Posted on March 17, 2017
Well, you learn something new every day. Not only is today St. Patrick’s Day, but it is also St. Gertrude’s Day. And Gertrude is the patron saint of cats.
Ironically, or maybe not, one of the few photographs I have is this one, of my great-grandmother, Rose Glennon Lamb and her daughter, Gertrude in the back row. There is also a cat in the picture, held by the child Mary Brogan. They lived in Yonkers, N.Y. in the early 1900s. Perhaps it was taken on St. Gertrude’s Day?
As saint expert Thomas J. Craughwell explains it, “St. Gertrude … is invoked against mice and rats, which has led cat lovers to assume that Gertrude was a cat person, and so the ideal patron of their favorite pet.” There are now many icons and paintings of her with a cat.
Although the Vatican can make a saint’s patronage official, it has never done so with Saint Gertrude and cats. But most patron saints have been assigned their duties by popular tradition rather than by official recognition. So, if you want to get a medal of St. Gertrude to hang around your cat’s neck, go right ahead. ~Valerie DeBenedett
Posted on March 17, 2017
Ireland came to America because, deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of safety, of even food itself, the Irish believed, for decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America… Enda Kenny, Taoiseach
Maybe because some of us tend to forget our ancestor’s journey, is the reason why history repeats itself.Maybe with each successive wave of immigration, we should remember our own history. While many demand that certain groups stay out, or assimilate faster, it would be a good time to recall that it took generations for our families to complete the journey.
My ancestor’s left Ireland during the Famine. They made their way to New York and to the marble quarries of Westchester County. Later, they moved a few miles into Yonkers and made their living at the Alexander Smith Carpet Mill. Here in Yonkers, branches of my family tree joined together. My great-grandfather, after several years in the carpet factory, was the first to leave the labor field for a desk job selling insurance. Fifty years later, after World War II, my grandfather, 3rd generation Irish, left the enclave and reinvented himself in Washington, D.C.
Three generations of quarry labor and factory work. Three generations before my grandfather broke away. From serving in the Coast Guard, he discovered his love of radio and love of performance. He landed a radio job in DC, which led later to television and advertising. My father, fourth-generation, was the first to go to college.
As the Taoiseach says, the Irish came here because they believed in the shelter, compassion, and opportunity of America. They worked hard for generations in order to provide for their families. It took generations to move out of the neighborhood from which all was familiar, to leave the remnants of Ireland behind.
Posted on January 16, 2017
Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Posted on December 28, 2016
This. Many of us are scared right now. Big changes are coming and we’re going through the acceptance and then take action process.
To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness. – Eckhart Tolle
Many are taking actions. Large or small, doing something with an unknown outcome can be frightening. Fear stops many of us from making changes. After all, it’s more comfortable to be … comfortable…to lay low, to let it pass. Tempting. But unrealistic.
Doing what is right isn’t always comfortable. Taking action isn’t always brave. It can be downright terrifying. But do it anyway.
Posted on December 4, 2016
If you get a chance, watch Pete Holmes HBO stand up Faces and Sounds.Takeaways:“joy quotient” and love yourself “for what you are doing, not what you could be doing.”