From Pipi’s Pasture: Remembering St. Patrick’s Day
It’s amazing how fast time passes. Daylight Saving Time begins this coming weekend, and St. Patrick’s Day is only three days after that. When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, there was no Daylight Saving Time, but of course there was St. Patrick’s Day, and we celebrated it—a little bit. Easter wasn’t far away, and we kids dreamed more about coloring eggs and baskets filled with treats.
As St. Patrick’s Day approached, we kids made shamrocks and decorated the country school. We learned about Ireland, and our teacher read us stories about leprechauns. We may have even gotten a treat of sugar cookies shaped like shamrocks and decorated with green icing, but there was no party—not that I recall anyway.
We kids did enjoy the tradition of wearing green and trying to catch those who didn’t wear it. The consequence of not wearing green was to get pinched. Some kids didn’t play fair, pointing to a patch of green on a print shirt or a paper shamrock hidden in a pocket to prove they were wearing green—after being pinched, of course. The consequence for pinching someone wearing green was to be pinched back ten times.
On St. Patrick’s Day my siblings and I a lot of fun with Dad, who was really a kid at heart. In the morning as he came in from milking the cow, we were waiting.
“Where’s your green, Daddy?”
We looked him over and pinched him. Sometimes Dad would pull of piece of green hay from his pocket and teasingly threaten us. He just laughed, and he never pinched. Instead, he tickled.
Mom was always great about fixing special dishes for holidays, no matter how small they might be, to make the occasion festive. I don’t remember ever having corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but I do remember her serving some kind of boiled meat and cabbage. We might have enjoyed a green gelatin salad, too. Dessert was likely small dishes of a light gelatin-like pudding made with Renet tablets (I’m not sure of the spelling since this product is not on the market anymore). She tinted the dessert a light green with food coloring.
I’m remembering that the weather was turning warmer around St. Patrick’s Day. That doesn’t mean that there was no snow because it seemed as if we usually had feet of snow up until May, and it snowed plenty in March, but the sun was warmer around St.Patrick’s Day. Sometimes a few spots of bare ground were beginning to show up, and if we kids were lucky we could take off our boots and step from one bare spot to another when walking home from school on the county road.
Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day!
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