How Much We Missed Home

United States of America - Apex, North Carolina

In September 1997 I came across an ad in the Independent. Raleigh’s first “authentic” Irish Bar would be opening soon and they were looking for Irish bar staff. I wasn’t interested in the job, I was looking for an excuse to travel to Dublin for a night or two from Co Clare. I remembered that often times when American companies wanted Irish staff they held group interviews in Dublin…If your surname is A-G, come Monday at 10 am, H-M, Monday at 1 pm etc.

So I sent my resume and started thinking about what I wanted to do in Dublin. That was a Monday. On Monday evening I got a phone call from one of the owners. The job was mine and I had to let them know by Friday! What? I only wanted to go to Dublin! How was this happening?

I arrived in Raleigh at the end of September 1997 intending to stay for 6 months. 24 years later I’m happily married with 2 daughters, a few dogs, a flock of chickens and amazing friends.

2 years ago at the beginning of the pandemic, I met Sandra from Kilkenny by chance. On one of our walks we were talking about how much we missed home. I wondered if there were a few more like us around the Raleigh area. We both knew of a few and decided to get the little group together for a good old chat.

On a random evening in a little room at Tra’Li Irish Pub in Raleigh “Put The Kettle On” was born. We laughed, we reminisced, we got to know each other and realized we all needed this group in our lives. Today we have over 60 members of “Put The Kettle On”, all Irish women living in and around the Raleigh area.

Our social media page is our daily fix! It is a wealth of information, giggles, memories and events such as where to find Kerrygold butter on sale, who is going set dancing on Tuesday, memes, the best of Irish TV shows, prices of flights home, who makes the best brown bread…It’s also a place were we celebrate each other, we support each other, we share our losses, our triumphs and all of life’s ups and downs. We LOVE talking about shopping when we go home to Ireland. Everyone who visits home brings back a mug with some saying that only we understand to raffle off at a get together. I’m lucky enough to be a winner. See the photo to see what my mug says!

I miss home so much. I miss making Christmas cakes with my Mom, decorating the house, playing our favourite Christmas music and trying to decide what to have for Christmas dinner because Turkey is NOT on the menu for Christmas dinner at Mom’s house, but I’m a very lucky person to have a wonderful family here in Apex. I have wonderful friends and now I have “Put The Kettle On”!

Merry Christmas to you all from North Carolina. Nollaig Shona Dhaoibh!


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