Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Irish Grandmother



This is my grandmother, Marguerite Theresa Bridget Carroll Corrin. She was born on March 17, 1907 in Cleveland. Yes, St Patrick's Day. Yes, both of her parents had emigrated from Ireland.  No I don't know why such good Irish Catholics didn't give their daughter born on the 17th of March Patricia as her first or middle name. 


My grandmother had a good education for a girl of the time period, finishing high school. She took a commercial course of study, learning secretarial skills, and worked as a secretary in later years.
 
 
She married my grandfather, who was also half Irish, in 1931 and they produced 3 daughters worthy of a Chekhov play or a certain Woody Allen movie.

 
As long as she lived she was the one in charge. She went her own way and did what she wished. She got a speeding ticket at the age of 82. She was going up a steep hill at the time.  Usually most people that age get ticketed for going too slow, but she was never timid. 
 
She knew all about the gifts of the Blarney Stone. She could converse well, and any time you went anywhere in public with her she always ran into someone she knew.  She was often the secretary of her various women's clubs.  She wrote in a beautiful hand, and we often had her inscribe certificates and the like for us. 
She also wrote poetry, mostly light verse, but I envied her ability to think it up so quickly and completely.  I once saw her create a poem at a baby shower in half an  hour.
 
She also had the (good) luck of the Irish.  She never went to any event that she didn't come away with a door prize. She loved bingo and card tournaments. She taught her grandchildren to play killer Rummy and Euchre, and she gave no quarter, even to 3rd graders.
 
 
As long as I can remember, St Patrick's Day was a huge deal in our family. We celebrated being Irish and we celebrated my grandmother's birthday.  An especially big event was her 84th birthday, when we threw a surprise party.
Here she is with some great grandchildren
 Note the color scheme
Her very last St Patrick's Day was my son's first. Thank goodness we took a picture.


So this St Patrick's Day we will all get together to celebrate. And we'll have a toast (Bailey's of course)for Grandma on her birthday. Because having her in our lives made us some of the luckiest  Irish around.






42 comments:

  1. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman. Love the photo with your son!

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  2. I agree with Stacie-the photo with your son captures the qualities you described in the post. You can see from her smile that she is confident, loving and a woman you want to sit down and have a chat with.
    I think it's wonderful you can celebrate her life and memory each St. Patrick's Day.

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    1. Thank you cynk. She loved to have her picture taken too. No matter what was going on she was always angled right for the camera

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  3. What a nice story. Memories are amazing!

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  4. Great profile. Loved the photos.

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    1. Thanks Matvy it was hard to sum her up in 500 words or less...

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  5. Such a lovely tribute to your grandmother.

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    1. Thank you Bee, glad you enjoyed it .

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  6. Awww, what a lovely woman. And a great tribute to her.

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    1. Thank you Christine. I can't let St Patrick's Day go by withouit writing about her.

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  7. She sounds wonderful. And that second photo? That's all Girl when Boy is annoying her. ;)

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    1. You know what, yiu are totally right. Now I.know where that attitude comes from.

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  8. I love the way the last picture shows the spirit of your Grandma exactly as you described it.

    I come from a line of women with strong character so I really enjoyed reading about your Grandma.

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    1. I come from a long line of strong females too...especially the Irish. Sometime I have to write about my mom and her sisters, they are their mother's daughters.

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  9. She sounds like she was a truly amazing woman. I love the pictures and the little stories about her life. The speeding ticket especially got a smile from me! So cute.

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    1. I happened to be in the car when she got the ticket or no one would have known about it. She kept dome things to herself

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  10. She looks so happy and vibrant in those later (sharper) photos! Sounds like she was an amazing woman who truly lived each day.

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    1. Thank you TriGirl, she was also one of those people who rolled with changes, moving from stenography to typewriters to computers in her long life.

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  11. I love to hear about women and families like this one! Enjoy celebrating in a special way this year. And I didn't know any one else knew about Euchre! Wanna play? ;)

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    1. Oh Kristin, I Euchered my way through college along with a lot of my friends. My kids were playing before they were out of grade school. We are always up for a game.

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  12. Very True. Thank god, you took that picture. Even in that picture, your grandma looks like she cannot wait to be up and about as soon as the camera person disperses.

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    1. Thsnk you tuhina, the picture of the Boy with his great-grandmother has always been one of my favorites. His sister is jealous because she wasn't born till several years later and missed her great grandmother (and a paternal great grandfather as well.)

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  13. What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I love the pictures!

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    1. Thank you Michelle, so glad you enjoyed it.

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  14. What a lovely tribute! She sounds like someone I'd love to know. :)

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    1. Thanks Natalie, that's partly why I wrote it.

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  15. Wonderful! What a fantastic grandma and what lovely memories...

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

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  16. Your grandmother sounds a lot like my Swedish Great Grandmother. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's always so nice when we have a grandmother or great grandmother who influences our life so much.

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  17. This was really neat! Loved how you traced her life and had the photos to go along with them. So glad you got a photo of her with your son!

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    1. Thank You Kirsten. I had a lot of fun scanning photos and putting it together.

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  18. Such a lovely story. Thank you for introducing us to your grandmother...she sounds like a terrific lady.

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    1. Thank Eringraves, I glad you enjoyed reading about her.

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  19. Cheers to your grandma! She sounds like a helluva gal. I loved hearing her story and seeing all the pics. A great tribute.

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    1. Thank you Kathleen, she certainly was.

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  20. I love the old photos. There's not very many things I enjoy more than looking at old pictures. I think you're so fortunate to have all these captured memories, and such a wonderful, spunky grandmother.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I love old pictures and the stories that go with them too. My mom keeps giving more stuff because she says I'm the only one who cares about all this family history stuff.

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