Thursday, March 17, 2011

The orange and the green

I totally forgot to get dressed for St. Patrick's day today. I had to get up early for a breakfast appointment at Pano's (I love Pano's for breakfast) and wasn't thinking about the date on the calendar when I got dressed. So, I was in a black pinstripe suit all day. Our senior administrator draped some green Mardi Gras beads around my neck. I think she was disgusted with me for forgetting. Even Bill remembered to wear green today - although it was buried within his tie.

Because my family is from Northern Ireland, I like to wear ORANGE and green on St. Patrick's day to illustrate my desire for a united nation. I was kicking myself all day that I wasn't able to make my usual statement.  My colleague, Gina Boland Daley (she's a little bit Irish)  showed me a picture of her children all dressed up for school in green. I was delighted to see that her daughter had a lovely green and ORANGE bow in her hair.

We take St. Patrick's Day very seriously in Buffalo. Our parade has been in existence for almost 70 years and it's  held on a Sunday close to March 17.  I never go because of the insane amounts of beer and vomit on the street.  On the 17th of March I like to be off the streets by 6 p.m. to avoid the drinking public.  In Canada, I believe only the province of Newfoundland and Labrador actually have a statutory holiday on March 17.  Believe me, that 's a good thing.  You don't want to go to work with someone drinking Newfoundland Screech.

But, while I was lamenting about my lack of (apparent) Irish sentimentality, something amazing was happening at home. The temperatures soared and my wee pond completely thawed.  When I went out tonight after work to check it out, I witnessed a miracle (pictured). One lone ORANGE koi swimming quite contentedly.

Last fall I spent a significant amount of time trying to catch the fish in the pond to give to Gina's kids (yes, the same family with the wee girl who wore a green and orange bow in her hair today). We were able to catch 3 fish - 2 small orange koi and 1 very large black one.  They took them home to their large aquarium and kept them over the winter. After many weeks of a happy life in the aquarium, the 2 small koi kacked.  The large one, they named Noir, has kept it together and is still hanging in there.

Once the fish were out, the pond was drained and the lines were capped. And, as you know, this winter was brutal with sustained temperatures below freezing for weeks. The small amount of pond water froze and was covered with a ton of snow.

The fact that anything lived through this winter is beyond me.

There is a legend about St. Patrick and it has nothing to do with snakes; rather it has to do with the "lifting" of the Lenten meat fast on March 17.  Apparently, St. Patrick was keeping  a pork roast for  'emergency' eating (?).   He became remorseful about it and threw it into a stream. God sent an angel and the roast was turned into a bunch of fish. Or at least the legend goes something like that. I understand that pork roast is called Saint Patrick's fish in Ireland and is eaten on March 17.

I wonder if Bill threw an old pork roast into the pond? However that fish arrived, I have dubbed today's occurrence the "Miracle of St. Patrick's Day".

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

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