“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”

Yesterday it was in the darkness of early morning when I woke while today it was 10:30. I am as fickled as the weather. My friend Clare came by with a few St. Patrick’s day gifts and rang the bell. Gracie barked, and I woke up then tried to figure out the what day it is. I got it on the first try.

If St. Patrick’s Day was on a school day, we got it off as a holiday. After all, I went to St. Patrick’s Grammar School, and we had to honor the school’s patron saint or at least that’s what the nuns told us, but the significance of the day was always lost on us as we had no idea how to honor a patron saint, but we knew how to enjoy a day off from school. March was always the most dismal of school months with only this one day off unless Easter came early and we got Good Friday. We did thank St. Patrick but not for the reasons the nuns expected.

If you lived in and close to Boston, you also got today off from school but not for St. Patrick’s Day. Today is Evacuation Day. It is the day the British evacuated the city of Boston during the Revolutionary War. It used to be an official holiday for all schools and state workers but it was eliminated last year and now is celebrated in name only.

When I was in high school and a member of St. Patrick’s Shamrock drill team, we marched in the parade. It was the worst of all parades in which to march. Sometimes it was freezing cold. Every time, some drunk would join us for a bit of the march with a glass of beer in his hand he was more than happy to share with us. I remember the crowds along the street were loud and always cheered us for our name and for the shamrocks on our uniforms.

When I was in college, going to the St. Patrick’s day parade in South Boston was a big deal. It was a day to celebrate by wearing green and drinking a significant amount of alcohol. I remember several toasts to me by people I didn’t know that we’d met in the bars. Kathleen Ryan is as Irish a name as can be.

My mother always made corned beef and cabbage today. She was a great cook, but I do remember one year she cooked it a bit too long, and my father was mystified when he couldn’t find the potatoes. They had dissolved in the pan. He was more than disappointed.

I have no plans for today though I’m thinking I might go out for corned beef and cabbage. I can’t imagine St. Patrick’sĀ  Day without it.

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23 Comments on ““St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.””

  1. Bob Says:

    I celebrate today for a different reason than St. Patrick’s Day. Ten years ago my father died at the age of 87 on The 17th of March. Now I celebrate the holiday by drinking a nice Guinness Extra Stout to my father’s memory even though we are not Irish.

    I was under the impression that the previous pope, the Polish guy, had de sainted old Patrick. I remember one Tonight Show in the 1980s where Johnny Carson asks Ed McMahon what he was going to do now that St. Patrick was no longer a saint. His reply was that he was going to celebrate Mr. Patrick Day. Here’s a video explaining how to celebrate in Ireland.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      St. Patrick is still on the list of saints though there is not a ton of proof he was acually saintly or even real, but don’t tell Ireland that as he is its patron saint.

      My father was buried on St. Patrick’s Day. He died on the 14th of March when he was only 67. This is a day he loved to celebrate, and I remember my mother putting a green chrysanthemum on his lapel, and all of us thought it was oerfect, and my dad would have loved it. I think of him every St. Patrick’s Day.

      • katry Says:

        PS. I got a kick out of that video!

      • Bob Says:

        My father was not buried because he donated his remains to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical school. I am sure that numerous medical students have enjoyed, or had a few good laughs, learning all about the human body by studying my father’s remains. After all, in the end it’s just six feet of dirt and 39 cents worth of cheap plastic flowers. I think that the departed only live on in our memories.

  2. olof1 Says:

    Just an ordinary day over here and a gray day too. Drizzling most of the time but fairly warm so it’s kind of nice anyway.

    There’s only one swedish saint and that saint Bridget (sankta Birgitta in swedish) and we don’t celebrate her at all and the only one we celebrate (Saint Lucia) is no holiday anyway šŸ™‚ I do think we have way to few holidays over here, we really need one or two in autumn anyway.

    This evening will be a Monty Python evening. There’s absolutely nothing of interest on tv so I’ll be watching a couple of dvd’s instead. I’ll start with Life of Brian and then continue with the Meaning of Life šŸ™‚

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It’s a bit chilly here and the sun pops in and out. We had rain yesterday.

      I do know St. Lucia and all the traditions associated with her. There are 10 Amercan saints but they have no special days like St. Patrick. I think we have today because so many people from Ireland came here so there are millions of people of Irish descent, including me.

      I was hoping some channel would show The Quiet Man, but I don’t see it. SciFi is showing all the evil leprechaun movies. Quite the way to celebrate.

      Enjoy your movie night. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  3. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Happy St. Pat’s Day Kat!

    I miss my Irish relatives. My grandparents on my mother’s side were from Ireland. I never met my grandfather (her husband) but she had brothers and sisters who all came over on the boat at one time or another in the 20’s and I have strong memories of Irish brogues all over the place. It sorta makes me a bit sad to know they aren’t around.

    I have vivid memories of corned beef and cabbage (we ate it a lot, as my grandmother lived with us and was in charge of the cooking) and watching the New York City parade on TV. My grandmother NEVER left the living room until she saw the flags of the various counties go by at the end – – once she saw Roscommon (did I spell that right?) it was safe to turn off the set. That was her home county. She came to America in 1922 and never, ever went back even for a visit.

    The announcer for the parade was a fella by the name of Jack McCarthy – – he was famous in NY for hosting the parade for many years. My grandmother used to call him a “magalore” – – a bullshit artist. šŸ™‚

    In case you are keeping score, my first name was given to me because my mother liked the name. The name Burnett is English, Irish, Scotch, Austrailian, and heaven knows what else. šŸ™‚

    Enjoy this day most of all!

