Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A tale

I was out today with my camera in search of red maples.  A  remark about their absence in some of my other photos set me on my mission.

While wandering my neighbourhood I stopped at a house to take a photo and noticed two older woman talking at the side door.  I politely asked the homeowner if she minded me taking a picture of her tree.  No problem she said.

Once done the other woman turned to me and asked if I was  Dr. H's daughter.  Yes I replied.  Turns out she had worked with my father years ago and it was her husband who owned and operated the garage at the top street near  my childhood home.   Dad used that gas station for years and enjoyed spending time talking with Joe.

Joe E's family had come from Ireland and my dad always talked about his  English father telling tales of how our branch of the family arrived in Somerset England to work and then forgot to return home. When Joe told him he and Helen, the woman I met today, were going to Ireland dad asked if they would bring him back a shillelagh.    Helen remembers shopping for it and how thrilled both sides were when it was presented.

When dad died for some reason one of my sisters returned it to Joe.   In a conversation just recently with another sister the odd returning of it was mentioned and bemoaned. 

When I told this to Helen she said she still had it and had often wondered why it had been returned. After all it had been a gift.   She invited me to her home just 2 doors away and pulled it from a hall stand holding umbrellas.

We sat and talked about Joe, who died 16 years ago and my dad who died 25 years ago.  We talked about her early years as an Xray technician and all the changes over the years,  about how as a child I had gone to the hospital with my dad when he was on call  on weekends and I was allowed to clip the corners from the newly developed films ( a job the techs were only to glad to have done for them ) and we talked about families and growing older and how something special  can happen on a very ordinary day.

Luck of the Irish?   I like to think so.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Luck of the Irish, indeed! What a great story! You must be thrilled to have it back.