I was living with my mother in New Jersey at about age nine. Born in Virginia, I was brought to live there as my mother had since remarried and a new family formed. Now, I was of considerable use because there were four children, and another one on the way. Each afternoon, my mother would take the youngest two children to a back bedroom for their nap as I did my chores. The apartment was on the third floor of the building with three bedrooms and a long hallway and a staircase that led down. My chores were to do laundry, sweep, dust and clean the bathrooms. However, when it was time for my mother to go with the children for their nap, I would position myself on the top seat of the stairs where I could listen to the stories that she would tell them. These were the stories I had missed being apart from her for all these years. I would listen to her melodious voice and cling to each word as if she were telling them to only me. Sometimes, I would cry. Flushed by my emotion , and a sense of reality that time had gone by, and I would never get it back , I resumed my chores.
The spring season began last week when the weather decided to kick into some fabulous days of 70+ degrees. Then , everyone shows up at the food store with shorts, t-shirts and flips, the car washes are all packed and Rita’s is about a thirty minute wait for all who are ready. The best sign was that wherever you went on St. Patrick’s weekend, there was a celebration. No need to be Irish, just the desire and inspiration from friends and of course a beverage or two wouldn’t hurt anyone. I always take this opportunity to give my Mom a reason to get happy, as she truly loves her Irish heritage. So, this year I took her one of our favorites, some Corn beef and Cabbage. She doesn’t cook much anymore as she is eighty – four years old and has a difficult time standing and walking. In fact, she is not even hungry often now. However, I thought that this would give her some incentive. So, a small piece of meat and a quartered cabbage along with some onion and seasoning is what I left her to work with along with the crockpot. I went about my own celebratory path only to receive her call on Saturday to say that she was exhausted from the labor of her day at cooking this fine Irish meal. And as she spoke I heard the “how tickled with herself” for the effort and the result of how good it turned out. It does not take much to excite or make an Irish person happy or to make them sing, or laugh, or cry; all good expressions of their human nature. I think that basically people in general are this way but I like to put the slant on it because “I am Irish”. It does not matter the nationality, but that the spirit is open to the suggestion for a reason to celebrate. This weekend yielded many bits of our character that expressed this very principle from green ice cream to the Muppets singing Danny Boy. The St. Patrick’s story was a long time ago and most know it and I won’t bore you, but I will say that whatever it was that set the date into motion, most people would agree that with all there is to put us off balance , it is certainly a good enough reason to get happy . The Luck of the Irish to you.