Spring here in the valley is harsh on those with seasonal allergies. I mean harsh. Being NOT a native to the Grand Valley, only makes it worse. I’ve lived my entire life (minus the last 4 years) over on the Front Range of Colorado, where there is a WHOLE different species of allergies, of which I am totally in line with and don’t have to worry as much as over here.
That being said (I am SO not a fan of that saying. My boss uses it all the time, I mean ALL the time!)
St. Paddy’s Day or St Patty’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick?
However you look at it, St Paddy’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland.
But who WAS St. Patrick? Let’s take a look into the man, the life and the legends!
The Man :
St. Patrick, can be credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. We get to know St Patrick from only two short works, the Confessio, which is a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
Patrick was born in Britain to a Romanized family; at 16 he was taken from the villa of his father, Calpurnius, a deacon and minor local official, by Irish raiders and carried into slavery in Ireland. For six long years he was a herdsman, during which he turned to his faith with a passion. Dreaming the ship in which he was to escape was ready, he fled his master and found passage to Britain, where he nearly starved and suffered a second brief captivity before he was reunited with his family. According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland where he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converting “thousands” of pagan Irish to Christianity.
By the end of the 7th century, Patrick became a legendary figure. One of the legends claim he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea to their destruction. Patrick wrote he raised people from the dead, a 12th-century hagiography (what the heck is hagiography? According to Webster it’s “the writing of the lives of saints”) states the number to be 33 men, of those some were claimed to have been deceased for many years. Patrick, also, reportedly prayed for food for hungry sailors traveling by land through a desolate area and a herd of swine miraculously appeared. Probably the most popular legend, is that of the shamrock, which has him explaining the concept of the Holy Trinity (three persons in one God) to an unbeliever by showing him the three-leaved plant with one stalk, since then the Irishmen have worn shamrocks (Ireland’s national) in their lapels on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
These generally involved parades and festivals, traditional Irish music sessions and the wearing of green or shamrocks. There are also gatherings like banquets and dances, although these were more common in the past. St. Paddy’s Day parades started in North America during the 18th century but did not spread to Ireland until the 20th century and the week of Saint Patrick’s Day is known “Irish language week”. Christians may attend church services and the Lenten restrictions of eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day. This could be why drinking alcohol, particularly Irish whiskey, beer or cider has become an integral part of many celebrations. Another popular St Paddy’s Day custom, especially in Ireland, is “drowning the shamrock” or “wetting the shamrock” . At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is dropped to bottom of a cup, then filled with whiskey, beer, or cider. This then becomes a toast to Saint Patrick, Ireland, or to those present; the shamrock is then either swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing or green accessories.
The color green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation, representing “the scared emblem of Ireland’s unconquered soul”. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since the 1680s, where The Friendly Brothers of St Patrick (an Irish fraternity) adopted green as its color. During the 1790s, green would become associated with Irish nationalism, due to its use by the United Irishmen; a republican organization, led mostly by Protestants but included many Catholic members, and who launched a rebellion in the late 1700’s against British rule. Finally, in 1795, Ireland was described as “the Emerald Isle” for the first time in print in “When Erin First Rose”, a poem by co-founder of the United Irishmen William Drennan, stressed the historical importance of green to the Irish.
That was then….what about now?
Well first off, Ireland is an island, filled with green leafy trees and grassy hills and is referred to as the Emerald Isle. In the 18th century, green was introduced to St. Patrick’s Day festivities, when the shamrock became a national symbol and because of the shamrock’s popularity and Ireland’s landscape, the color stuck to the holiday
Maybe, most importantly, green is also the color of the mythical fairies, otherwise known as Leprechauns and the one reason you’re supposed to wear green on St. Paddy’s Day.
This tradition or folklore says wearing green makes you invisible to Leprechauns: which is good news, since they like to pinch anyone they can see. Many think sporting the color green will bring good luck and still others wear it to honor their Irish ancestry. No wonder green can be seen all over, even the Chicago River in Illinois is dyed green each year to celebrate the holiday.
Let’s not forget the tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. This likely grew out of the fact those foods were less expensive for immigrants who came to America, so they substituted beef for pork and cabbage for potatoes.
However you celebrate, here’s hoping it’s a lucky day!
“in a single day I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night almost as many;” ― St. Patrick, The Confession of St. Patrick
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
With mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
“A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.
Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy your day. Should you choose to cook and/or entertain, if only for yourself, your immediate family or the neighborhood, I have a great list of holiday favorites. Enjoy!
Stuffed Celery: I’m a plain cream cheese and celery or even topped with some chopped black olives, but here, I find a couple of recipes which sound a bit more appetizing than just plain celery and cream cheese
At our house ALWAYS include, green beans (but not casserole), corn, mashed potatoes & gravy, yams and stuffing, there is no room for any variable. Traditional for us, but let’s see what we can do to kick it up a notch.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
I just realized Thanksgiving was just around the corner. Where in the world has this year gone? Boy, haven’t we had a year of ups and downs? I see so many people doing the 30 day Gratitude challenge and I’m a bit behind, like usual, so I decided to just get them done in one fell swoop.
I am thankful for God – He always has my back
I am thankful for my Husband and Kids – they keep me grounded
I am thankful for my parents – right or wrong, good or bad, they are my parents and they are an important part of who I am.
I am thankful for my sisters – they make me a better person
I am thankful for COVID (early months) – reminded us what is real and what is important. Reminded us to take care of each other, showed us how to slow down and listen to nature and how to smartly shop for toilet paper.
I am thankful for being “permanently laid off” from my job at Hertz – reminded me I am human and I am not the most important person in the world.
I am thankful the front line workers – without them we wouldn’t have food, clothing, and other necessities
I am thankful for the health care workers – their patience and dedication show the world what kind of super heroes they are
I am thankful for law enforcement – without them it would be a world of lawlessness
I am thankful for my home – I know I have some place safe to come home to
for the sunshine and fresh air – it reminds me to look up and regroup everyday
for the food on my plate – I know I will never go hungry
for my grandkids – they remind me not to be too serious and just let loose
for my job – it has reminded me I am not as worthless as I’ve thought
for my coworkers – they teach me patience
for my customers – they teach me patience …too
for my pup Max – he calms me (and frustrates me) and is always loyal
for my cup of coffee each morning – my peace of the day
for our day trips – such an adventure to explore and learn about new and old places
for sunsets – for those amazing minutes of shock and awe
for mistakes I have made and the little things they teach me
for my camera – showing me how to capture the best and worst of a day
for Amazon Prime – nuff said
for genealogy – teaching me about history and family and the sense of confidence when I knock down a brick wall
for my grandparents – their love from above gets me through each day
for good hair days – you know what I mean!
for the people who get me – you know, the feeling of belonging
for peace and quiet – sometimes, you just need to chill
for pedicures – they just make a day!
for my glasses – without them, I am blind
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Marcus Tullius Cicero