Twenty-one years ago Christine McMillan enjoyed a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland where she breathed in the fresh Irish air, felt the spirit of the land, enjoyed the green-swept hills, visited several Irish pubs and even sang along with a group gathered around a piano in one of them.
Did she enjoy a pint of ale? Well, she and her friends on the tour agreed beforehand that “what happens in Ireland, stays in Ireland,” so that will remain a guarded secret.
One thing Christine did not do was kiss the Blarney Stone. Why? Well, she laughs, before she left husband Michael said she was free to do whatever she wanted – with one exception.
“He told me that I absolutely COULD NOT kiss the Blarney Stone – under any conditions,” Christine laughed. “He said that I had enough ‘blarney’ already; any more and no one could handle it.”
Christine shared the magic of Ireland with the residents at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home on March 15.
She gave them a brief history of Ireland, its people and what they brought to us when they immigrated to America and the huge impact St. Patrick had on the country and the people that has lasted generation after generation. She talked about how the history and traditions of Ireland have influenced us here in America.
The residents heard about leprechauns, the shamrock and its significance, the fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and Irish jigs.
To top off the afternoon, Christine sang the classic “Wild Mountain Thyme” a cappella and recited familiar Irish poems, sayings and prayers.
Following the presentation, Christine fielded questions from the residents, most of them wearing bright green Irish “derbies” they had fashioned themselves.
By Marlys Good