We have a family genealogy book that was printed by some distant cousin in Pennsylvania. My father’s family can be traced all the way back to Charlemagne and, apparently, Lady Godiva! There’s a Mayflower ancestor and a couple of Connecticut governors, a college president, and the maker of Florida Water, a cologne that kind of reeks. Almost entirely of English stock, it was WASP Central for my dad David Trumbull Lanman.

My Viennese mother Margarete, on the other hand, was a goulash-mash from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with an Austrian mother whose maiden name was Birnbaum (which means pear tree) and an Italian/Hungarian father named Stefan Maniero.

The closest I come to being Irish is Eva de Clare, who was a daughter to Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, c.1100 something and a descendant of the Irish High King Niall. Almost a thousand years and lots of marriages later, maybe a millionth of a molecule on my pinkie toenail is Irish. This is irritating every St. Patrick’s Day. So, no green beer, step-dancing, or cladagh rings for me. It’s Austrian wine, waltzing and my Lanman family crest ring which says Fortuna Favet Audacit, or fortune favors the brave.

I’m not very brave, but I visited Ireland once. It was truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I went to Powerscourt (see picture) one afternoon to see the spectacular gardens. I had this maternity pillow
while i was pregnant at the time, and will never forget the gatehouse keeper letting me use her bathroom while I waited for the bus back to Dublin. God bless the Irish. And their toilets.

My husband has just discovered Ballykissangel on Netflix, so we’re in store for six seasons of charm and blarney. I’m evil because I always want the Catholic priest to fall in love. I want everyone to fall in love. That’s why I write romance.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Are you Irish? Have you visited the Emerald Isle? Who’s your favorite Irish hero?

Everyone is wise until he speaks.~Irish Proverb