7.19.2014

By My Side



In 1995 Kevin (my soon to be husband), and I traveled across the United States on a 30 day journey in a little 2 door Saturn packed to the roof.  Years later, 2 children in tow, we traveled with my in-laws on a crazy camper journey to Montana and back. 

How privileged  I was to see the wide open expanse of our own country! And while I would gratefully travel the states again in an instant, I cannot deny the constant tugging at my heartstrings to see the countries of those who came before me. My great-grandparents, (two of whom I grew up with), came from Ireland and The Azores.


I have spent MANY hours researching names and dates and people.Years ago my dad and I started at the library on microfilm, searching for our Irish ancestors.  Now I sit for endless hours on the computer, searching and hoping to find the little missing pieces of information that are undoubtedly the catalyst of  an entire puzzle.



I dream of the land of my Irish roots, its green rolling hills and farms. I often wonder of the lives my ancestors led there. Were they happy? 


Did they love the ocean like I do? Did they dream of America as they stared out over the steel blue waves?


Did they miss their homeland once they were here, or was America, before the turn of the century, just what they were looking for?

On my mom's side many of my ancestors are from The Azores in Portugal. They traveled to California in the late 1800's. They found work on farms in the San Francisco area. It is hard to find records for them, as they lived there during the Great Earthquake, AND they changed their name once they arrived. 

My husband has visited The Azores (Sao Miguel) with his dad and brothers….also the homeland of their ancestors. 


I look at the narrow streets, the villages, the farms….


I see a way of life, even now, so different from our lives.
Perhaps they were more forward-thinking than us. They have maintained the beauty of the islands, the true rustic life; yet have maintained culture and advancements as well, without spoiling the naturescape or history of these volcanic islands..


Again I wonder why they left, I wonder if they feared leaving their homeland and for many, their families. I cannot imagine leaving what we have become accustomed to. But life was different then, and I imagine leaving was a necessity for many, not a choice.



Some day I will travel to the lands of my ancestors….I will stand where they stood, I will dream where they dreamed. I will breathe in the salty air and feel the wind in my hair, and perhaps for a fleeting moment, they will be by my side.


I am participating in  Europe: Simply Irresistible 
Link Party over at

Pop by For a Visit!


Photo Credits: 
Ireland: Free Stock Photography
The Azores:  1959 Edmund Tavares, My father in law :)










17 comments:

  1. This was lovely. I so enjoyed reading it and all the pictures. I too have a family history puzzle i'am trying to unravel...Census information can be confusing and conflicting...Hugs! deb

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  2. BEAUTIFUL..........I know two people who had family from the AZORES.One writes a BLOG called TONQUE IN CHEEK and she lives in FRANCE now.The other is a dear friend and resides close to SAN FRANCISCO!If you write me a note on my e-mail IOLACONTESSA@gmail.com I will give you her e-mail address!One never knows maybe she can fill in a box!I married an ITALIAN with the last name KIRKPATRICK so I too need to see IRELAND!Anita sent me...............I'm number 26 on her list!

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  3. That trip you took with your husband sounds amazing!!! You should write a few posts about it. I'd love to hear more! Was everything planned? Did you camp or stay with family and friends or get motels? Did you have a destination in mind? My list of questions goes on and on!

    The story about your ancestors is so neat! I'm sorry that you don't know more. Have you found a lot of success using the internet?

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  4. Monica! HELLO! I am just getting back into party mode ( I visited everyone yesterday) but I wanted to come by to thank you for participating and seeing the heartfelt link you have to Europe. Simply irresistible indeed is Ireland and the places in Portugal where many of our roots began. Isn't the green hillside landscape of Europe such a dream? When flying to France, I often see England, so rich with green expanse and little white dots....THE SHEEP! But Ireland? I must go there one day.

    Thank you Monica! Bless you, and have fun touring the party! Anita

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  5. Hi Monica,

    Lovely to discover your blog and it was interesting you trying to track down your Ancestor's roots. Ireland was where my Fathers family came from - my parents made the trip back there and one day I hope to do that. Love how the pastures are so green and you can see why it is called the Emerald Isle.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend and thanks for sharing this post.
    Carolyn

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  7. Gorgeous heartfelt post! I took the DNA test through Ancestry.com. So fascinating to find out more of whom I am. I too wonder what my ancestors were thinking when they came to America. I wonder why they came. I wonder about them all of the time. xoxo Jen

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  8. It's nice to read your quest to find the land and place of your ancesters.
    Ireland so green beautiful pictures!
    groetjes van Marijke
    www.bij-marijke-thuis.blogspot.nl

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  9. what beauty in your words... god bless you... sending tons of bark for stormy... hugs2u

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  10. Hi Prince Snow Farm,
    Ireland's green beauty is enchanting. Your quest is an endlessly interesting one, for it has you exploring the emotions and the family connections with each question.
    Blessings to you and to them, in every direction of time:)

    (I came from Anita's link party)

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  11. Beautiful piece, Monica! You are such a gifted writer (and gardener, photographer, etc, etc). My parents left China and moved to Vietnam, where I was born. Someday I'd love to return to Vietnam and also visit my parents' villages in China. Happy Sunday! L

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  12. Hi Monica I hope you are able to visit this lovely land one day very soon. I can tell how much you cherish your ancestry!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Europe: Simply Irresistible!

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  13. Wonderful post ...great party !!..thanks for Anita !!!..love Ria...x !

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  14. What a beautiful post! I do hope you make it there soon!

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  15. Hello dear Monica!

    What a great post,such absolutely beautiful trip you've made...
    Adorable images,so incredibly nice and invited:)))
    I have so enjoyed to read your post!
    THANKYOU Anita,we meet each other here via blogland:)

    Greetings from Hoand,
    V.

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  16. Monica, I can feel your strong passion to learn more about your ancestors. With time, the pieces of both puzzles will come together in surprising ways! It will be so wonderful to visit both homelands to walk where they walked. These will be truly irresistible journeys!! ♡

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  17. Monica!
    Here I am at your wonderful dream destination!
    I was able to visit Ireland in 1995. I stood in the homes where my great grandparents were born.
    The tiny home where my great grandfather was born is now a little stable that houses sheep.
    I felt the magic of being at "my beginning".
    Ireland and Portugal (Azores) seem to be so closely connected in many ways. Their connection, once again affirmed in your sweet story today.
    I so hope that you and your husband are able to travel to your homelands one day.
    withLove!

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Thanks for chatting!

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