Saturday, July 12, 2008

What About Ye?!

As you can see from the above picture, the Junior Gills have safely arrived in the wonderful land of Northern Ireland. Obviously I am delighted that they are here, no, really, no one forced me to say that. However there was a brief time on Friday morning when I may have wished they were arriving later in the day. You see I had a rather sleepless night on Thursday, but I consoled myself with the thought of a lie-in on Friday morning....alas, it was not to be. At 7am, I was rudely awakened by cupboards rattling, by 7:30 my dad's cell phone was ringing and my mother was running around the house calling him. The cell rang off, and almost immediately the home phone began to ring. By 8, mum was hoovering the bedrooms upstairs - yes, everything had to be spick and span for the arrival of the Junior Gills. And dad was persistently banging the garage door, which is directly below my bedroom. For an hour, I had remained in my bed, hoping that the noise would subside, or that my parents would finally leave and go to the airport. Eventually, I realised my chance of a lie-in was gone and I reluctantly got up only to hear my mum call "Rachel, Rachel, we're going now!". And my response? "GO! Just, leave!" Honestly, I was thinking of the importance of patience...the spirit was willing, but all the flesh wanted was a strong cup of coffee.

By the time I got home from work I was fully caffinated, and very happy to see my family. I was also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the glorious 12th July. The 12th of July is a traditional day of celebration for many protestants in our wee Province, commemorating the victory of King William of Orange over the Catholic King James. We generally celebrate with Parades involving flute bands, pipe bands, marching men in suits or kilts, and plenty of flags and banners. It's a real family tradition, and it's not unusual to see grandfathers, their sons, and their grandsons marching with the same group.

My wake up on the Glorious 12th, was very different to my waking up on the 11th. This morning, I woke up, jumped out of bed, came downstairs into the kitchen and merrily bestowed a "Happy 12th July!!" on the room. Yes, it's true, I was cheerful and fully communicative before coffee. That's the effect that the 12th has on me.

When we arrived I was determined that Elijah would learn to love the 12th of July just as much as the 4th July. Thankfully my nephew seemed inclined to oblige me, and pointed down the street with excitement saying "they're coming! more are coming!".

His father looked like he'd got lost on route to Texas, but he seemed to enjoy the bands - and he definitely enjoyed the ice cream!

When we got back to the field - there is always a field to go to after the parade is over, and it is filled with stalls selling flags, drums, music and plenty of stands selling burgers, chips, tea and sandwiches - Elijah was pretty tired by that time. But when he got his first loyalist drum, he revived and attempted to imitate the lambeg drummers he had watched earlier. The lambeg drummers tend to hit the drum with a lot of force...so much force, that they usually bring a spare drum skin with them incase the originals don't last the day!

Elijah - the true Irish-American!
Love, Rachel


Sherri said...

So happy to see the pictures and read Rachels' commentary! She is hilarious! We, BR, Blair and I are all here working on wedding stuff and thinking about you Liss. Love you guys!!! We miss you already! xox

Mrs. Rabe said...

Happy 12th July!

What fun for you to have the Junior Gills with you!

We kind of like them too!

Jayne said...

I feel the need to write a comment, seeing as I had the pleasure of spending the 12th day with you guys yesterday!! I hope Elijah is enjoying playing with his newly amended drum...thanks to me foolishly trying to rearrange the straps to resemble a true lambeg drum!!hehe! So Melissa in true Northern Irish style...did you enjoy the craic yesterday!? (please note that i said craic and not crack, as that could bring about a totally different meaning!!)

P.S. I have informed Rach that our babysitting services will be available at all times!! lol


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