Yes, I realize that today is not St.Pat’s Day.  I realize that it was a week ago.  Do you realize that I have had the hardest time finding a moment to blog?  Let me start by setting the stage:

If you know us or keep up with this blog, you know that we have recently moved from Fargo.  We lived there for eight years.  Six or seven of those years we hosted a St.Pat’s dinner party in our home.  It was exclusive when exclusivity was socially dangerous. A core group was developed and that eventually determined the culture of the event. By the end the hosts and the guests got quite good at what happened at the our place for St.Pat’s.

St. Pat's 2008

The guests, Nathan, and the kids enjoyed the parade while I spent the entire day preparing traditional Irish food (no green jello, green beer, green eggs allowed–only green adornments and clothing).  Our dear friend, Bill prepared music and brought instruments so everyone could participate. Aric brought cute St. Pat’s sayings from elementary students, and there were drinks, trivia, prayer, and the after party (which is where two guests lingered and I got to sit and enjoy their banter. Nathan was often asleep on the couch by this time).  It was always fun. Even the year I wasn’t going to do it, but I was convinced to do it the day we had the party.  The food wasn’t as good, but I couldn’t imagine a year without celebrating with friends.

March 16th it hit me.  We wouldn’t be having those people to our home to celebrate.  I cried.  I shocked myself with that one. In fact, the first few months we lived here, I hadn’t planned to do much of anything because my kitchen is so tiny.  Once I finally decided to at least cook a meal I realized that it had to be shared with someone, but not a lot of someones because I’m not ready to be cramped. Next year, I’m throwing caution to the wind–we’re going all out yet again.  So, this year we invited a couple from church to enjoy our meal with us, and we enjoyed our time with them. They had never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, so I was pleased to initiate them.

St. Pat's 2008

The events during the day are what began what will be our new tradition.  Nathan took part of the day off, and I already had it off  ’cause my co-workers were out of town on business.  We had a mid-day date.  I LOVED it!  We went to St.Paul, which is where the real Irish parties were 😉  We planned to see the parade, but because we stopped to see one of Nathan’s cousins, we missed it.  Well, she is about as exciting as a parade, so I didn’t care one bit. Love her!  She’d say that, “Love her!”  Aunt Joan also gave me some extra Jade plant help, and if she weren’t a nun and if stealing weren’t wrong I would have hit her over the head and stolen her jade plant.

So, since we missed the parade, we went straight to a local Irish Pub, while we were there, the bag pipers came through.  Yay!  That totally made up for missing the parade.  We had fish and chips and beer.  I was pretty annoyed by all of the green getups, and I tried not to think about the fact that it was only the afternoon and people were already drunk, but I have to admit that it all added to the festivity of it all.

We left and walked around town, holding hands and blowing smoke.  I could spend my entire day goofing off with my husband.  We also toured the Cathedral of St. Paul. It was beautiful and we had a few spiritual moments.  I even lit a candle. I don’t know what it means for the Catholics, but I know what it meant for me and it was really powerful.  I really enjoy that kind of thing–making praise/worship more than singing.  Liturgical elements really appeal to my creativity and the fact that I’m a very visual person.

We went home and began preparing our meal.  Next year, Nathan is taking the entire day off. We’re going to the early morning mass, the parade, then all the other things we did this year. Next year, we’ll most likely have the dinner party the weekend before St.Pat’s, and I’m inviting more than two people.  We’ve already got our guest list.  I will probably have to limit it a bit and just rotate people in until we get a bigger place, but we can’t NOT party with a house full of friends on St. Pat’s Day. We just can’t.  It was sad that our Fargo friends weren’t with us for dinner, but we are starting some new traditions.  I guess that’s all a part of moving away. I leave you with the words from a  song I learned in elementary school:

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other’s gold.

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