    Coleen Burnett

    • katry Says:

      Happy St. Pat’s Day, Coleen

      My mother’s maiden name was Gallagher so I’m filled with Irish. My great-grandfathers on both sides were the ones who immigrated. They were Mitchell Gallagher and Partick Ryan.

      I had corned beef, cabbage, turnip, potatoes, cabbage and Irish bread for lunch. It was delicious. The parade I marched in used to be on TV too but that was a long way back.

      That is the first time I’m heard of a name being Australian. Is it an Aboriginal name?

      • Coleen Says:

        Good question. I would not doubt that for a minute, but I will have to check on that. Supposedly there was a Burnett on an Austrailian prison boat that stopped at Ellis Island.

        I am not kidding…

        Or as one of my relatives explained to me,”You want to come through the FRONT door of Ellis Island, not the BACK…” šŸ™‚

        Coleen

  4. Hedley Says:

    I was watching Tottenham v Bolton live from White Hart Lane. It’s an FA Cup Quarter Final. With five minutes left in the first half Fabrice Muamba of Bolton collapsed with a cardiac arrest. The match was abandoned.

    If you have a God, ask for something for Fabrice. He is twenty three

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I looked up what you were talking about. Consider the prayer given

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat,
        It was terrible, ESPN with their feed did a wonderful job in staying away from sensational pictures and the fans of both teams behaved with great dignity.

        I am proud tonight to be a Tottenham fan and shareholder and my prayers are with Fabrice Muamba, his young son and his family.

      • katry Says:

        My Dear Hedley,
        I kept looking and the newest info was 2 hours ago. I found he has been admitted to the heart attack center at London Chest Hospital where he is currently in a critically ill condition in intensive care.

        The pictures I saw said it all. The players and the spectators were praying for him as he was being worked on from the field. I think there are a lot of prayers being said for that young man.

  5. Zoey & Me Says:

    Corn beef and Cabbage is on the menu here and we hail from Greece and Canada. I guess Canada counts for a bit of the green. So far it’s been a dull day. In my College days too it was a pub crawling event that usually left us all sick the next morning, classes be damned.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I don’t think being Irish is a prerequsite to eating corn beef and cabbage today.

      It was a dull day here too. I was hoping for a good Irish themed film like The Quiet Man and only found the crazed Leprechaun on the scifi channel who killed people with his axe!

  6. MT C Says:

    Good morning, Kat,

    And it is Sunday morning as you might know by my visit.

    They really don’t celebrate St.Patrick’s Day here in the PI, at least the part I’m in. I actually went out to find some corned beef and cabbage. Found the cabbage without a problem as it is well liked here and available fresh nearly year round. The spuds we had as both HK and I enjoy them once a week or so in something.

    But the beef was just plain not available. There is big imports of Australian beef here and I was hoping for some of the bagged fiberous, but no deal. Best I could come up with was two cans of Libby’s out of Brazil. So I got things going and HK was really interested in the all the doings (I even had some Flogging Molly music on. I know its Australian not Irish, but in a pinch…) When I dumped in the first can, I realized that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing as it dissolved almost as soon as it hit the water. So I reserved the other can until the spuds and cabbage was done and served it as slices along side.

    It was ‘reasonable’ but not anything like I wanted. HK just sat there and ate it and was polite enough to say it was good. I could tell that she was really thinking, “just what is this old duffer think this is” HA!

    The sourdough has blown the top off the Tupperware for the fourth time this morning, so I’d better go get that started. I make bread once a week and usually some rolls or something. Tonight we decided would be a good pizza night, so there’s crust for that.

    • katry Says:

      Carl,
      You learn to make-do when you live overseas in a developing country. I think you made do quite well and I think you went over and above and should receive a culinary decoration for your corned beef dinner, maybe a four leaf clover!

      When I lived in Africa, we could get very little of anything. One Thanksgiving we managed to find a turkey, but it took an hour before we could agree on a price. No potatoes, only yams. The butter came from Australia and the evaporated milk (never fresh in Ghana) from Holland. We made pawpaw pies and cooked them in the clay oven the school used for bread. Pawpaw mixed with sugar and cinnamon (which my mother had sent) tastes just like apple. It wasn’t like home but we thought it a great Thanksgiving.

      When I went back to Ghana last summer, I was amazed at what you can find now. They even grow avocados, but there ius still no fresh milk outside the capital!

  7. CarCouldyn Says:

    Happy St Patrick’s Day, Kat.

    Today is the anniversary of the day my father’s ancestors threw my mother’s ancestors out of Boston. Apparently no one held any grievances. šŸ™‚

    • Caryn Says:

      And I don’t know why this blog has suddenly decided that I am CarCouldyn. Oops, I see why. Nevermind.

    • katry Says:

      Hi CarCouldyn,

      You gave me a laugh yesterday as I thought it was a new Coffee visitor with an incredibly odd name!

      I don’t think any of my relatives were here yet. The didn’t arrive until the late 1890’s.

      • Caryn Says:

        Apparently CarCouldyn figure out that the computer had done one of it’s clever finger tricks and stuck that bit into my details below. Something about the way I hit the shift key and quote key sends the cursor flying. Sometimes it takes words with it and drops them in unlikely places.

      • katry Says:

        Hi Caryn,
        This is my third attempt to post this. WordPress is acting quite funky today so whatever you had is spreading.


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