that was his choice or
not, that is how it was.
From time to time I wondered the how, why, and what if, of this.
Obviously he had no interest in me, so, as a young man, I had no
interest in him. We lived in the same city, but to my knowledge we
didn’t run into each other, though later I found out that we lived six
blocks apart, and drove the same model auto.
As I got older, this subject appeared less and less in my life. I
had, and have, a good, no, very good life. A wonderful wife, a
fulfilling time on the planet. Music, adventures, close friends, all
the things that make a good life.

One afternoon, after we got home
from work, I was wandering from one room to another, the television on
in the background, five o’clock news on. A fire. A death. A name. Wait! What?! My
father…  That can’t be the name I heard. It was… Killed in a
fire. I quickly double checked the phone book for an address, like
that would make this a big bad mistake. But the phone book
chimed in its bad news. It was him…

Time has passed. Lives are different, so, there was no need to involve myself. However, my lovely wife, and my sister went to the visitation, to see who these people were, that abandoned me… They were all a bit surprised. Both my family, and ‘the other family’.  A half sister that didn’t know I existed, met Maggie and my sister. My sister knew the half sister through work connections. “What are you doing here?” ” My brother is your half brother”. “Well, that explains the photo of the little boy, Timmy, on dads dresser, all these years”… Whoa… That was a showstopper….

Jeannine got my half sisters email address, so we corresponded a little, but, none of the other family were interested, and, the half sister fell by the wayside, after a couple weeks.  So much for a reconciliation…  But since then, I have been drawn more and more, to searching my roots/ancestors/genealogy.  I know I am 3/4 Irish, and have this low constant rumble of want to know where in Ireland my bloodline is located. I can’t say that I want to meet any of my living family here, since they are not interested in me, but, I am really drawn to the ones who have passed on, that made the journey to the United States, for a better life.  Who were they, what were they like, where were they born, lived, and decided to leave?

Hoare Abbey

I have in the last week, spent hours trying to find out those answers, but, they are very good at keeping a secret.  I have found my great grand father, on the male side. Where he came from, before crossing the Atlantic, is still a mystery. The Great great Grandmother was a little easier. Her family is from Count Cork, but that is the end of the trail for this week…

Rathbaun Farm


Maggie was going through recipes today and found some recipe cards from the farm we toured last year in Ireland. Rathbaun Farms, over two hundred years old, and still in operation by the family. It’s a tiny farm by our standards, but it was one of the most interesting, authentic sites on our visit.
Rathbaun Farm

We watched a sheep dog ‘rangle’ the sheep. Then, one of them got a shear haircut. After the tour of the farm, we were led into the dining room and served the best brown bread and scones we have ever had. We still think of it often. One of those things you will always remember.Brownbread & scones

Anyway, the 1st anniversary of our trip is coming up and we are thinking back fondly and longingly to Ireland. So, I wanted to share it… Check out the site, Rathbaun farm, cuz there are recipes of the scones, brownbread, Guinness Fruitcake there.
A little piece o’ Ireland…..
See ya…

It’s a sad story



Ground Zero for handcut crystal

Ground Zero for handcut crystal




we were in Ireland in July. You all know that if you are friends, or read us.  One of the many places we toured was the Waterford crystal complex in Waterford. I know, to some, Waterford is something your parents or grandparents had on top of the piano or a shelf somewhere.  Hunky and not all that attractive. That isn’t the crystal we saw in our tour of the factory. Craftsmen, some of which were there for 30 plus years, hand crafting beautiful pieces to wish for.

          However, the world economy has beat them down for several years now. On Monday, the company went into receivership, or, a bad case of bankruptcy.  We feel for the employees of the institution of glass in Ireland.  They deserve better than this for the future.