Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane and curated by Francesca,
where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is "Europe", and comes from Elsa.
Living so very far away from Europe, this was a challenging topic for me. I'd visited England many years ago, but I didn't want to just rehash those old photos from that visit for this corner view post. In thinking about my connection to Europe it occurred to me that, though I live in the US, I actually have strong ties to the continent. Generations of all sides of my family tree branch back to England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Spain. They immigrated to the US, some settling and establishing whole new communities in New England (even bearing the family name). The most recent European branch in my family tree comes from Barcelona, Spain. My grandmother and her parents crossed the sea on a ship named The S.S. Buenos Aires and arrived at Ellis Island in NYC. There are plaques on the island bearing their names, to commemorate the landing in their new home. My grandmother was just 8 years old when she arrived and she completely immersed herself in her new homeland. She Americanized her name, taking bits of her beautiful long Spanish name and reducing her identity to just a first, middle and last name (though this may have been something she was forced to do since the US only recognized a more limited name). She attended Catholic school and looked to the nuns to teach her the English language. She bought herself an American cookbook and taught herself to cook in the style of her new country, though my favorite dishes we'd have at her home were Spanish Picadillo and flan. Yum! Then she met my grandfather, and the rest is family history. I still have a couple of plates, a pitcher and a shawl that she brought with her from Barcelona, and a necklace that she had made from her old rosary and of course, all sorts of stories from that branch of my family tree. She did return to Barcelona in her 20's for an extended visit with family and friends and then became an officially "naturalized" US citizen at the age of 28. My grandmother was Maria de Las Candelas Consuelo Concepcion de Royo y Gonzalez y Gray.