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…”