March 05, 2017
March 17th

I am writing this blog while driving from Santa Fe to Minneapolis; we are returning from a road trip/honeymoon. Yes, I am a blessed woman. I was married to a wonderful man and father, Jim, for 37 years until his death. And I am now married to a wonderful man and father, Tom, (5 daughters, 5 sons in law, 16 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild).Together we number 56. The family gatherings are going to be amazing (and somewhere other than our house, not nearly big enough). All of our children have been amazingly giving and open to our marriage, and that is a major blessing.

(I share this now because I am very happy and excited to share it! But also, from time to time I'm sure I'll be referencing Tom or one of his children and I don’t want you to think I have lost my mind or forgot my family’s names.)

March is a special month for the Ryan clan, and luckily Tom, is part Irish; not the crazy Jim Ryan Irish, but Irish nonetheless. Actually, his mother Delores, was a Ryan. The other part is German, which Tom is more German in speech and thought process. I'm sure so the adjustment to our flavor of "Irish-ness" will take some time, but I think we can win him over. He does not like change, so I hope he likes the green sweater and shirt he is getting from me. I don’t think he will wear the press-on shamrock or Leprechaun on his cheek this year, but who knows what the future will bring. 

Over the years we had lots of opportunity to wear Irish items. When we would go to Notre Dame football games, Jim and his former roommates would always have green or ND clothes on. It didn’t matter that football is played in the fall and not March, the fighting Irish brought out the Irish anytime of year.

Jim had a great group of friends, with their own particular style. Yes, Jim is in Zubaz in the picture, green and navy striped. He found this fashion statement to his liking and had several pairs of different colors. He was not a chef but, would wear them whenever he could. After several years, long after they were popular (if they ever were, except at hockey), I burned them. I had to take drastic measures, if I threw them in the trash, he would dig them out.

Nell and Danny, liked the leprechaun stickers on their faces, although after a day of wearing them the imprint would stay for at least another day or two. Nell wore her Irish hat all the time, turned backwards so you would see the word. Actually she wore this as much as Jim wore his Zubaz. I liked the hat better and she was lots cuter, so it did not meet the same fate as the pants.  

Bullet Points:

  • Change is inevitable, and when it's a good thing like I'm lucky enough to be experiencing now, embrace it. (Even if that means wearing green to celebrate the 17th, or stomaching your partner in Zubaz)
  • Happy St. Patricks Day to all! Hopefully you are donning some green (even in the form of Zabaz). Anything but orange, please!! 
Colleen Ryan

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