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The green, the gold, the Irish
Mommy Musings 3-6-24

I’m getting excited for the day of my people.

Aside from Thanksgiving and maybe my birthday week, it’s hands down one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Oh sure, I recognize that Saint Patrick’s Day is not exactly an “observed” holiday, but for me and mine it absolutely is.

Of course there’s the obvious merriment which surrounds the day, but my fondness of the day of the green stems back to my childhood and my grandmother.

Born a “Kirkpatrick,” of Scotch/Irish descent my grandmother always made the holiday memorable. Of course there was corned beef and cabbage, a good stock of potatoes as well as an abundance of her delicious homemade bread, as well as soda bread.

In my early 20s and college days the memories of taking over pubs and parades with friends bring many smiles and good stories. While not a recognized holiday, for my kids’ dad, myself as well as our friends it was indeed acknowledged complete with taking time off work to celebrate properly - no excuses.

It wasn’t until the last decade however that I’ve really both embraced as well as taken pride in the significance of the day for our family.

Over two decades ago, my mom picked up the corned beef tradition and would summons us all for a proper St. Pat’s dinner.

My son’s middle name, Kirkpatrick, as tribute to my grandmother and heritage proved to be more pivotal than I ever would have imagined when giving him the sentimental middle name.

At the young age of 12 we had our first taste of the Celtic Faire. First attending as a field trip with his GATE class, he was hooked. Every booth, visited. Every exhibition studied and the jousting proving to be his kind of spectator sport.

Over the course of time, the annual event became a staple on our annual “To Do” list, taking along friends, family and just about anyone that was up for adventure. Without fail, each and every time, each and every guest … sold on the event and all that it had to offer.

There was just something about the fun, the spirit and the authenticity that made the weekend festival a great family past time.

Hosted the weekend prior to the actual holiday, this was typically followed by gathering with my parents or friends who share the same love for our heritage and celebration.

This year will mark my first trip to Murphys Irish Days, a bucket list event I somehow seem to miss each year. Just as it was with my first trip to the Celtic Faire, I’m excited to see and experience what the buzz is all about.

As I share these experiences and memories, I can’t help but ponder why this holiday is so meaningful to me.

I mean after all, in the day and age of 23 and me and just about any other ancestry seeking service it’s easy to know exactly what percentage we are of each and every ethnicity. Call me old school but I like knowing the basics, as told to me by my elders. Back in the day when posed with the question of ethnicity it was simple: Irish, German, English and a wee bit of Indian. Yes, Indian, go figure.

I’m good with the basics I was given and love knowing how my children have embraced it as well. And truth be told, that’s probably the biggest “why” so to speak of enjoying this time of year.

Listening to friends share their family history, lineage and ties to Ireland. Sharing childhood memories and stories of childhood and growing up Irish. The stories are many, the laughs joy filled and the memories heartfelt.

In short, I guess I just simply love the way our heritage can bring such a vast and diverse group together.

So; Cheers to the Irish, to the stories shared, the lessons learned and a group of immigrants who came in search of gold and in many instances found it.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.