Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sarah and letters from America

Sarah continued: part 2

Since I was very young I had heard letters read from family and friends who had moved to America. The newspapers were full of news about the beautiful land in America almost free for the asking. Oh, what stories were told! My uncle had moved to America when he was younger and wrote letters home. Everyone was excited to hear his wild stories. Now, I am not sure if they were even true, because people who are away from family often exaggerate things and don’t tell of the hard times. We don’t want to worry our loved ones. Uncle had moved to the city. Life was different in the big American city. We are land people and the big city life scared us, but his stories were exciting to hear. In those days, when someone decided to leave their home in Ireland, and our family knew many people who left every year, we didn’t ever expect them to come back even to visit. There were always big “goodbye” parties, but few “welcome home” parties were ever held. We did love to read their letters though. It took several weeks for a letter to arrive by ship from America, but when one did arrive we all ran to hear it read and re-read.

I remember the apples trees, which grew on Grandfather Peyton’s land. There were many different kinds of apples and most of them were good to eat. The little Crab apple was really sour. Watching the workman press apples in the fall to make cider was one of my favorite things to do. I loved the taste of fresh apple cider especially when they threw in some of the sour Crab apples. Of course the adults liked cider better after it was fermented.

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