Tonight's post comes from the iPhone, so it will be short! Lol :) but I've spent the afternoon with uncle Doug, and it has been such a pleasure to hear and learn more about his life. I've especially enjoyed hearing about his mother (my great grandmother) Kathleen Mary Fitzgerald (how's that for a good solid Irish name? Lol). She had a very difficult life in many ways, and with a lot of hardship, but she sounds like a very kind and gentle woman with a sense if fun. Doug says she was very popular, because she was an accomplished pianist with a beautiful singing voice.
One story was about a time she was riding the train from Adelaide to Darwin, and for some reason (he can't remember if the train broke down or if it was flooded up ahead), but either way, the train (and everyone on it) was stuck there in the middle of Australia, for two days! Anyway, it was soon discovered that she could play and sing, AND it turned out that there was a piano in one of the luggage cars, so a bunch of fellows on the train unloaded the piano out onto the ground right there by the railway track and the train (in the middle of no where!), and as Doug puts it, she 'practically played for two days and two nights straight, while everyone enjoyed a non-stop singalong :)
She played everything, from all the great wartime classics (like 'it's a long way to tipararee'), well loved 'pop songs' of the era, like 'somewhere over the rainbow' and of course all the old Irish songs (like 'take me home Kathleen').
How wonderful that they had her and a piano onboard to keep the all so cheerful and entertained. And how wonderful for me to be part of such a wonderful family, with such a lovely heritage. Hearing stories like these aren't just fun because they're great stories, but they're also fun because they help me realize that I'm part of a chain of wonderful people. I start to understand more about who I am, and why I am the way I am. And it makes me want to live the kind of life that future generations could draw strength from.
So that's pretty cool, really ;)