Wednesday, April 28, 2010
He was a big man, and as handsome a man a I had seen. I was 10 and remember he was brusk, but soft to us children. The gentlemen spoke in hushed tones. Cork known as the rebel city was where most things were happening but plans for those things were made far from places where eyes and ears were not present.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Life changes like the seasons,although lately the weather , like people make you wonder what season it is.Today we woke up to sleet, and area north of us are facing 6 to 8 inches of snow. People and weather are unpredictable. Many years ago as a child I new things were changing. There would be quiet meetings in the barns. I remember a warm spring evening and my Mam making tea and cakes for the men in the barn. I was sent to serve them,I never knew the men I met there that evening would shape the history of Ireland. I saw for the first time that evening gentleman by the name of Michael Collins. I remember thinking he was handsome and he made me laugh when he twirled me around. I did not know the man and legend he would become.Ireland was to become more violent than I would have seen in my young life............................
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Tis a lovely day here in the Adirondacks, they mowed lawns today and the fresh cut grass makes me sentimental for home. I love the smell of fresh mowed grass mixing with the tangy sent of the salty air. I grew up in times of troubles. We were not but poor tenant farmers, church mice had more than us at times, but my parents Emma and Cathal were very progressive. My Da encouraged my mam to explore things out of what was acceptable of women. I also grew up during times of 2 huge wars. Even though we were Irish, my brothers served the Royal Military as we were British subjects. My brother Seamus never made it back, I remember the day my Mam got the letter, She came to my house screaming she was so afraid to open the letter, and it was as she thought the news she least wanted to hear. I bring this up today as many men and woman from many countries are not returning from war and I too understand their pain. I lost friends to the troubles, a brother to the big war and a grandson to the wars going on now. So this old woman ask a favor, next time you see a soldier coming home thank them. for none of us would be able to do what we do with out them
Monday, April 19, 2010
I have been thinking of the importance of family and lessons learned. Recently mine was attacked, for no reason accept to make someone else feel better about themselves and then is when I saw grace and dignity under fire, instead of reciprocation I watched my family deal with it using dignity and compassion. It may be the background of what they were taught as children it may be the fact that the genetic makeup of the Irish is a strong honourable lot. Still trying to gather me wits on that one, but I learned a lesson. I learned that I can not let someone else silence my voice or take my dignity. Maybe I should say a refresher course. But the way my family handled it gives me hope. And so I am back to tell my story. The support given to my family intensifies that, so I am back.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I was thinking earlier today what happened to kindness and respect. I was disheartened yesterday as my family was under attack but today I saw things in a new light. I have more grandchildren and great grandchildren than most people. Earlier this evening Maria Louise came up to me with scraps of paper in her hands. She is five, I asked her what are these my darling.And she said "its your tears Gran, i though if I found them you wouldn't have to cry more to send out looking for the lost ones" Well that was the boot I needed. I now understand. Through the eyes of a child is the best vision.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Well it's another day, I am just going to speak of family, family are the people by blood or love are there for you. It is amazing to have this family. My husband God rest his sole,was the love of my life. He could make me laugh and cry in the same breath.Today would have been his birthday, he would have been 107. Tis difficult to think that neither my husband or my children are still alive. But let me talk about Sean. He was a gruff man to say the least, but ahh he had a soft spot for his children and grandchildren. And for me he was my best friend although there were times when I wasn't pleased with his ways, his blue eyes would twinkle and he would say Katie my darling who could love ya better. And he was right. I see so much of him in Liam and Finn. And darling Murphy has his sense of mischief. But tis Clodagh that has his ability to see things without emotion. Now don't be thinking Clodagh is hard but she has that ability to not think with her heart but just her head. My sons are gone but they were as different as the day is night.The most amazing thing I have to say about all this is this morning when I was sitting here missing him, Padraig walked by and said I miss him too Gran,neither of us had said anything else he just knew. That is family when they just know.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This will not be in chronological order but more as memories when they blow through this brain of mine. One of my first memories was of a Shanachie (storyteller)who traveled around the county,they would come to the farms and tell stories of their travels for a nights bedding and a meal. I remember sitting in my Mam's lap listening to him tell fanciful tales or so I was thinking, what I realized later was that he was passing messages to the men about the uprising and the plans. Simple little things like telling someone about the amount of turf actually referred to soldier count. I didn't know Michael Collins was of any importance at that age, I just saw him as a nice man who ruffled the curls on my head.There we sat with green teeth from eating grass.No one wanted to be burned out of their farm.And if the English Lords thought families were keeping anything from them they would evict them or burn them out.There was a great deal of fear then although as a child I never realized it.
I am trying to find the best way to tell my stories so if you don't be minding I will be thinking we all sitting in my salon with the turf burning in the grate and we are all sitting and chatting like old friends with a cup of tea and some of my Meggie's fresh baked scones.
My name is Katherine Muldoon Ryan and I was born on the last day of March in 1909 in Galway,Ireland. I have seen the best and worst of times of Ireland and History. I have woken to find Michael Collins at my breakfast table and I have seen people starving,smiling, rejoicing weeping and praying all for the right of peace. My Grandaughter Meggie has asked me to share my history and so I shall and be praying I am not boring you to tears in the process.