Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Feeling Lucky Giveaway Hop
Happy St. Patrick’s Day -
My dad’s family came from Ireland to Canada (along with thousands and thousands of others) because of an Gorta Mór, the Great Hunger (also known as the potato famine). They settled, as did many, in the prairies, because land was cheap and there were government incentives to go there. It’s hard to imagine a greater shock than this move—to come from the rolling green hills and soft rain of Ireland only to arrive at the flatness and harsh winters of the prairies.
They spent many generations in the prairies, living through blizzards and droughts, through the Depression, grasshopper infestations, hail and the dust bowl. And it was only in the late 1940s that my grandparents, my father and his sisters, finally left the prairies and came west. They bought a fishing lodge in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. It’s hard to imagine a greater shock than this move—to come from the harsh prairies, made even worse by the depression, to the west coast, where the fish were plentiful, the weather was warm and wet, and there was plenty of business.
They quickly got used to the rain, to the mountains, to the roar of the ocean in their ears. Instead of selling feed and supplies to poverty-stricken farmers, they sold fishing trips to movie stars like Bing Crosby and John Wayne. Instead of bundling up in layers of wool, they bundled up in oil skins. Instead of worrying about grasshoppers, they enjoyed their new business and their new life and, somewhere deep inside their souls, they felt at home in the soft green and damp of the west coast.
I still live on the wet west coast and rarely, if ever, get bothered by the damp. When people ask me why the grey days don’t bother me, I tell them it’s because, no matter what the season, the grass is still green, the ocean is still lulling me to sleep, the rain is soft and sweet against my skin.
I guess I’m still Irish at heart.
Slán go fóill!
I am participating in the Feeling Lucky Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by http://ismellsheep.blogspot.com and http://www.fictionalcandy.com. I am giving away a copy of Dragonflies and Dinosaurs. To be entered into the giveaway, please comment below with a way to contact you, also for an extra entry, like my Facebook Page.
Giveaway is open to the US & Canada. Find the other participants here: