EdbookI received Alice Taylor's As Time Goes By, as a gift this Christmas. Although Alice is more than a decade ahead of me, and from a very rural area, several of her mentions brought a smile. You see, Lucan was a very rural village well into the late 1960s. The Lucan which I grew up in was virtually the same one which had shaped my mother - same families, same houses and schools, even some of the same teaching nuns, though they were very old by the time I got to them. Funny how they often called me by my mother's maiden name - Little Rosie Eiffe!

Alice's book got me thinking, and a rummage was underway for a little book which I had received from my twin grandsons the previous Christmas. It was a type of journal with pages of questions for me to answer, telling them all about my life, the games I played, the friends I had, and any information I might have had about my parents and grandparents. I had the best intentions of filling it in during 2019, but between one thing and another, it stayed tucked away safely in a drawer.

The more I think about things, I realise the wealth of family information I have, most of which will never be found anywhere else. While these boys are growing up in Lucan, they are worlds apart from the childhood afforded myself and my siblings. It was a place very safe to roam, to pick wildflowers and mushrooms, paddle in the Griffeen and catch pinkeens in jam jars. We were just told 'Don't talk to strangers', at a time when any stranger in Lucan would stand out a mile!

Imagine not being able to get ice cream or ice pops! Come autumn, the fridges were cleared out and laid up 'til the following summer. And of course, it was always fish on Fridays!

I can tell them things about their ancestors - we had builders, carpenters, a thatcher, canal boat men, turf cutters, mill workers, a groom, a gardener, farmers, a nurse, teachers, and one side of the family can boast of Mary O'Toole, the first female judge in Washington's Municipal Court, appointed by President Harding in 1921.

I need to get all this stuff down on paper, before the lads think I'm doting! They will be amused at how different times were. How I would like to be a fly on the wall when they read my account of things. Perhaps I'll come back as a fly!

Mary Mulhall

January 11, 2020 - 7:40pm
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