Where to next? 

Where to next? 

The blog is definitely at a crossroads when it comes to posting regularly. I am trying to post once a week at least but life has become busy and finding time to put together a coherent post that fulfills what my blog is about is becoming more and more difficult. But for now I will continue to endeavour to write a post weekly at least and see how long that can be maintained. It’s hard though as sometimes I do think I am writing these posts with little audience for what I am writing. 

Anyway, I won’t dwell on it and will let the blogs life continue until it reaches its own natural conclusion or finds a new direction. So what has been happening here in the USA. Well as I mentioned, life is busy, working a normal job, doing average day to day stuff, travelling a bit, especially in the coming weeks, and trying to get back onto full fitness for playing 11 a side football. 
This week I will be working full time nearly 3 months and it has really helped me settle into my new life. Work isn’t overly busy but I do get to meet people from all walks of life and chat to them. This alone is great for helping me settle into the American way. 

Back in May I finished with US Immigration, or at least I thought I had, but a mistake in my paperwork means I have to redo some papers as well as biometrics; fingerprints and photograph. I think now in total I will have sat for fingerprints about 5 times but I don’t worry about these things and just got to the appointment and get it done. Hopefully this little process will only take a few months and I will be finished with USCIS till early 2018. I will add that USCIS have been great to deal with so far and even this little mishap won’t change my opinion as the mistake was both theirs and mine. 

Last weekend myself and Leanne spent the time at a family wedding in Pittsburgh. It’s funny to think that only 9 short months ago we were celebrating our own wedding. In 3 weeks we travel to Denver to celebrate Leanne’s sisters wedding and another chance to see all the family. I am a lucky guy as my in laws have been great to me since I first arrived on the scene. Considering my first chat with my new father in law was to ask his permission to propose to Leanne I am doing well. 

Before I sign off I just want to mention a couple of things, on Sept 10th last year I was approved for my Visa to enter the USA and the 12 months since then have been amazing. I am a proud Irishman living here in America with my new wife. All going well, in a few years I will be a proud American too. That leads me to one more thing, Sept 11th 2001 is a day that will live in history forever, this year’s 15th anniversary remembrance ceremonies brought back memories of that fateful day. I was working in the Irish Air Corps when news came through and we were glued to our computers during our lunch as the events of that day unfolded. To everyone affected, to those lost, to those suffering still, to the first responders….. You will never be forgotten. The world will never be the same after that day and we all should strive to make it a better place, be more tolerant and to just learn to get along with respect for each other. 

Till next time….. Slán

Irish American or American Irish? 

Irish American or American Irish? 

Do you ever just wonder about stuff that may not really be that significant?  Oh, so it’s just me then, ah well. There is an advert on TV here for Heineken and it’s a football/soccer advert where football is a person who has come to America and struggled to blend in but has now become an American, and is called soccer. Anyway, this advert got me wondering about all the Irish Americans there are. Over 33 million Americans claim Irish ancestry but here is my little conundrum. Are these not American Irish, rather than Irish American?

You may ask why as if their ancestry goes back to Ireland, then they are Irish first, American second. Well my feeling on it is no they are not, they are American first, Irish or wherever their ancestors came from second, thus the name should be American Irish.

In a few years when I hopefully become a fully fledged US citizen then I can claim to be Irish American, Irish as my country of birth, America as my now country of citizenship. Back home in Ireland you never here from anyone in Ireland saying they are French Irish, or Danish Irish and it is definitely an ‘American’ thing. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and it was just one of those things that floats into my head, gets wondered about for a while and then gets put away. 

So regardless if you are Irish American, American or Irish, German, Dutch or English, be proud of where you were born, where you live, the flag and anthem of your country and be proud of your heritage and ancestry. Maybe the term American Irish will take off for those born in America but with Irish heritage, and Irish American will be the tern used to describe people like me, those that are Irish born and raised but now live in America. 


Another step!

Another step!

So today after a little over 6 months and a small wait while the Georgia Drivers services figured out I was entitled to a drivers license I finally got to do my driving test. My last test was back in 1991 in Ireland and then I was the young person and the tester was the older person, well not today. Today after I got checked in and a small mishap with not having insurance card with me, I was all set. When my name was called I was greeted by a 20 something year old! After a quick introduction and another check of paperwork we were on our way. Even though I can drive and am a tidy driver with 25 years experience I was quite nervous, especially for the parking, emergency stop parts. Making sure I indicated and looked all the way around, even though normally most people here think indicators are Christmas lights, only to be used in December!

And so out of the parking lot and onto the real test, the driving on the public highway. This was the easy part, stop at stop signs, count to 3 before even attempting to move, indicating all the time, keeping speed below the limit, watching all the time. We got back to the parking lot and the young man told me I had passed but he had to tally the score! So on the road test I scored 100 and on the technical skills I scored 100, it seemed kinda easy to tally that score 🙂 But I suppose he had to do it officially and after a minute or so I was sitting in my car with the official document, 100 score and passed!

I got my Georgia Drivers License

The drivers license here is as important as your social security number and probably as important as a passport so it was vital as I still job hunt to get that done and out of the way as soon as paperwork allowed. It was good to be able to drive for a few months to get the practice as it did prove invaluable. Sure even this past weekend I drove over 12 hours for our Memorial weekend trip to Florida and back.

On the Beach in Florida

The weekend away in Florida was fantastic and it was great to be able to share the time with Leanne and some fantastic people who have now become my friends too. We sat on the beach, bobbed about in the sea and drank some beers, overall a brilliant time. I alluded to Memorial Day in my post last week and it struck me on the drive home from Florida yesterday the amount of USA flags that were flying outside houses, business and even some cars. This is something that I would love to see copied back home in Ireland but unfortunately the only time flags will be flying outside houses or cars will be if some sports team or person does well. Politically it would be nearly impossible to place flags in cemeteries due to the connotation it would have to the Troubles and republicanism, but maybe as a country, Ireland is growing up a bit more and the events of 2016 will allow more national pride in the Defence Forces, its veterans and those who have given their lives in service to Ireland and peace throughout the world without it being overshadowed by political point scoring.

Anyway, all that is for other blogs to debate and I do have my thoughts on it but here isn’t the time or place.As each step on this journey is taken I am ticking them off, I have my legal residence status approval, drivers license, green card is on its way and soon a job. All these things are part of my journey in my new life here in the USA and I couldn’t have taken one of these steps without my wife by my side, her support is unwavering and gratefully appreciated. Between this blog and my personal FB page I have been doing nearly a running commentary on my life now for 18 months and I do enjoy sharing various milestones with people, especially friends and family both here in the USA and back home in Ireland.

I just want to thank everyone who has followed this journey so far, there are still a good few episodes and milestones to go so please keep following, liking and even sharing across social media.