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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I am, of course, wearing green. With a name like Ryan, green is an essential part of today’s wardrobe. Gracie too is dressed for the day and is wearing her St. Patrick’s Day collar. Tonight I will dine on traditional corned beef and cabbage with my friends. I checked the TV for St. Paddy’s Day movies and had two channel choices. I can watch TCM and Finian’s Rainbow or Syfy and Leprechaun, a movie about a maniacal, murderous leprechaun. I’m opting for Finian.

I went to St. Patrick’s Grammar School, and we never went to school on St. Patrick’s Day. Boston schools never did either only because it is also Evacuation Day, the day the British left Boston harbor during the Revolutionary War. Why that event has a holiday of its own I’ll never understand, but that piece tends to get overlooked and even forgotten. It is St. Patrick who is honored today.

My parents had many parties. I remember their smoke-filled kitchen was always packed with people, mostly relatives, and they always sang. I, with the worst of all voices, comes from a family which loves to sing. On St. Patrick’s Day they sang every song, and that’s how I learned the words. Of all the people, it’s my Dad I remember the most. I can still see him standing by the counter near the table. He had this great voice, and he sang with such vigor his face would sometimes turn red from the effort. He loved the Irish songs. My Dad also loved corned beef and cabbage, and my mother always made it for him. When I was there for one St. Patrick’s Day dinner, my Dad gave my dog Shauna a dish of corned beef. It was her first St. Patrick’s Day, and my Dad thought she ought to celebrate. One time the potatoes in the corned beef and cabbage disappeared: they fell apart and were absorbed. My Dad hunted through that pot in vain. He just couldn’t understand where they went. He was horrified when he realized there were no potatoes. He was a lover of meat and potatoes, and the loss of  those potatoes was a blow he never forgot. It became a family story: St. Patrick’s Day and the disappearing potatoes.

Even if you’re not Irish, celebrate the day. We don’t celebrate enough so grab any day you can and enjoy it!!

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29 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:

    On St. Patrick’s day everyone is Irish. I don’t drink green beer, it looks disgusting, but a nice bottle of Guinness Stout even out shines corned beef and cabbage. We can all thank the British, who kept the Irish as well as all their colonists impoverished, and a potato famine for bringing so many Irish to our shores. Being good Catholics, they were fruitful and multiplied, and their descents becoming very successful in every field including the entertainment field. Here is one of Irelands favorite sons, Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

    • Bob,
      My family came over after the potato famine as they thought the streets were paved with gold in this country. They worked for the railroad as did many Irish immigrants.

      I am not a beer drinker at all and green beer looks even more disgusting.

      Ed’s were real Irish sayings while Johnny’s did give me a laugh, some of them were pretty funny.

      They were hard to see but I’m guessing those were potatoes!

      • Bob Says:

        Many Irish immigrants became policemen. When I was in High School in NYC, my best friend was born in Holland. His parents brought him to the US when he was two. In the ninth grade he decided to become a US citizen which required that he get his finger prints taken. We went to the local police precent and were directed up stairs to the detective office. When we entered it looked exactly like the set on the old “Barney Miller” TV show. Each detective had a name plate displayed near the door. There was O’Malley, O’Reilly and O’ someone else. When detective O’Malley asked if he could help us he spoke with a very thick Irish brogue. When my friend told him the reason for our visit he was shocked that my friend was not a native born American because he spoke without any foreign accent. The Irish cop became a very popular TV stereotype along with the Irish drunk.

      • Bob,
        No policemen in my family, but my grandfather worked for the railroad all his life, also a source of employment for many Irish who were kept from so many jobs.

