I wanted to have a nice St.Pat's post, but it just didn't happen that way. Days later...
Still here's a St. Patrick's Day tale.
I grew up in a very VERY Irish-German house. I should point out that the German is mostly Pennsylvania Dutch and my mom does not make the pies or doughnuts that the dutch are known for baking. My grandmother did that. My mom-forget about it.
So my dad-the Irish one. God bless him. We are as some may say the Black Irish. We don't have the red or fair hair, we're the darker ones. My dad had lovely black wavy hair and hazel eyes. I cried every time he would get his military buzz style.
I laugh thinking about Alec Baldwin and Conan O'Brien fighting.
Conan: "Black Irish!"
Alec:"Right back at cha Red!"
Dad's grandma and grandpa both came from different parts of Ireland. John came from Cork and travelled by himself, and Bridget came from Donegal and was with her family. They met somewhere here on the east coast, maybe NYC or somewhere in Jersey. They had a son and called him Francis. That was my grandfather.
Despite some very bad feelings and happenings between my dad and his father, my dad was still very proud of his heritage and we always celebrated St. Pat. We weren't allowed to leave the house if we didn't have green on for St.Pat. And yes he would be caught singing "Oh Danny Boy" whilst cooking. We always had corned beef and cabbage and my dad would find things called cow turnips. Thinking about it makes me cringe.The smell permeated throughout house and he would cook all of these things together in one pot. I really can't stand to eat the meat, but I miss cooking. He was big on tradition and that still means a lot to me.
On this past St.Pat, I didn't feel much like drinking but I managed to have a small glass of Guinness and make a toast to dad.
Towards the end of his life he became more agnostic and bit existential. No heaven or hell for dad. I like to imagine that he gets to travel about to all the places he wanted to see but wasn't able to. Mostly I picture him on Easter Island.