‘Tis a Great Day


For this St. Patrick’s Day, I thought you might like to see a picture of an Irish family – mine, actually! 😉


My sweet grandmother was born and raised in Ireland. In the photo, “Nana” is the little Minnie Mouse you see to the left of the toddler. The woman in the center of the back row is my great-grandmother, the mother of this brood. One of her children was not yet born.

But back to Nana! She arrived in America in 1922, at the age of 21. She married; raised three children; and was a very cherished grandmother to many more – including me.

While I was growing up, she told the most enthralling tales of her life on a farm on the wildly beautiful Beara Peninsula, which is located on the western coast of Ireland.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.


Many years after she died, I had the opportunity to go to Ireland and visit the actual home where she grew up. I walked the paths and the streets that she once walked; I lit a candle in the church where she had prayed; and I sat by the harbor she used to look out upon. It was magical and I felt her with me the whole time.


Back View of the Farm House

Nana was the 7th of 12 children – 6 boys and 6 girls! They slept upstairs, with all of the girls in one bed, and all of the boys in the other. I remember being astonished to hear that when I was a child. After seeing the house, in person, I marveled that 14 people ever lived in it! Nana’s mother made most of their clothes, tended a large garden of vegetables and flowers, and had homemade bread with freshly churned butter waiting for her kids every day after school. They were poor . . . but also “rich”. 🙂


View from the side of the farmhouse

The photo below is the view down the path and across the road from Nana’s house. She surely walked it many times to go into the little neighboring town. Talk about gorgeous. The mountains have a purple cast. Daphne Du Maurier’s “Hungry Hill” is set in this area.


There’s something I like to do to remember “Nana” around St. Patrick’s Day. Click the title below to read about it:

Her Irish Eyes Were Smiling


stpatricks2Here’s a little Irish blessing for you….

May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!



‘Tis a Great Day — 12 Comments

  1. Great photos of Ireland, I haven’t been there yet. Happy St. Patty’s day to you. I will be celebrating myself since my family is Irish also.

  2. Happy St. Pats day. VERY interesting post! I love to hear about family history.

    Well, I am 100% Polish but I’m off to iron my green plaid shirt. Can’t take any chances on gettin pinched.

    XX, CArol

  3. wow thanks for sharing the pictures!My grandfather was Irish,my mother was 1 of 13 children 🙂

  4. Wonderful family photos.
    I like your story about your
    family and where they lived.
    I’m also glad that she shared
    her stories of growing up with
    Happy St Patrick’s Day.

  5. What beautiful pictures! Aren’t stories from grandparents just the most interesting! I also wanted to let you know that the beautiful spring pendant arrived and it is just the prettiest little thing:) Thanks so very much!

  6. I love the article and the pictures. My Lisa is in Ireland right now. She is in Dublin today for the St Patrick’s Day parade and will be visiting this farm on Saturday with her Irish cousins. I am sending her this link. She will truly enjoy these photos.

  7. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Sweet Crystal! I loved reading about your lovely family, and those photo’s…my goodness how beautiful! Looks just like a snap from A Quiet Man! I think it’s wonderful that you actually got to see where your gram lived. How special that must have been! I also loved your other post too. I’m taking your recipe Sweetie…now I’ll have four! All just a tiny bit different, but so similar too! I hope your day was fun! xoxo’s Paulette 😉

  8. Ah, you lucky woman! Neither of my grandmothers would ever talk about their past. It’s great you took the time to listen to yours when she did!

    And that is a gorgeous house…people like big houses now, since we spend so much time inside, but a family living in your Nana’s time wouldn’t have needed room for privacy- they had everything outside!

    Still, 6 to a bed. Yipes. Roasty!

    Hope you had a great Day!

  9. How wonderful! Ireland is such a gorgeous place and the people are as beautiful as the land they live on. Got to love the accent to! I love their folk stories; it is where imagination can run wild!

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