When his daughter hooked up with a sailor who referred to tennis shoes as sneakers and sub sandwiches as grinders, we wondered if Missouri life would suit him. Come to find out his neck of the woods isn't much different than ours.
Taking a trip to the East Coast to visit the new son-in-law's family was an adventure into the past. Full of our nation's history and rich with fresh seafood and heavy New England accents you thought at any moment Paul Revere would show up yelling, "the British are coming," although in our case, it would be the arrival of the Irish.
There's no questioning the Irish blood running through his family's veins and it was hard not to get caught up in their fierceness and passion for enjoying life. His family may not live just a stone’s throw away, but they reminded me of our family – loud jokesters and opinionated. No wonder he feels at home with us.
His hometown of Bolton, Connecticut, population 1,700, is home of the famous Shady Glen cheeseburgers and Munson's chocolates. How can a small town, which seems to be overrun with creeks lined with tall, skinny trees have two famous establishments? Of course we ate our way through both and ended up with a hamburger that resembled a flying saucer with cheese flying out the sides and every kind of chocolate you could ever hope for.
I'm sure I seemed like a true redneck from the Midwest to these folks when I announced I didn't like seafood. They just couldn't wrap their minds around the fact I'd never tried clam chowder. It's a staple in their stomping grounds and expected to be eaten before every meal. They watched, they cheered and even took pictures as I tried my first spoonful. It was wicked good!
Once in Boston and after dropping off the rental car, it was obvious this busy, crowded city doesn't slow down for tourists who are confused as to how to get to their hotel. It's so packed full, there's huge maps posted, like an amusement park on steroids. In between historical landmarks, Fenway Park, museums, the harbor, U.S.S. Constitution Navy ship, office buildings and shopping centers, squeeze in hundreds of residents who live in apartment buildings, and it's no wonder it took us several hours to find our destination.
We obviously couldn't visit all of the tourist attractions in the short amount of time we spent in Hartford and Boston, but we did accomplish what we set out to do – add a lovely bunch of Irish men and women to our family.
We may not see them again for quite awhile but there's no doubt we'll pick right back up where we left off when we meet again.
Until then, we won't take the Irish out of the lad we now call our son-in-law but introduce him to life in the Midwest where there's no such thing as having a tag sale when you clean out your bureau. If our dressers are too full, we have a garage sale.
The daughter must have had the luck of the Irish when she met this sailor. Having them as family is worth more than any pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org