Bless Me Ireland For I Have Changed

Bless me Ireland, for I have changed,

Here is my American confession……



I put no milk in my tea!


That’s right! No milk!  No sugar!  Just plain black tea!  I know – pure sacrilege by Irish tea drinking standards – not even the teeniest, tiniest, little drop of milk in my tay.  I arrived on these shores drinking creamy tea, but I have since converted to be a black tea drinker.

And there’s more. I drink those fancy herbal teas, not just good black Irish tea.  Lemon, peppermint, chamomile – I’ve tried them all.  In my defense, not a drop of coffee has passed my lips.  I am still officially a tea drinker, if not a true Irish tay drinker.

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I drive a mini-van!


No longer is my mode of transport a petrol-sipping mini cooper, but a whopping big minivan with a V6 engine – a gas-guzzler by Irish standards.  I am officially a soccer mom.  There’s no going back once you give birth to triplets.

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I now eat cupcakes instead of buns!


I indulge in America’s fancy, frosted buns and call them cupcakes.   Now every time I finish one I ask myself why on earth I let that sweet, gooey mess pass my lips, but I just can’t help myself.  They look lovely, and as Oscar Wilde so eloquently put it, I can resist everything except temptation.

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 I love the Drive-Thru!


Drive-thru bank!  Drive-thru pharmacy! Drive-thru fast food!  I’ve used them all, sitting behind my steering wheel, heating my rear with my built-in car seat warmer.  I know it’s a long way from the pony and trap my grandmother used, but with four kids, a girl’s got to do, what a girl’s got to do.


I Supersized My Big Mac!


Once, just once, before the infamous supersizing fad was halted, I did it.  The drive-thru girl asked:  “Do you want to supersize that?”  And without batting an eyelid, I said yes.

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The word “awesome” slipped my lips.


Just once I confess, but I can’t take it back.  It was my Irish lips that uttered this ever-so-American exclamation.  A school mother offered to take my little one to a birthday party, and before you know it, I had said it:  “That would be awesome!”  My Americanization is fully under way.


I watch movies, not films!


I don’t go to the cinema anymore, but check on line to see what’s showing at the movies.  And then to crown it all, I eat popcorn by the bucketful at said movies.

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 For these changes,

And all the other changes

That will inevitably occur,

I am not one bit sorry.



And for my penance …….

Another twenty years in America!


Bless me, Ireland, that’s no penance at all, at all.



Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom




  1. I don’t know when I’ve seen a bun. It must be 20 years or more. Nowadays everything is muffins. Big yokes, You wouldn’t cover them with two fists. And milk isn’t the ‘thing’ it was either. People copped on that many were profoundly allergic to the stuff and it was the reason why Compressor Nebuliser’s became part of every families health furniture like a thermometer. So you are far more likely to get the prissy teas here than milky stuff you could stand a spoon in. Nor would you find sugar going in either, perhaps honey, but usually nothing.
    The drive-thru has yet to take off. But that’s only a Q of time. Most fast food places are in town centers and banks have move many on-line. We’ve always been a bit meah about popcorn. Twix bars and a bucket sized coke are the fare at a cinema. While your ‘brat-mobile’, those are de rigueur for the well got (hubby with a milk cheque from 80 cows) farmers wife with a small step ladder sitting in the back seat.
    What you should get on you knees about is the soccer bit. Soccer how are ya. What’s wrong with hurling and camoige. But as long as you always ask for a lift your grand since some here send their kids out to basketball, in Tralee !.

    • Vince – The last time we were home my four year old grabbed a hold of his cousin’s camoige stick and hit the sliothar the biggest puc a four-year old ever hit. My father couldn’t get over how he immediately gripped the stick in the correct manner. The poor man keeps lamenting his grandson is in America – he thinks he might have the next Christy Ring or Jimmy Barry Murphy on his hands if he could only get the child to Ireland to play a bit of hurling.
      All the best,

  2. Don’t know how many habits my Gran might have lost in the years after she came over to NY, but one habit we always wondered about was her putting condensed milk in her tea.

    We weren’t sure if it was because she was “Irish” or because she was “eccentric.” 😉

    Then I tried it once and it was pretty good!
    Oof, I’m wondering now if I’m more Irish or more eccentric.

    • John – I remember a few old folks putting evaporated milk in their tea when I was a kid in Ireland. I suppose there was no need for any sugar – you can’t beat a dash of sweet, milky goodness all in one. I’ve never tried it, but I think your Gran was more Irish, than eccentric. But then again let’s face it, half the island is eccentric.
      All the best,

  3. Totally love this awesome post, Mairead! :) Everything about it is perfect. Great idea and great writing. So much fun!

  4. Rhonda Boyd says:

    I just found your website and love it! My daughter and I visited your land of birth this past summer and what a craic time we had. When I was sharing with her last night about you and your site her first question was does she still speak with that beautiful Irish accent and has her children picked it up?

    • Hi Rhonda – I’m so glad you found my site and enjoyed my stories and ramblings. It is lovely to hear you had a wonderful time in Ireland. I always love to hear when tourists have a great experience on their trips to the Emerald Isle.
      You can let your daughter know that I still have a very strong Irish accent. I will probably never lose it, but my children have a touch of a Kentucky drawl, despite both of their parents being Irish. I think kids pick up accents from their school friends and TV, rather than imitating their parents. However, when we visit Ireland, they start picking up a Dublin accent after a few weeks. When we return to America everyone notices their Irish expressions and lilt.
      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. Do check in whenever you have a spare moment. I try to add a new post two to three times each week.
      All the best,

  5. Herbal tea may be taking it a bit far Mairead, But the four little ones in a minivan is being economical, hardly a gas guzzler, and even if you were driving a Hummer, if it suited your needs all the better. I think we got the better of the deal when you decided to stay with us,
    From a Fellow American, Cheers,

    • Brian – I would be lost without my minivan. It was a must when all three were in baby seats together, and I could move up and down the middle of the van to complete the strapping in routine.
      Take care,

  6. Black Tea for me also. Nice post. It’s interesting to read about the differences.

  7. “Awesome” post, Mairead! Thoroughly enjoyed!

  8. Jenn Ross says:

    I gave up sugar in my tea for Lent a long time ago and never went back. But I love to have milk :)

    • Jenn – I put milk in my tea until one year ago. Then I just decided to try some herbal teas. I learned to like the taste of these herbal teas, and then just started drinking black tea. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Wow, what an awesome article!

    By the way, my parents already booked their first flight to USA. They are going to Dayton, Ohio.

    Thank you for this great blog and confessions are beautiful.

  10. How funny! My mother’s family was English, so I grew up drinking tea – sometimes plain, sometimes with a little milk (perhaps a teaspoon or two in a teacup). One day with a friend I visited her Irish aunt who offered us tea, poured it and immediately (without asking if I wanted milk) poured about 3 or 4 tablespoons of milk into the mug of tea. I drank it to be polite, but I didn’t like it! Didn’t know if it was “an Irish thing” or just her. Apparently it’s an Irish thing! 😀

    • Jean – Adding milk to tea is definitely an Irish thing. Everyone assumes you take milk, and as you experienced many add milk without even asking. Sugar is considered more optional and people usually ask if you would like some. Tea drinking in Ireland involves understand tea etiquette or the tea dance, as I call it. Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Best wishes,

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