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Happy St. Patrick's Day & International Francophonie Week!

Upon discovering St. Patrick's Day coincides with the launch of International Francophonie Week, this seemed like a good time to share a photo of my mother's grandfather and his first grandchild. Both seem to be enjoying the great outdoors, aren't they? My great-grandfather came from parents of Québécois heritage, and he married an Irish-American. This resulted in children and grandchildren with some French and Irish heritage, so there's double-reason to celebrate today!

This also seems like a good time to mention part of the reason why Floramont exists. Like many other Québecois ancestors, most of mine were cultivateurs, meaning farmers. While exploring my ancestral roots, I realized there was a deep botanical reverence and history in Québec. While asking my mother questions about her grandfather, I noticed this seems to be a recurring theme among Franco-Americans, French-Canadians, whatever term you prefer. I could even see it in my DNA matches. It is an interesting contrast to photos of my other ancestors, both from the Southern United States and the great Midwest. The DNA matches from the Southern side of my family often feature photos of daredevils and glamorous girls, and the Midwestern cousins appear nice and content. Meanwhile, I can almost spot a new Québécois DNA match before looking at the name. Usually, they are the ones surrounded by nature, practically making nature the focal point of the photo. They can be seen standing in front of a pristine lake or holding flowers and tomato plants. Another is pictured scattered among rose petals! I may not know these cousins, but I know these nature-lovers must be some of my people!

Whether or not you are Irish or French (and I'm just a bit of both), many of us feel very much connected to nature, regardless of our heritage. I may not have a ton of the heritage being celebrated today, but I choose to cultivate these aspects by learning more about these ancestors. And I really want to know what they grew in their own yards and farms. I would love to take some snips of roses and cuttings of grapevines from my mom's grandfather's yard, hoping they would give me the same sense of escape and wonderment. However, the practical side of me says it does not make sense to transplant non-certified plants from one side of the country to another. Besides, the rose bushes and grape arbor could be long-gone. I don't even know who is living there now! That's okay, because we can cultivate memories, and perhaps other plants, right here at Floramont. Meanwhile, I wish you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day (and International Francophonie Week, of course) with this clover!


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