Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Authentic Irish Tea

"An Authentic Irish Tea"

by Aunt Cella, posted by permission
Originally written October, 1969/a true story
Part 3 of 4

An old peasant lady appeared in black dress and stockings, and at the sight of another human being, I nearly broke down in weeping.  Struggling for control, I told her I must be lost (although I suspected that she already suspected that).  I told her the boats were leaving soon (there was only one a day), but this horse insisted on coming here.  She then dropped her little bombshell --- the horse belonged there and was merely coming home --- with an unwilling visitor!  She later admitted it was not the first time it had happened.  The horse and I had been on the trail for four solid, er, liquid hours!  She led me inside her home (which I was than anxious to see despite my distressing situation) to an open peat fireplace with an old black kettle hanging over it, and then began stripping off my soggy clothes.  I sat by the fire with this kindly soul bustling about, putting warm clothes on me, getting hot tea, trying to hurry with three huge dogs, and a red-haired Irish grand baby, and a flock of baby turkeys all under foot.  I couldn't believe my eyes and wanted to laugh and cry both, at this unreal situation.  I watched bemusedly while one little turkey jumped into the rim and then into a large pail sitting on the kitchen floor.  Hearing noise, the lady of the house rushed over to the pail in time to pull out a half-drowned little turk from what was obviously a pail of water.  Calamities!  It was a wild scene.  She shoved them all under a basket and then proceeded to cut a homemade raisin loaf for my tea without benefit of hand washing of any sort between turkeys and bread.  I may have winced, but I wouldn't have refused her hospitality for anything.  It tasted delicious and was served on her best china.  She commented that I "seemed to fit in very nicely here in this country" probably because I was petting her dogs that were running in and out, and trying strenuously to see everything I could while just trying to appear as if I had grown up with peat fires and turkeys drowning themselves in the center of the kitchen floor!  When I told her I was from California she was very surprised and said she thought I was one of the local Irish girls from "up North".  I concluded that I must be fitting in very well indeed.  My Yankee twang was mistaken for an Irish brogue...!

To be continued.


  1. this is such a lovely story, I'm so glad you're sharing it!

  2. Hello La Tea Dah...I think your aunt is a very good writer and good story teller. Nice of you to post her experiences on your blog. Wonder how it will turn out....will she meet back up with the rest of the riders? Hmmmm, I'd better tune in tomorrow, right? Susan

  3. p.s. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your thoughtful comment, La Tea Dah. Peace to you tonight. Susan

  4. I love this series! Thank you for sharing!
    Beautiful blog header!

  5. Noticing the date, I see how I missed this and am sorry that I have. I will be back to pick up at the beginning and read through to the end. Some quiet evening when the chores are done and with a cup of tea in hand.


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