        Barney Miller was a favorite of mine-always funny. Great characters!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Evacuation Day was made a holiday in 1901 in a fit of historical interest with the construction of the Dorchester Heights Monument. The date coincides with St Patrick’s Day and the very large Irish population in Boston were instrumental in getting the holiday accepted. It’s not celebrated in quite the way it was intended to be celebrated, I guess, but who cares?
    In my family the holiday is referred to as the day my father’s ancestors booted my mother’s ancestors out of Boston. My mother’s ancestors went to Canada to intermarry with all sorts of folk, British and not. After the Revolution, my father’s ancestors went back to cause trouble in Ireland. Everybody came back in the 19th century to meet and greet. All was forgiven. Let’s get married and have kids. 🙂 As a result of my mixed heritage, I will celebrate anybody’s ethnic holiday. More fun and interesting food for me. 🙂
    I’m not having corned beef and cabbage, today, because I forgot to buy any. I will be having pork loin because that’s what I have but I will be having it with potatoes and rye soda bread. Close enough.
    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

    • Hi Caryn,
      I wonder how many people remember it is Evacuation Day-few I suspect.

      That’s funny-your family’s reference to the day. The Tories all left in haste to Canada when the British started losing the war. I’m surprised your father’s family went back-usually they immigrate to stay.

      My mother’s maiden name was Gallagher but she and her siblings are a family of mongrels. My grandmother’s father was Portuguese, but they changed his name at Ellis to Rogers. It was something like Rodriques before Americanized. My Dad’s family came from Ireland-his grandfather was the first. His name was Patrick.

      The irish soda bread makes it just right!

      Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you too!!

      • Caryn Says:

        The Tories left because the British soldiers were pulling out after Washington fortified Dorchester Heights with cannon captured at Ticonderoga. The city had been under siege and the Tory civilians were afraid of reprisals if no British soldiers were there to protect them from the rebels. Their fears were well founded as such things happened in other places.
        My father’s Revolutionary War ancestors were with a bunch of Irish patriots that hired on for the experience. They went back to apply their lessons on the British at home. It didn’t work out so well. At least one was sentenced to hang for high treason but died before the sentence could be carried out.
        Both my parents are mongrels. There’s Irish, English, Scottish, French, Native American on both sides and it all gets mixed up in Canada and Massachusetts. My father’s father came from Ireland but everybody else’s family had been in North America for centuries by the time he arrived.
        The rye soda bread was baked by a friend and is delish. Good thing it is a tiny round because I expect to eat all of it pretty quickly. 🙂

      • Caryn,
        I did know that about the Tories and the black line around the white chimneys and the double-pawed cats.

        Ah, a family of mercenaries! I’m willing to bet most of us are mongrels. My grandfather’s mother came from Nova Scotia, and my other grandmother’s family was of German origin. Her father was even Otto.

        Enjoy that bread!!

  3. splendid Says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s day! Love hearing about everyone’s stories.

  4. olof1 Says:

    No such holiday over here and I wouldn’t know about it if it wasn’t for the American blogs I read 🙂 But I like corned beef and cabbage so I would have made some if I only had the ingredients 🙂

    No one in my family ever sings unless they are very drunk 🙂 Talking, or more correct shouting very loudly is more our style 🙂 I tend not to go to family parties 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Over hundred cranes here now and as always the first ones arrives way too early. They would all freeze to death if they weren’t fed. But I loved to hear the sound from them this morning, so quiet yet. It’s a totally different thing when 16 000 starts early in the morning but I think it will take another two or three weeks before they are that many.

    Happy St Patricks day!

    • Christer,
      There is also a big parade in Dublin in celebration of the day. The oldest parade is the one in New York.

      Partis and singing are forever joined when I think of my family when I was growing up.

      I would love to hear the cranes.

      The birds have started singing here too in the morning. I love it. I think of spring and summer and know the warm days are getting closer.

      Have a wonderful Sunday!

      • Caryn Says:

        I’m waiting for the robins to sing their territorial song and then I know it will truly be spring. I haven’t heard them yet though I’ve seen them.

  5. Hedley Says:

    For the gentle, the kind, the reflective, the tolerant, I bring the words of Dave Allen
    “Thank you, goodnight and may your God go with you”.

