Thus starts one of the most famous Irish poems. A fitting sentiment for the start of what we sarcastically refer to "High Holy Week"....a.k.a. St. Patrick's Day! Our local parade is always on the Saturday before March 17th which would mean today! So we gathered the clan and donned our Irish knit sweaters and prepared to celebrate.
Yes, Auntie Peggy and Alyssa joined the Mahoney girls since Andrew was marching with his hockey team. Meanwhile the real Irishman did what real Irishmen do on St. Patrick's Day.
Patrick wore....red flannel! No parades for him either since the big rugby game between Ireland and Wales was being rebroadcast on our local Irish radio program. Yes, Chicago has a rather HUGE Irish population who have a 6 hour block on a local radio station every Saturday. No way he was going to miss out on all the news from "home" or the big game for a parade so he poured another cup of tea and settled into the kitchen table!
Quite the couple, don't you think?!?! Now to be perfectly honest I had ZERO desire to go to the parade this year. Let's just say that the sunshine that was to warm our face was.....
very liquid!!! And not very warm either!!! But it's really not in an Irishman to skip any kind of a party so I headed out with the rest of the clan.
Nice thing about a local parade is that it's local! We headed off on the short walk to the parade route and along the way saw the first signs that spring is thinking about making an appearance.
Now many a year the poor buds on the trees get to wear a coat of snow so I won't be getting too excited just yet but it's a start.
See, I told you that it's not like an Irishman to miss a party! Even in a cold drizzle we draw a crowd...but then again we have generations upon generations of experience with cold rain. There's a good reason Ireland is not a popular winter destination!!!
Then again we start them off young with learning to live with the weather in order to party!!!!!
We met up with more cousins at the parade route too! Mairead and Auntarie stood with us (too wet to sit!!) because Deirdre was marching with her dance school.
We saw the usual stuff....bagpipers whom we discovered have official raincoats to protect their kilts! Horses are always a highlight for a certain member of the family. Clydesdale's are a particular favorite.
One creative family who wanted to march even invented a new "group"! In an effort to get some control over the length of the parade the organizers instituted a registration fee and a requirement that the unit must be one of the 'approved' types of marchers. Since marching bands was one of the choices...harmonicas it was for this clan!!!
So after retrieving Deirdre from the end of the parade route, we headed back to Auntie Jenny's house to pick up the teen/tween members who had bailed after about an hour and a half in the "sunshine".
To find what are possibly the saner members of the family!!! Today would have been a perfect day to stay curled up on a couch under a blanket.
Today held a double dose of corned beef....sandwiches for lunch and with cabbage and spuds for dinner. Tomorrow is the annual viewing of the Quiet Man followed by a big roast leg of lamb Sunday dinner....man I love the excuse to eat "Irish"!!!!