Millstreet, Cork & Asdee, Kerry

The whole family on the steps of the two-story farm house.  Left to right starting in the back row: Kit, Bridie, John, Maureen, John, Catherine, Tom, Tim, & Theresa

Bridie's sister Theresa has a bookshelf of classic novels that sit behind a glass door in the sitting room in Millstreet. The Great Gatsby and the works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. Gone With the Wind and something by Oscar Wilde and Tolstoy’s great novel and Jane Austen's works and Jane Eyre.

Theresa remembered visiting Bridie for six weeks around the time that Terri was born. She looked after the kids when Bridie went to the hospital. When Bridie stayed with her in Millstreet in '77 they went down to the well. There are a few pictures in her photo album of them with Carol and Peggy on the grass in the background. We drank the water from the well out of mugs that are hanging on a rack outside. Reminded me of something we would have done in Thailand actually. It is the purest water out of 11 local water sources according to the guy who takes samples. We met Denis and his family and hung out with Nicholas for a while. They are both really lively--there are photo albums of Denis holding big fish he caught at the river.  Colm came up to visit from Cork and brought a family tree and a binder following the family line back through parish records.  He drove us up to Listowel to meet up with Peggy as it got dark and to our great surprise...

An Irish farmers thumb

My squat thumb is my true irish inheritance.  I looked down at Colm’s hand at the Horseshoe bar and saw the stubbiest little thumb I’ve ever seen.  I made him produce both thumbs and Lindsey and I looked back and forth at them.  He said they were John Linnane’s thumbs, our great-grandfather (Bridie’s father).  So Lindsey has two farmer thumbs I have just the one…my right thumb being more like my dad’s.  We drank port and brandy to settle our stomachs after the long drive from Millstreet to Listowel.  Colm has looked into the family history extensively and it was amazing to talk with him.  

The week at Tony's was lovely.  We met Maureen's daughters, Bernie and Reeena, for tea one night and visited the house in Urlee where the Linnane's grew up.  Ur (fresh)- lee (water) named for the stream passing through.  Onto to the ferry with me looking like a frail ghost with my flu and onto to Ennis.  A heavenly glass of chicken broth from the kind Will Wheeler and a session led by Swedes and I was heartened enough to travel onto to Galway. 

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