Category Archives: Ireland

Rise

I’ll never claim to be devoutly religious, but there are things about Catholicism that ring true for me. Over the years I’ve learned to absorb the lessons of my religion in which I find meaning and reject the tenets which I find to be contrary and, while I don’t imagine myself to be a poster child for Catholicism, I do believe I represent some of the finer parts of the religion I was born into.

Easter, the most holy of holidays, has become one of my favorite Sundays. I think my fondness for the day has evolved over the years as I’ve celebrated the day with family, both in Ireland and in Germany. Witnessing the traditions of my religion, in the countries where my family continues to live, provided me with a perspective I may not have had otherwise. It’s taught me a few things, too.

  • Making the effort to put on your good clothes is an exercise in both pride and respect.
  • Believing in miracles can lift the heart and move boulders.
  • There is a season for rebirth and it comes every year. Honor it.
  • Looking for sweetness is an effort that can really pay off.
  • Attending a mass being conducted in a language that is not your own causes one to hear with one’s heart, rather than one’s ears. You don’t really have to leave the country to do that.
  • Flowers provide the most simple of joys.
  • We each have the ability to rise. Believe it.
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Filed under Europe, family, Flowers, Germany, holidays, Ireland, love, musings, Observations, Spring, sunday

Who are you?

Yeah, you. My reader. It’s been more than 7 years, 2 domains and a divorce since DelSo was born. Over the years I’ve shared a lot of my life and self here, in print. You, as a reader, have come to know me on some level from my words. What makes you return here (assuming you’re not new around these parts) and read what I write? Let me remind you of some of what I’ve related to you in the hope that you might feel inclined to share with me – who you are, reader? Why are you here?

There have been so many miles – more plane rides than I could have ever imagined, along with  runs and races and road trips. I’ve  explored cities with my boys and my girlfriends and solo. My feet have run in a half dozen different countries and probably about the same number of states.

My home has evolved from a house with two full-time parents to one of three part-time children. There have been physical improvements, rooms repurposed and painted, new rugs and furniture rearranged. It feels different. After a refinance or two, I know it’s mine.

I’ve written about books I’ve read and movies and concerts I’ve seen. Increasingly, politics and my dismay with our current leadership have been topics I’ve felt compelled to write about.

My children and the challenges of being a parent frequently provide fodder for posts. While the joys outweigh the frustrations, parenthood remains a roller coaster ride that keeps me on the edge of my seat with a scream threatening to escape. It’s a heart racing ride.

Sometimes I cook or bake and post recipes and photos of the fruits of my labors. Food and wine are a big part of my life and I’ve happily shared my experiences with you.  Oh – and there’s that wine bar that I own.

There have been times when I wrote with sadness or anger, but I think I mostly write from a place of understanding and acceptance. Balance and moderation are woven throughout much of what I write.

Health and wellness have been covered and the miracle of menopause has been mentioned.  The heartbreak of addiction and the threat of cancer have been present. I’ve learned to ski and have found bliss in pigeon pose in a room heated to 100+ degrees.

It’s all here – my life.  Not perfect, not necessarily what I ever imagined it to be, but a life that I feel grateful for in a city that I have come to love.

Will you tell me why you visit my life?

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Filed under aging, Albany, baking, Boston, Boys, California, cancer, Cape Cod, Chicago, concerts, Cooking, D.C., DelSo, drinking, Eating, Europe, Events, Exercise, family, favorites, Food, France, friends, Germany, house, Ireland, Italy, Local, London, marriage, Martha's Vineyard, medical, moms, Movies, musings, Nashville, NYC, Observations, politics, Portugal, Random, Recipes, relationships, Restaurants, road trips, running, Saratoga, SPAC, Spain, travel, vacation, Washington, x-country skiing, yoga

Catching up with Moms@Work

image:timesunion.com

image:timesunion.com

Some recent topics from my blog over at the Times Union:

Catch up and comment.

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Filed under Boys, Europe, family, Ireland, Moms@Work, Observations, Recommendations, Summer, travel

The Rose of Tralee – sort of

About a million years ago, I entered a beauty pageant known as The Rose of Tralee.  Yes, really.  There were two reasons I was prompted to enter the particular pageant I did – one being that my teenaged friend/nemesis V had won the contest the previous year, and the second that it was a contest geared to Irish-American princess wannabees and that had my name all over it.  Sign me up.  I knew I was sunk when my current events topic during the contest involved Northern Ireland and Ireland and I made parallels to the Middle East and other historical religious wars.  Nope, not quite what they were looking for.

Speaking of looking…here are some of the flowers I encountered during my visit to Ireland.  Hope you enjoy them more than I enjoyed that damn pageant.

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Filed under beauty, Flowers, Gardens, Ireland, Summer

Home

20130717-101428.jpgOr maybe I should just say “I’m back” seeing as how many meanings that word home can have.

It’s an odd thing sometimes being first generation American, especially with a mother who wants nothing to do with her family and a father you never met. I met my first relative when I was 22, an age when I was living alone in a city I had chosen to reside in, not merely a place I had landed in haphazardly. I had purposefully chosen an apartment, my nicest one ever, and was making a place for myself away from anyone I knew and finally going to college. I was home.

The sense of being wanted by, and belonging, to a family was new to me and very much welcomed. I’d never before heard stories of my father, of his childhood and his many brothers and sisters, and I cherished each word. These kind and thoughtful Uncles and Aunts invited me into their homes and gave me the sense of being a part of something I had never known before. I was home.

I made contact and visited with my Mother’s family in Germany. I first met them when I was nearly the same age my mother had been when she last saw them. I was taken to her childhood home, where my Opa still lived, and embraced by her brothers and sisters. My joy in meeting them was reflected back to me in the warmth and interest I saw in their eyes. I was home.

For only the second time in my life, I’ve had the chance to see both sides of my family in the same year and it has been a powerful experience. We’ve shared meals and stories and memories. During my time in the countries where my parents were born, I’ve felt a connection – to my relatives, of course, but also to the air, the sky and the earth. It was almost organic. I was home.

What does home really mean? For me, it means being in a place where I want to be and knowing that I am loved and wanted. Home is everywhere.

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Filed under Europe, family, Germany, Ireland, musings, relationships, travel

The long and short of it

20130716-104608.jpgVacations can be weird. We spend months planning and saving for them only to find them over in what can feel like the blink of an eye. Poof – done. We get home with a suitcase full of dirty laundry, a bunch of photos to upload and a yen for our own pillow.

That being said, there have been some long days on this trip. Arrival day is always a challenge as a body tries to shake off the assault of 12+ hours of travel and a five-hour time difference. Factor in a bit of dehydration, a cranky 14-year-old and a sleeping pill hangover (mine, not the teen’s) and you’ve got yourself a bonafide rough day.

We haven’t been especially up and at ’em in the mornings because it turns out Griffin isn’t really a morning person. That’s okay, though, because the evenings in Ireland, particularly in the summer months, go on forever with the skies only truly darkening on the far side of 10 pm. Are you familiar with Yeats’ He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven? In it he talks of “…night and light and the half light.” Visit Ireland and you’ll know exactly what he meant.

I wish I had longer to stay with my family. There are only two remaining siblings of my Father’s, from the original family of 14 children, and each time I leave Ireland I go knowing that I may not meet them again. My time here feels far too short, but I do miss my guys at home and the life we are creating there together. Whether long or short, these days won’t come again. All we can do is live them fully.

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Filed under aging, Boys, family, Ireland, musings, travel

Things you may not know about Ireland

I’m not here to talk to you about the likelihood of spotting a leprechaun or the intense greenness of the countryside. No, I’m here to tell you about some things you may not know. For instance, are you familiar with the phrase “going out for a bit of craic?” True confession: the first time I was in Ireland and my cousin suggested we partake in some craic, I was worried. Come to find out that “craic” is a term for fun. This craic isn’t whack – promise.

Another thing that I found confusing are the road signs, particularly one that says “Ramps.” This word refers to neither the entrance or exit to a motorway or those spring onions for which everyone goes crazy. Instead “Ramps” essentially mean speed bumps in the road. You’re welcome.

Most Americans have figured out that chips are fries and crisps are chips, but how about aubergines? Familiar? Well, aubergines are eggplants and they seem to be pretty popular, especially in Asian cuisine and vegetarian dishes. It is a much more elegant word for those purple orbs, don’t you think?

Speaking of colors, it is possible to get a lovely tan in Ireland if you happen to visit during the best summer in years. As a matter of fact, if you neglect to put sunscreen on your feet you just might end up with sunburn on your feet. At least that’s what a leprechaun once told me.

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Filed under Ireland, Irish, Observations, travel, Uncategorized, vacation