Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The corn beef is cooking and soon the house will smell of days long gone.  I married into an Irish family.  My husband's father's parents came from Ireland.  They were hard working, fun loving people.  A portrait of John Hennessy hangs in our living room smiling at us.  I never met him but I did have the pleasure of knowing my husband's parents well.

They owned a small grocery town that supported them and the community well for many years.  The older they got, the older and more depressed the area the grocery store was in became.  Many of the original customers depended on them for their groceries.  They would call in their orders and have them delivered to their homes or apartments.  One couple was blind and their delivery was laid out in distinct piles so they could put their own groceries away in the cabinets.  Each customer was treated with respect and by name.

Each St. Patrick's Day they worked (unless it was Sunday) just as they did every day.  They did wear their green and wish everyone a lovely St. Patrick's Day.  After work they would go home and we would bring our children over and eat a delicious meal of corn beef, cabbage, and new potatoes.  Their small kitchen was warm and the stories of the days when they were young were told.

 To us St. Patrick's Day is a day to celebrate the family we have and the family that came before us.  Today we will do the same.  We will have family and friends over and eat corn beef, cabbage, and new potatoes and celebrate our present, future, and be thankful for our past.  


  1. Wonderful memory of your family's history, especially the grocery store. this is a special day for you all. My husband's grandparents owned a grocery too, in the Depression era up till the 1950's. Those owners did so much service without a lot of profit I think, except in good will. The small single-owner stores are ones we seek out today, but they are not always easy to find. Happy St. Pat's Day to you!

  2. Celebrations and family, can it get any better? Thanks for the story of your in-laws, they served their community well. Too bad there are fewer and fewer of this type these days.

  3. What a lovely tradition to continue...those corner grocery stores were the heart of the community, were't they? My husband grew up in upstate New York, and they had a store like this when he was young. He still speaks of it with such warmth.