Can’t believe the month is already over. And here I sit with a list a mile long of things I love about Ireland! What to pick for my last favorite thing…
The entire Irish branch of the McCormack family tree is the best, and their warmth, humor, and hospitality make our visits to Ireland fantastic. But Jimmy and Helen are the ones who are usually stuck with the Yanks when we visit. They live on the farm in Ballyedmond, County Laois where my great-grandfather was born, so I suppose it is the natural place for us to end up.
I could go on forever about Helen’s magnificent cooking and entertaining panache or Jimmy’s GSOH (Good Sense Of Humor for those of you who don’t read the personal ads in the Farmer’s Journal on Thursdays) but what makes them so special is their generosity. Whenever we visit, they invite us into their lives and make us feel welcome.
A couple of years ago, Jimmy and Helen even came to our rescue. There was a problem with the self-catering accommodation my mom, dad, sister, and I had booked for our two weeks in Ireland. (We will save that story for another time, this is about my favorite things in Ireland, after all.) Jimmy and Helen found us a place to stay…
Yes, we actually stayed in this castle. Our vacation went from disappointing to a fairytale in less than a day, thanks to Jimmy and Helen. It was a memorable couple of weeks.
But even more memorable than a castle are the evenings spent at the farm in Ballyedmond, after a day of site-seeing and a glorious dinner by Helen, relaxing while Jenny or Sarah do their homework, deciding whether we will go to the pub. That is a tough decision, sometimes it even requires a vote by secret ballot. The pub usually wins.
I am so fortunate to have family in Ireland like Jimmy and Helen, and all the McCormacks. Luckier still that they are my friends. Now, if I could only get them to come visit us in the States!
Thanks for following my month of Irish favorites…hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have!
Photos by Regan McCormack