Fair Weather To Your Heels

St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favorites. I cue up my Irish music every St. Patrick’s Day. I listen to the Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains, Bing Crosby, and all kinds of other Irish folk singers. I listen to the love songs, the story songs, the battle songs. I reminisce all sentimental-like about a homeland I have never seen, and that my ancestors left to keep from starving. If it is on the television, I watch the movie ‘Quiet Man’ with John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald, and Maureen O’Hara. I remember my Irish-American relatives and in-laws (some still with us and some are long gone). I remember to jig and laugh and sing. I remember the traditions that were part of my childhood. Ah, yes…the St. Paddy’s Day traditions…. 

You see, when I was a child, St. Patrick’s Day was special. My mom’s maiden name is Patricia Barry. (100% Irish-American) she is. My name? Kate. My brothers? Mike and Pat. (my husband`James Michael}. So you see, the leprechauns had no choice. They visited our house every St. Patrick’s Day in the wee hours while we slept. And what did those crafty leprechauns do? They colored the milk green. Yes, and the orange juice, too. ‘Twas fun to have the green milk~twas perfect for the makin’ of the green pancakes and the green scrambled eggs to go with the ham. We absolutely loved it and continue the tradition in each of our homes.  

I was astonished to discover over the years that the leprechauns did not visit the homes of my friends. This, of course, only confirmed my appreciation and love for the dear leprechauns. No, I never caught one~so I never did get to demand their pots of gold. A few years after we got married, my husband and I hosted a Bible Study group. One week we were having coffee with the group at the end of the evening. It was a couple of days after St. Patrick’s Day and one of our friends reached into the fridge for milk to add to the coffee. Imagine the bewildered looks on everyone’s faces as they discovered that all the milk was green. 

Until…one of our friends (Charlie)… said “Oh! the leprechauns came to your house, too!” I was so excited! “Yes!!” I said. Of course, we explained the tradition to the group. My husband and his wife just bemusedly shook their heads. Lucky for them they married us or they NEVER would have had a leprechaun visit! 

Now: I offer you an Irish Toast: “May those that love us, love us. And those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. And if their hearts are not turned, May their ankles be turned; so we’ll know them by their limping.” [all meant in good-humored fun].

Now~ I am embedding a lovely video. It has an Irish folk-singer singing in Gaelic, and it has Roma Downey (from Touched By an Angel). She is reciting a traditional Irish Blessing with music in the background. It is lovely. Have a blessed St. Patrick’s Day. If the leprechauns did not make it to your house, continue the tradition yourself. Perhaps if they wander past your window and see green milk, they will feel welcomed and come next year! “The top of the morning [or afternoon or evening] to you…”

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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26 Responses to Fair Weather To Your Heels

  1. fgassette says:



  2. diggingher says:

    Beautiful Kate. Enjoy your day. Loved reading about your traditions, sounds like a lot of fun. Especially liked the toast:)

    • Kate Kresse says:

      have a wonderful day, yourself. I grew up with all kinds of fun traditions. Twas and is a blessed and funny life. The toast was on a plaque my brother Mike gave me years ago.

  3. Patti Kuche says:

    What a lovely set of memories – Happy St Patrick’s Day to you and all Kate!

    BTW, a grocery store I go to here in NY is selling shamrock shaped spinach ravioli! Going out later to check the shenanigans!

  4. mlissabeth says:

    What a beautiful blessing! Thank you for posting.

  5. Caddo Veil says:

    Hey, Kate? Is the “top” of the morning late or early (or middle)? It’s about 10 am here, so I’ll say “top o th’ morning” to you!” I love that Irish Toast–great fun! And I do remember being told that if I could catch a leprechaun there’d be a pot of gold in the offing…but no little people visited us, and there was certainly no dyeing of anything green in our house…Nonetheless, I’m off to cook my crock pot corned beef and cabbage! Oh by the way, you didn’t mention Irish Soda Bread–I tried it for the first time last year–unusual, but good (rather expensive, so I imagine I’ll be wanting to try my hand at making it one year). Happy St Pat’s, and God bless your Irish socks!!

  6. Kate Kresse says:

    I always assumed it was the beginning—but I always say it any old time, especially today! Hope you love your crock pot corned beef and cabbage. I forgot about Irish Soda Bread~ perhaps I can make some today, still! My husband likes it without the caraway seeds. However, I will have to find a vegan recipe for it. He can no longer have the dairy stuff the recipe calls for (buttermilk and butter).

  7. AlohaKarina says:

    Ahh, the Quiet Man…best John Wayne movie there is!

  8. megtraveling says:

    What wonderful traditions and memories you have. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  9. arbohl says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I too always loved Ireland, although my family is not quite as Irish as yours.

  10. I hope you had a Happy Day.. and enjoyed reading this post.. wishing you a wonderful Week Kate.. Sue

  11. Beautiful Irish blessing you shared!

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    Belatedly, Happy St. Patrick’s Day. a green-spaghetti lunch for us!

  13. Anne says:

    Kate, thanks for posting you wonderful memories of St. Patricks Day!! I should have known you too were Irish!! I loved the “Irish Toast.” I hate to say it but it made me laugh; does that mean I too am Irish? Well, I am! My Grandmothers name is Murray and her Grandmother came over from Ireland. It was during the potato famine. She lost her husband to it and said well I am going to pack up my boys and go to America. Wow, now she is one woman to admire!!
    The tradition somehow got lost through the years in my family, so now I continue the Irish tradition in my house. The kids and I make Leprechaun hats every year in hopes of luring and catching one of them. We certainly are able to lure them, but they are so terribly sneaky ya know.. I also make corned beef and cabbage. It is always a hit..
    Irish blessings to you and your family. Love Anne

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Sweet Anne ~ The Irish toast makes me laugh, too…especially if you deliver it in a lovely brogue! what a wonderful wonderful tradition that is you have with the hats!
      Did you know that my great grandmother Margaret Barry started the Margaret Barry Settlement House in NE Mpls? She did it to help educate and assimilate the poor immigrants and their children from the early 1900s on. She was a fiesty leader.
      We never have caught the leprechauns….yet..btw.

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