Friday, March 16, 2007

The Quinlan O Family

Happy St. Patrick's Day on this soon to be Irish revelery weekend.

It seems that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day and I'm ok with it. A friend just asked if I was feeling any more Irish today. I'm sure he was joking, but in fact I don't feel any more Irish today than I will next week.

Probably because I don't know how it feels to be anything else. I love to celebrate my heritage but that has meant green beer in the past. Now, it just means that I love my huge family. I love that I may go months or weeks between family gatherings, but as soon as I see one of my cousins, aunts or uncles we hug like it was yesterday. We pick up in the middle of the same joke, laugh about the next installment of certain family stories, all while drinking, laughing and sharing.

My Aunt Pat has started collecting all of the family history into wonderful movies on dvd for us all to enjoy. I love pictures too and seeing all of my uncles, aunts and grandparents when they were young. I look forward to my generation and seeing where me and all my cousins end up. Some things I have learned from growing up Irish.

1. Irish people like to love. We welcome all friends like they're family. If you come to a party, expect to be interrogated and then welcomed with wide open arms.
2. Yes, there is the drinking.
3. I know that I will always be a fighter. I'm a kind and gentle person who often gets mistaken as meek. Go ahead, underestimate me or talk down to me. You won't do it twice.
4. Pride- Irish people in general and it seems my family especially are full of pride. Our last name is revered, tattoted, printed on shirts, and even when the women in the family marry they often keep Quinlan.
5. You can't just leave a family party unannounced, unless your Uncle Tony. He's scooted away a few times. But the tradition is to hug everyone and spend at least 30 minutes saying good-bye. If one has somewhere to be, you better plan for the goodbye to get out on time.
6.We're not a flashy family. I'm sure we all do fine in our respective jobs, but no one is going to suck up to you because you dress in fancy clothes or have a big career. We love our tree-trimmers with as much vigor as our professional althetes. We also have a few teachers, an undertaker, a copywriter, an accountant, speech therapist, marketing person, copywriter, artist, canoe livery operator, producer of a quilting show on PBS.

But as soon as somebody gets a big ego, you'll get knocked down on your ass.

I miss my family but I take comfort in knowing they're all a family party away and if I ever get in trouble, they will be there, which brings me to 7.
7. We show up. When my brother Shane was hurt in a tree accident, the whole family came down by the van-ful to pile into Shane's hospital room.

When my dad was sick with cancer and chemo treatments his brothers and sisters came down in shifts to visit and help me my brother and my mom out. When my cousin Travis died last year, my dad came to the wake even though he was pretty sick, he wanted to be there for his brothers, sisters, neices and nephews.

Well, Irish people like to talk and since I'm finally out of steam, I'll leave you to have your Irish memories, I'm late for a potluck lunch here at the office.

Happy St.Patrick's Day to one and all.

Be Safe.

1 comment:

ColleenQ said...


#5. You can't just leave a family party unannounced, unless you're Uncle Tony.

So true, little cuz...he's a slippery one!

I wanted to thank you for calling to check on me after the tornado, and for all the quiet, sweet, caring Kelly things you do. :)