My great-great-great grandfather immigrated from Ireland. My cousin and I have been tracing our Irish family roots for several years now. Both of us are always drawn to things Irish. Seems like Ireland calls our name every day. Books and photos just do not do the country justice. I can just picture myself stepping off that plane and taking a deep breathe and setting foot on the same ground that my ancestors once trod. To travel through the countryside and see those things that I have only read about or saw in a photo. I have a pen pal that lives in Co Tipperary and she has shared so much of her culture and heritage with me. I’m not getting any younger here and I hope that the Good Lord allows me to head to Ireland before he calls me home. I would like to go to Co Cork and trace my ancestors. Travel to Kilkenny, see the Rock of Cashel, Killarney, Bunratty Castle, have a drink at Durty Nelly’s and visit some working Irish farms. Did I mention the Irish music? Listening to pub session would be the ultimate. My father was a fan of Bluegrass Music and I was raised on it. It’s something akin to an Irish fiddle session. What could be more perfect than sitting down and listening to “Whiskey in the Jar,” “Raglan Road,” “The Irish Rover,” Cliffs Of Dooneen,” The Boys Of Killybegs,” or “Danny Boy.” Then there are the festivals that abound in Ireland, Saint Paddy’s Day, Cork Midsummer Festival, Clonmel Junction Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, or the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Who of Irish heritage would not want to visit? I am sitting here thinking what an awesome adventure this would be. Half of this trip would go to my cousin Charlotte who loves Ireland as much as I. What a family adventure we would have. Being able to live our childhood dream of tracing our family heritage would be the greatest gift either one of could receive. And the food. Did I mention the food? Cottage pie, fried bread, full breakfast, Irish stew, soda bread, coddle, corned beef and cabbage, and even apple cake. I can almost taste the goodness and smell the aroma now. I love Irish Blessings. I collect them. One of the favorites is “May your days be many, And your troubles are few. May all God’s blessings descend upon you. May the sounds of laughter always fill your home. And may love and friendship be wherever you may roam.” Thank you for accepting my entry into your Saint Patrick’s Day essay contest. And thank you to all who have read and voted. Good luck to each and everyone. I have enjoyed reading all of your essays. “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.” Deborah Heagerty Green. Indianapolis, Indiana.
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