Melody McCormick De La Mar – August 2, 2017

On our actual 50th anniversary, we dined at a new Italian restaurant that was outstanding in the relaxed European fashion- fantastic.! (Our actual anniversary was June 10, and we were married at St. Cajetan Church as St. Barnabas, my home parish, had been torn down. Jack belonged to St. Walter’s, but they didn’t offer to take up any ceremonies. Fr. Carolyn turned out to be a fun and funny priest and we enjoyed finishing up our preCana work with him.)

The next week we rented the Beach House at the resort where we own a condo/cottage, so all of our girls and their husbands and most of their children could enjoy a lakeside gathering. The girls no longer squirt hair spray in each others faces or “borrow” each others clothes without permission, so things go as smooth as silk, and the 8 grandkids really enjoy each other. We stayed at OUR place with Jack’s mom , who celebrated her 94th birthday in May and our two rescue dogs.

Sean Michael, our oldest grandson, had just graduated from the Naval Academy with honors and returned to Champaign for his groom’s dinner and wedding to Lauren, a lovely, Catholic theologian, journalist, singer, guitarist, artist, scholar, actress, cook, and sweetheart. They were packing to move back to Annapolis where he would be helping EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) to set up qualifiers for Midshipmen at USNA who aspired to EOD, Sean Mike’s chosen field.

Our family surprised us by paying for our wonderful Fathers” Day Weekend dinner at Coral Gables and greeting us with photos of our senior prom and wedding, blueberry cake, a stand-up paddleboard. a bouquet of wines and bourbons, 50 white roses and a lovely toast. Then we adjourned to the Beach House for a cocktail party with friends and relatives.

The next chapter of our anniversary is a return to Ireland to visit Cousin Kitty Flynn at the Moore Dairy Farm in NewCastle West, County Limerick, the birthplace of my grandfather, Daniel Leahy Moore, who emigrated to America to become a  Fire Chief in Roseland and the father of 6 daughters and one bathroom. He drank.

The 50th Anniversary continues. Then it’s off to Killarney, Dublin, something that starts with a “C” and Belfast. The last time we were there, it was the Troubles in Belfast and we didn’t go. Instead, we were invited for a cocktail party to the Presidential Palace in Phoenix Park, Dublin, where security was TIGHT. We got invited, not because we’re anybody, but because we were with the President of the ISBA and Judge Sheila Murphy, who was the only person besides Mary Robinson, the President, who recognized and stood for the Irish Anthem at a meeting in Chicago. The Robinsons were a gracious, charming family, and we were flabbergasted by the mansion and the spread of foods, the gardens and my family was so impressed. We told them, “Don’t be expecting to meet President Bush when you visit America. we’ve never even been to DC.”

We tend to look for open spaces, Gettysburg trails, Antitam terrain, Saugatuck beaches and lakeshores, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming trails, Hawaiian beaches, Caribbean shores, and Michigan adventures like the dune buggies and kayaking on Goshorn Lake.

This photo was from a cruise we took to visit a friend who was born on St. Croix, eloped with a huge college basketball player, and returned to St. Thomas, VI, after the death of her husband. She was the CEO of CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children in Champaign County. a brilliant, multilingual adoptive and foster parent of so many needy children, like about 70.

 

She took us to Buck Island for a pig adventure. A pig used to live on the island and loved cans of beer, which he could open. He/she died of alcoholism and the new replacement pig is only allowed cans of nearbeer. The waters were  beautiful and I wished I could have remained there forever but our best friend/cruise companions are shoppers and we had to get to some island to buy outrageously priced purses. We snorkeled.

To sunny skies and gentle breezes; fair winds and following seas, and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
                                                       Melody Anne McCormick De La Mar

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