Posts Tagged ‘nearest and dearest’
Currently delayed in San Fran due to the stormy weather. My vacation high is ending. Quickly. Oh well, I have to work tomorrow night anyway and it’s forcing me to get into the post-vacation, reflecting-while-gearing-up-for-real-life phase that inevitable comes after a week of new experiences.
I discovered the album “Ten” by Pearl Jam in my early high school years (many years after the release of the album in 1991) and instantly became a fan, though often not being able to tell what lead singer, Eddie Vedder was actually saying. Much to my sisters influence, Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder further became a constant in my musical life through out the years.
The following are improvised lyrics Vedder sang and were recorded on the live “State College, Pennsylvania 5/3/03″ album. I’m most certainly not a Pearl Jam freak fan, like some, nor do I believe as strongly as Vedder does in his political views and, quite frankly, I don’t always necessarily even like Pearl Jam’s music.
However, the following lyrics spoke to me years ago when I first heard them and still greatly reflect the mind set I’m in these days. Further more, they are a fairly accurate expression of some of my thoughts and sentiments towards my California experience.
“I wanna go where there are no roads
I wanna go where there are no roads
I wanna go where the truth can be told
I wanna leave these awful streets
I wanna go where the teachers told me I can’t go
I wanna fly high
I wanna go free
I wanna be everything my dad told me I couldn’t be
I wanna go high
I wanna get high
I wanna feel free
I wanna be me
Get on this ride
They’ll take you for free
All you need is guts
Live your life courageously
There’ll be bumps
It’ll be raw
Never do leave your troubles behind
Yeah it’s better to leave your troubles behind
And don’t you let yourself lead your life as a lie”
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and I must admit, that I did not indulge in one single car bomb, shot of Jameson and/or pint of Guinness. I’m pretty sure this is what they call growing up.
Yesterday, I awoke on my friends couch in Charlestown, Mass. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate predominantly Irish-American location to wake up. I knew I had to get out of the city quickly before the rowdiness and partying ate me alive. At 9am the city was already pulsating, you could feel it. So I headed down the street in search of coffee. Obviously, the first coffee shop I stumbled upon, 50 feet away, was a Dunkin Donuts…when in Rome!
Instead of indulging in alcoholic Irish beverages and screaming classic Irish folk tunes and/or Dropkick Murphy’s songs that I’ve heard one too many times, I spent this year’s St. Patrick’s day doing some reflecting. I recently found out that my mother’s father, my grandfather, passed away on St. Patrick’s day- before he got to eat his boiled dinner. I think this is part of the reason why we ate boiled dinner every year on St. Patrick’s day growing up. On my drive home from Portland, I called my brother, my mother, my grandmother, etc. and wished them all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and that I was thinking of them.
In honor of the family tradition, upon returning from Boston, I set out with my best friend, Amber Kenney, also of Irish descent, to find some boiled dinner before work. Naturally, we ended up at Ruski’s, my favorite neighborhood dive. I’m pretty sure the dinner I had was 5 pounds. While I ate almost all of this massive feast, I saved some for later that evening.
As I work in a French Bistro, the atmosphere at work remained untainted by St. Patty’s, though there were a few green-wearing folks at the bar. By the time work was finished I was too tired to attempt to mingle with my friends downtown. It just didn’t feel right. I headed home, ate the rest of my supper and thought about my friends, family and loved ones, past and present, departed and living. I went to bed extremely satisfied, knowing that the luck of the Irish is with me and is evident in the friends and family I’ve been blessed with.
In honor of St. Patrick’s day tomorrow I wanted to dedicate today’s favorite photo Friday to our corned beef and cabbage supper last year! While this was at about 1 in the afternoon, my grandma always called lunch ‘supper,’ and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I woke up at 6 am to start this feast of a meal so that we could all enjoy a very important Leiter tradition before I headed to work. Growing up, my dad made us corned beef and cabbage every St. Patrick’s day.
Three very hungry boys (my brother, John, my old roommate, Kyle and family friend, Eben) and three girls, me and my roommates, Ashley and Amber, (not pictured) destroyed 6 pounds of VERY tasty corned beef from the best meat market in Portland, Pat’s meat market.
I love this photo because the boys patiently waited, mouths watering, for lunch to be prepared. Their faces were priceless when this massive plate of food was set in front of them. There was no holding back. There’s something about hard working boys’ appetites, Irish traditions, American beer and family and friends that really touches my heart. I’m lucky to have such grounded roots and a loyal and loving support system!
Last night Alex and I joined our mothers at Flatbread Pizza for a fundraiser. Both our mums have been involved in Make-A-Wish for quite some time. Despite the horrifically rude service, everything else was great! I think it’s awesome that every Tuesday night Flatbread dedicates $3.50 from every pizza sold to whatever charity is hosting that week.
This is my mom’s last year as a board member of Make-A-Wish, which makes each event she partakes in that much more special to her. It was very touching to see her interact with other Make-A-Wish members last night. She has put many years and endless hours into the organization and it most certainly does not go unnoticed. The people involved are truly amazing!
Last night I met some of the board members and one woman who’s child was being granted a wish, as they had a terminal disease. I didn’t ask her about it as we had just met and I didn’t want to pry for details or bring up difficult emotions. I was absolutely floored at how strong this woman was. How she managed to laugh and hold a conversation even though a part of her must be breaking every minute inside. I absolutely cannot fathom it.
I can see why my mom has spent so many years dedicating her time to this charity, it is truly a very special thing.
[(Susan, Alex's mom, and my mother, Meredith (top left) My friends Alex, Dayna and Grace (bottom)]