Erin go bragh!

green_beer_400St. Patrick’s Day. Far removed from the original in Ireland; far removed from  it’s original form.  But then again, so is Christmas.

When people think of St. Pattie’s Day, they think of drunken revelers starting at 6 a.m. and passing out by 3 p.m. Heck — that happens in my college town every year. It means corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and — yes — green beer.

Since most of those foods weren’t even around back in St. Pattie’s day, let’s just take a moment to see what that phrase means. Erin go bragh. Ireland Forever.

There’s something sentimental about ‘ol Ireland; the green hills, the Gaelic charm. The lullabies and the Irish sayings. They all seem to hone in to the heart on March 17th more than other days of the year.

I am one-fourth Irish, and although I don’t fall down drunk on Green Beer, I do enjoy Reubens and Reuben Wraps and beer — green or not. My mother was Irish, and what a little firecracker she was. I’m sad I never took the time to get to know her heritage better. Heck — I’m sorry I didn’t get to know HER better. She was taken at 54, and I always wonder what life would have been like if she had seen her grandkids.

The Irish have had their sad side, too. The immigrants, the stereotyping. It happens to any race that is a minority. Fortunately, the Irish have moved from cursed to revered. So should it be for all races.

So on this Great Irish Day, raise a glass/mug of beer/soda/milk, and toast the freedom that was brought to us by the Irish. And the Polish. And the French. And the Chinese. And the Germans. And the Swedes. And the Hungarians. And the Japanese. And the Russians. And the Africans.

But instead of shouting “Erin go Bragh”, let’s shout something more meaningful.

Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá go brách.

United States Forever.

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The Weekend Before Christmas

cats christmas

It was the week before Christmas

And all through the house

The kitties were running

In search of their mouse.

They tore through the kitchen

And under the chair

Then disappeared down the hallway

As if never there

The stockings weren’t hung

I’m nobody’s fool

For all that’d be left

Would be shredded in drool

The doggies were eyeballing

The goodies I baked

They had full intention

of sharing my cake

The tree stood by waiting

For garland and lights

The statues and santas

Were stacked way up tight

Christmas cards were patient

For pen and for stamp

My list just kept growing

There under the lamp

I was cooking, I was cleaning

I was staying up late

Worrying about strudel

And empty Christmas plates

The kitties were wrestling

And howling at night

They were drinking milk from glasses

And causing a fright

Then what to my wondering

eyes should appear

But a Food Network magazine

And a bottle of beer

The recipes flowed

Like snow in the hills

With last minute tips

For stove and for grill

On Candy! On Cookies!

On chocolate pecans!

The holiday planning

Had only begun!

Another beer or two

And I was planning gourmet

Pot-au-feu and remoulades

And salmon pate

After the six pack

The tree decorated itself

The dogs baked a meatloaf

With the elf on the shelf

The cats were all dancing

To Jinglebell Rock

The ornaments were hung

On the dining room clock

The beauty of Christmas

Shown brightly that night

My head did a spinneroonie

But that was all right

The turkey and stuffing

Could wait one more day

I took two more aspirins

And called it a day.