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

St. Patrick became part of my life when I was six. I went to St. Patrick’s Elementary School for eight years. From age 10 until age 16 I was a member of St. Patrick’s drill team. We were called the Shamrocks. Our uniforms were adorned with shamrocks. The color guard had one in the middle of their blouses and on the sash between the blouse and the skirt. The drill team also had shamrocks on their sashes. We represented St. Patrick’s parish, though, most times we used just St. Pat’s. The parish considered St. Patrick’s Day a holiday so we had no school.

When I was in college, my friends and I used to go to South Boston to watch the parade and visit the pubs. I do believe we often missed chunks of the parade while exploring those pubs. With a name like Kathleen Ryan, I was always welcomed. Two of my friends were Polish but on March 17th they were pseudo Irish. I think every one was.

My mother always made corned beef and cabbage with carrots, potatoes, onions and turnip. I’ve told you the famous story of the disappearing potatoes, but I like it well enough to tell it again. One St. Patrick’s day my dad was at the pot using a large spoon to fill his dish with the vegetables. His dish already had meat, carrots and onions on it. He wasn’t fond of turnips. He kept turning the spoon in the stew pot without picking up any more vegetables. Finally he asked my mother if she had forgotten the potatoes, his favorite vegetable. No, she hadn’t and nor would she ever. She took over the spoon and went hunting, but, like my father, found no potatoes. They had disappeared. That a leprechaun made off with them was always a possibility, but the truth was they had pretty much fallen apart having been in the liquid too long. There were a couple of small clumps but that was it for the potatoes. I had never seen a more disappointed look on my father’s face than when he realized the potatoes were gone.

My friends are serving corned beef and cabbage tonight. I’ll wear my Ryan sweatshirt and my shamrock socks.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

Tags: , , , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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

  1. Richard Says:

    St. Patrick … about the only thing I ever associated him with was that whole ‘driving the snakes out of Ireland’ mythos. He could find work in Washington, DC today that pays better …

    Shamrocks are the same as clover, yes? Three leaves, green?

    I remember green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and not much else except the parade down Magazine Street when the Buzzards threw cabbages to the waiting throngs. They coulda thrown potatoes too, but after they got sufficiently ‘lubricated,’ that coulda been dangerous. But it’s still free food, right?

    They also threw whatever leftover beads they had from Mardi Gras while they played their favorite Marching Club game called ‘Hit Every Bar on the Right-hand Side of the Street.’

    No potatoes in the pot? Wasn’t the water at least a bit thickened by their dissolution … ? Maybe the leprechaun really did pilfer ‘em from the pot … I’d have thanked him for taking the turnips, too.

    From the ‘And Now For Something Completely Different!’ Department:

    A bit o’ the old time-travel trickery back to the days when Stanley Kubrick made such wonderful black comedies as ‘Dr Strangelove: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love The Bomb’ … you’ll know the tune immediately it begins to play – and this is great aerial photography of a Bravo Five-Deuce gettin’ topped off …

    • katry Says:

      It was St. Patrick who became the Apostle of Ireland and one of its patron saints. “The March 17 celebration started in 1631 when the Church established a Feast Day honoring St. Patrick. He had been Patron Saint of Ireland who had died around the fifth century—a whopping 12 centuries before the modern version of the holiday was first observed.”

      “We know that he was a Roman citizen, because Britain was Roman then, and then he was enslaved and taken to Ireland, where he either escaped or was released,” Casey says. “And then he became a priest and went back to Ireland, where he had a lot of luck converting the Druid culture into Christians.”

      The March 17 celebration started in 1631 when the Church established a Feast Day honoring St. Patrick. He had been Patron Saint of Ireland who had died around the fifth century—a whopping 12 centuries before the modern version of the holiday was first observed.

      “As for the green beer, that’s an even later addition. In fact, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that Ireland repealed a law that initially kept everything—pubs included—shut down for the day. Since then, thanks to a marketing push from Budweiser in the 1980s, downing beer has become a common way to celebrate, regardless of how closely it’s tied to the actually meaning of St. Patrick himself.”

      Yes, the water was thickened and there were, as I said, a few recognizable chunks. My mother was a wonderful cook so this was a horrible anomaly.

      I didn’t like turnip until I as older, but it is a favorite vegetable of mine as I have it so rarely.

      I just watched Dr. Strangelove last week for probably the fifth or sixth time. Love it!

      How ironic this theme is!

  2. olof1 Says:

    I always laugh when I read that story 🙂 🙂

    No Saint Pat’s here but I guess they’ll celebrate him in all pubs in the big cities anyway 🙂 I wouldn’t mind an extra holiday though so I think we should have it here too 🙂

    Easter is only a week away and we’ll have our daylight savings time that weekend too. I think my brain already is set ob it because I wake up an houyr ealy every day now, I hope that means I won’t feel grumpy about it for a few months this time 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • Richard Says:

      Christer, you’re not gonna like Daylight Saving Time any more than we do here …

      • olof1 Says:

        I’ve never liked it but one can always hope it will be better this time if I already now wake up one hour early 🙂 🙂

    • Birgit Says:

      Christer, just today the parliament of my home country got an ordered 200 page expert report about the daylight saving time with the scientific result that nobody wants DST and nobody needs it and it’s unhealthy. What a surprise. Wasted money, nothing will change.

      • olof1 Says:

        They have noticed that the heart attack levels rise with up to 10% when we change the time like this but I guess they rather see us die than have to stop this and they don’t have to pay out our penisons if we die early 🙂

    • katry Says:

      There are some states which don’t observe daylight savings time just to add to the confusion. I think its value is negligible now.

      I just get up when i get up because I don’t have to be anywhere now. When I was working, I hated it.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. Birgit Says:

    No official St.Patrick’s Day here.
    I’ll celebrate (radio) soccer instead, Tottenham-Dortmund.
    Hedley, you too?

    Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

    • Hedley Says:

      Birgit – The game is about to begin and the result has already been established. I send very best wishes to Dortmund for the rest of the tournament and I hope that this evening’s match passes quickly.

      I will follow the game on text.

    • katry Says:

      It isn’t an official holiday here either. Everything is open. It, however, is celebrated widely and there are parades (the Cape had its on the weekend). The bars are well attended and most restaurants have corned beef and cabbage as a special.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: