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Irish Treasures

August 7, 2014
By Cecilia Durham-Moen , Emmetsburg News

During my trip to Ireland last month I brought back lots of souvenirs! In the mix were the prerequisite t-shirts, hats and tons of postcards. Some of the postcards were given as mini-gifts to show particularly interesting points on my trip. Others will be used in my scrapbook in place of pictures I didn't get.

I brought back some lovely small linens from the Blarney Woolen Mills. They are circular and a delicate white with lovely green embroidery of shamrocks. I also brought home some towels and a couple of bags that will be used to haul groceries and other items.

While we were at Connemara Marble I was able to purchase a variety of lovely marble pieces, including rosaries, a fish for my hubby, a shamrock for me and some worry stones for a few people who are very special to me. I also purchased some lovely earrings there. I loved all the pieces with many shades of green running through the marble but I had to be careful not to weigh down my suitcase too much! The prices were great and I'd have loved to have brought back more.

Everywhere I travel I bring back a Christmas ornament to hang on our tree in December to bring back memories of the special places we've been during the year.

One of the items I'm quite proud of is my certificate that proves I attended the class at Guinness to learn how to properly pull a pint! The class was great fun really. I stood with a small group of friendly strangers and we learned how to check the glass for impurities, how to hold the glass at a certain tilt, how to pull and more. Of course I can't give away all the secrets I was taught! Suffice it to say that if you need an excellent draft of Guinness and I'm around, them I'm the gal to assist you!

In Ireland there's also a great selection of shining silver jewelry, of which I had to purchase a few pieces. I bought some as gifts and some for myself as reminders of this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I bought a ring with the Celtic trident that will keep me focused on Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I purchased a small Claddagh ring as well. I love the symbolism it holds and enjoyed learning about the four different ways to wear it.

And then there's my favorite Ogham necklace. Ogham is an early Medieval alphabet that was used to write early Irish language in the fourth through tenth centuries. It is also known as the Celtic Tree Alphabet. It was possibly named after the Irish god Ogma. This single, long rectangle of silver bears the message of my choosing in Ogham. Unless you known Ogham, you won't know the message inscribed. It's a lovely piece in and of itself but especially because the chosen message will be unknown to only but a few. Several of these lovely neck pieces were purchased by people in our St. Pat's Assoc. tour group so look around town for them and perhaps the wearer will tell you the message their necklace holds.



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