  6. Birgit Says:

    No St.Patrick’s Day over here, but enough potatoes and beer to be Irish today.
    The Roches with a funny Irish-American song:
    Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  7. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Happy St. Catrick’s day to everyone, especially to Kat. I guess today I’m Irish Jewish Wiccan with a lot of catitude– and as you may notice I just woke up. The sky is green today with specks of bright blue. I haven’t looked out of the window to see what colors are in the garden, but I did notice our potatoes are not growing. I really need that pot of gold

    Green Waves,
    Lori and Angel Jewels

    • Lori,
      Very clever with the name of today! I love it!!

      You’ll not find potatoes growing until the fall so quit looking out the window for them! It would have been nice if the sky had been green though we’d all want to run for cover!

      I wouldn’t mind that pot of gold either.

      Waving back to both of you!!

  8. im6 Says:

    Did you see this today on CBS Sunday Morning?

    • im6,
      I hadn’t seen this. I loved it. I knew about funerals being productions. My student Grace’s aunt died a year ago, and her funeral was in November when the family had saved enough money. I asked Grace what they did with her aunt while she waited. In the refrigerator of the funeral home was her temporary stop.

      I love those coffins, and have seen shops where they are made. The Ashanti have the most elaborate parties. Northerners do what they can, but they are much poorer.

      Thank you so much. I’m sending this along to friends with whom i was in the Peace Corps.

  9. Hedley Says:

    Ok, Katmar,
    Get ready, here it comes the brand new Nikon D7100….it screams Ghana ! ok, so it screams my London trip but it is an awfully cool camera.

    • MDH,
      I won’t even look this one up! The last one was expensive enough, but then again, I won’t be going back to Ghana for at least another year. That gives me a chance to save money for the trip and maybe, just maybe, another camera!

  10. Beto Says:

    My Mother’s family sailed from Dublin to Texas in 1803 answering an ad by the Crown of Spain to “Regulate Savages” on the King’s roads in New Spain. My Fathers family came in 1785 to mill timber.
    All 100% Irish. Mom’s family was dark, Dad’s red.
    By the time I was born there was Spanish, German, French and Comanche in the bloodline. The price of politics.

    • Beto,
      That’s so interesting as I didn’t know Irish immigrants went to Texas and I didn’t realize they went as early as 1803.

      1785, even earlier, and that amazes me as well. I guess because mine didn’t get here until the late 1800’s.

      We have Portuguese and German mixed in with the irish. I am dark Irish.

      • Bob Says:

        Texas was governed under six flags which included Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas but not Ireland 🙂 The Mexican government like the Spanish before them advertised for settlers to come to the northern part of Mexico which is now Texas. The requirement for foreigners to settle under the Mexican rule was the same as under Spanish rule. Settlers were expected to become naturalized Mexican citizens, and they were also supposed to follow the state religion. In Stephen Austin’s colony of 800 US settlers, the local priest formally converted new arrivals but then allowed them to worship as they pleased. It made sense for the Spanish to advertise for Irish settlers since they already were followers of the State religion 🙂

      • Beto Says:

        There are a lot of Irish who came to the new continent through Mexico. Especially later in the 19th century. These early people were primarily people of means who saw great financial opportunities and grabbed them. My Mothers family had land and cattle when she was born but sold it all to wildcat oil in east Texas. They pulled up roots and moved to Houston. It was a curse though because within three years, all the men had been killed and the survivors were plunged into a horrible poverty.
        My mother used education to extricate herself from the situation.

      • Beto,
        I am so ensconced in the East Coast that I was totally unaware of Irish immigrants in the South.

        I knew that my family went from New York to Boston, but they never did get rich. My mother was one of 8 kids so rich was not a possibility.

        I was the first member of my family to go to college but with each new generation the numbers climb.

        That is so horrible that all men had been killed and women were left to fend for themselves and their families.

        My dad was very successful and he and my mother went on cruise, visited Egypt and went to Europe several times. They were thrilled that one of their children went to college. They said they would never have dreamed that.

      • Bob,
        The flag of Ireland was never risen in another country. They were not conquerers. They were farmers.

        The Mexican government set up their loss of Texas by encouraging Americans to settle there by providing them with land. Neither the language nor the customs were the same. That was trouble from the start. It was inevitable that Texas woud eventually be part of the US.

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