Blarney

Time to break out the St. Patrick’s Day decorations! Whoo hoo!

What? Not everyone has two moving boxes filled with shamrocks, leprechauns, and glittery pots o’ gold? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say!

Like all nice Irish-American girls of a certain age, I grew up in a house with framed photos of Pope John XXIII and John F. Kennedy hanging side-by-side. I attended twelve years of Catholic schools. We wore plaid skirts and knee socks before Britney made them naughty. Where I come from, people have St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

Tons of them.

I moved fromChicago to Arkansas over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. My husband (then fiancé) flew up to pack my stuff into a rental truck, loaded my car onto a trailer, and we headed south. We made it one hundred and twenty miles before we had to stop for the night. At my mother’s house. There was no way she was letting some man move her thirty-something-year-old baby out of state without a goodbye.

And a green beer or two at the Knights of Columbus hall.

That night, my sweet-talking Southern man was cooed over by ladies intent on fattening him up on corned beef and cabbage. He was dragged onto the dance floor to learn how to dance a jig. There may have been an incident involving a green feather boa.

Life inArkansashas been a shock to the system in many ways, but they are never as apparent as they are in March. Here, there’s no real parade (I don’t count the facetious ‘World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade’ inHot Springs). There, there are two major parades (Downtown & Southside) plus dozens of others in the suburbs. InArkansas, March means spring. The tulips & hyacinths bloom, the grass turns green, and the trees begin to bud. When I lived up North, I had to battle wind and sleet as I shivered from pub to pub. I wear green each year and pull out my Claddagh jewelry, but I doubt I’d get pinched even if I didn’t.

The only upside is that my world no longer smells like cooked cabbage.

Thanks be to God.

What un-sung holidays do you celebrate in your household? Any Groundhog lovers in the crowd? Tree huggers? Flag Day enthusiasts?