This post is part 1 of 3 in the series of My Story.
Anyone who has been following along (or actually read the about page) knows by now that I am American. Born and raised in Upstate NY with short college stints in Pennsylvania and the Washington, DC Metro area. I moved to Cork in late 2014.
Now I’m sure there are plenty of nay sayers who are thinking how can an American write a blog called This Irish Family. You’re welcome to think what you want, but if you want to know my story here goes….
Growing up in America everyone is some sort of ‘American.’ It’s the melting pot of our history of a nation built on immigrants. (Ironic isn’t it given today’s American political climate?)
Anyway, I grew up one of the lucky ones who is Irish American AND Italian American. If you’ve ever been to Syracuse, NY you know the city’s history if steeped in Irish and Italian American culture.
In case you’re really curious I am pretty much 50/50 with a little Welch and maybe some Scottish mixed in. Just your average Irish-Italian American – not uncommon in Upstate NY.
As a kid I wasn’t too sure where the Irish ended and the Italian began. For the most part though being Irish-Italian meant never eating store bought tomato sauce and attending family dinners every Sunday.
Unfortunately for me all my grandparents had passed away before I outgrew my indignant/not-giving-a-shit teenage years and grew into my twenties where part of ‘finding myself’ raised a curiosity into discovering my roots.
Of course this interest in my roots became more about my obsession with moving to Ireland and less about doing any real research into my actual family tree. I knew the most basic facts – my mother’s Irish family came through Ellis Island and stayed in Manhattan and Dad’s came through Canada somehow landing in Upstate NY.
So fast forward to Halloween 2004 which after a LENGTHY immigration process involving work Visas etc I landed in Cork and began to realise how much Irish culture had been passed down to me in America
- Grandma and Mom always put butter AND jam on toast…much to the dismay of a lot of my friends.
- I remember being given 7-Up at any sign of a stomach ache.
- Guests (particularly my friends) couldn’t leave the house without Mom feeding them.
- We prayed to St. Anthony…..
- …..and lit candles in church
And over the past 13 years more and more things from my past made since to me after moving to Cork.
Little did I know in 2004 coming to Cork was actually coming home.