The Irish Identity class gathered for the last time on the third Wednesday in December at Sonja and Tom’s. The discussion revolved around the 1930s in Ireland and especially about the role Eamon De Valera played in the politics of the time. Also present were Jack, Kathryn, Marilyn O, Maddy, Kate, and Dan O’C. Others who participated throughout the many sessions are: Michelle, Marie V, Nancy, Dan M, Obie, MaryAnn, Jean, Joe, Maura, Judy, Evan, Sandy, Emma, and Jerry M.
Thanks go out to Tom for all the times he handled the technology part of the program, to Sonja for suggesting and ordering the program, to Judy who facilitated the group in creative ways, and to Dan O’C for lending his knowledge to the group as a facilitator whenever it had to do with history. Stay tuned to Blarney and our web calendar for news about upcoming Third Wednesday events.
On January 5th, Jean, Joe, Gina, Tom, Sonja, Maura, and Michelle met at the Woodside Deli in Germantown for our monthly First Saturday Brunch. Conversation was lively and peaked when the topic turned to financial planning. Join us next month on Ground Hog’s Day, February 2. No reservation necessary.
To celebrate Nollaig na mBan – Women’s Little Christmas – 13 RKIDs gathered around a long table at the Limerick Pub on the feast of the Epiphany, January 6. In parts of Ireland the tradition of women meeting on this day at a local pub or someone’s home still stands. They mark the end of the holiday season (and all the commotion) with a chance to relax, laugh, and converse. True to the event's spirit, Maura, who organized the event, passed out Claddagh charms to Emma, Christine, Kathryn, Marilyn O, Nancy, Connie, Maddy, and Bobbie. Men also were invited, and answering the call were Jerry, Obie, Dan M, and Bill. A grand time was had; conversation never halted; and perhaps a new RKID tradition has begun.
Marie V was fortunate to again be in Seattle with her grandchildren for the holidays. Two adorable children got all her attention for a couple weeks.
Evan and Sandy once again found themselves in New York City. This time to attend Conor McPherson’s musical, “Girl From the North Country,” at the Public Theater. Set in Minnesota during the depression, it highlighted 20 Bob Dylan songs. The Washington DC suburbanites enthusiastically recommend the show. Evan said, “Hardship, heartbreak, love, poverty, and despair, so Irish, yet filled with homegrown music drawing folks together tearfully and lively to cope with the misery. It was chilling and delightful. And, in an amazing coincidence for the RKIDs ... the Public Theater has won 170 Obie Awards!” The one-day trip also included a “fight upstream against waves of crowds to Rockefeller Center for the Christmas hoopla.”
“We were disappointed to miss the annual RKID Christmas party at the O’Brien’s this year, but it was for a good reason,” reported Marilyn W. And that is definitely the truth. Bob B and Marilyn W went to NY to watch their granddaughter (14 years old) perform en pointe in the Nutcracker Ballet, a performance held at the Rockland Community College. “We were so proud of her,” beamed the proud grandmother, “And we got to visit with our other granddaughter, who is a gymnast (11 years old).” Sounds like a perfect visit---with talented grandchildren.
As in years past, Kate and Dan were in South Carolina for Christmas with his son and family, which includes nine children! There was lots of activity---grocery shopping, cooking, presents, and Mexican Train (dominoes).
Mary Barnes flew to Minneapolis on her December 19th birthday this year to spend time with her son and his family. Jetsetter that she is, she flew back to DC on Christmas Day in time to spend time with her DC grandchildren.
During the holiday season, Robin and Emmett traveled to NYC to watch his middle grandchild play the bassoon in a Brooklyn intermediate school Winter Concert. Grandson Emmett, a novice at the bassoon, was the only bassoonist in the concert. Robin praised the performance, saying, “It was a very impressive show, with choral, winds, and string bands.” Before the concert, the travelers got in some air hockey play at a Coney Island pizza place.
As you have read in Blarney before, Kathryn serves as a tutor in English for an Iranian woman, Maryam. A few years ago Kathryn brought her student to a ceili in Washington Grove and many RKIDs will remember the delicious Persian dish Maryam shared with us. After many years of hard work on her English skills, Maryam recently passed her citizenship exam! Kathryn is proud as a peacock. Congratulations to both teacher and student!
Since Jean Wds was getting attention at Asbury during the holiday season, some of the RKIDs thought she could use some cheering up. Marilyn O organized a chorale patterned after the recent Christmas party, taking the songbooks. Nancy, Sonja, Kate, Kathy, Kathryn, Mary Ann, Jim and Bill formed the chorus, along with Jean herself. As the hour progressed, more people from Asbury joined in the fun, lifting the spirits of the whole floor. Even the parakeets in the bird cage tweeted along.