Sunday, June 3, 2018

On Dad's shoulders

I inherited red hair and crooked teeth from my dad, and my interest (OK, obsession) with family history. I kept the hair color, straightened the teeth, and indulge in family history research as often as possible.

My dad, Michael Collins, loved being Irish, completely ignoring the German ancestry he inherited from his paternal grandmother. One St. Patrick's Day he put green food coloring in all the milk, about four half-gallon cartons. We had milk delivered twice a week to satisfy the needs of three good-sized kids and a baby. The problem was the green milk was too disgusting to drink! Try drinking green milk some time. Even though the food coloring doesn't change the taste, when you see the green you expect flavored or spoiled milk. My Dad wasn't a milk drinker or a cereal eater so he didn't anticipate our resistance to drinking the green milk. My brothers refused to drink the green stuff (and imagine it in cereal--it made the cereal look really unappetizing) and even my Mom couldn't drink it. Only the baby would drink it without whining, but he drank from a bottle and didn't have to look at it. I could only drink it with my eyes closed. Eventually, my Dad yelled at us (the big kids) to just drink the damned milk, and we did, although I suspect my brothers may have poured theirs down the sink when my Dad wasn't looking. My Mom got really mad at Dad for doing this, so he never did it again. 

Another time Dad dyed a set of his underwear--tighty whities and an undershirt--green. On St. Paddy's Day he put them on and danced around the house to show them off. I think we were all a little embarrassed by Dad's exuberant St Patrick's Day dance, but now I think he had the right idea--to celebrate his heritage and share it with joy.

So I hope to take after my Dad and use this blog to celebrate my family history in stories and pictures--with joy.