St. Patrick’s Day is Near!


Oh my gosh, this spring is just a whirlwind! I almost forgot how close St. Patrick’s Day was, but the Amazon reminded me with a link to the St. Patrick’s Day Shopwhich is like a trip to a souvenir shop at one of the many tourist attractions at home. And by home I mean Ireland.

I was born in Galway, but I consider myself a Cork boy. Of course I didn’t live too long in Ireland, but when I am around Irish people, I have a Cork accent. Cork is where my aunts and uncles live, Cork is to where I go “home”. Some of my teenage years I worked a summer job at Blarney Wollen Mills, and I saw perttey much everything under heaven decorated in shamrocks.



Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Look! Irish duckies on Amazon!

Blarney, by the way, is a beautiful place. The Blarney Castle has the Blarney stone that the visitor has to kiss (and, of course, pay for the opportunity to exchange germs with thousands and thousands of people from all around the world) and receive the great skill of gab. That’s blarney! I’ve kissed it many times. Maybe we should have a separate stone to kiss to translate this awesome skill into effective blogging? Anyway, I liked working there.

One of my favourite items to sell was tin whistles. I loved demonstrating how to play them to the tourists, and even got to teach a few people with experience with recorders. My boss didn’t mind at all, because when I did this we also sold a few song books in addition to the tin whistles. I think it’s about time I started teaching some of my kids the art of playing one.

St. Patrick’s day makes me a bit homesick for Ireland. I miss walking by the River Lee, I miss eating the food, I miss the rain, I miss the evenings at the pub. I just miss a piece of me.

28 Responses to “St. Patrick’s Day is Near!”

  1. Just Jill says:

    I wondered when we would hear from you about March 17th! Beautiful pictures…I can see why you would miss it. I hope you get back there soon!

  2. Milena says:

    Beautiful pictures! Almost everything I’ve ever heard about Ireland is positive, so I can easily imagine why you miss it. And besides, when a piece of your heart is left there, it could be totally ugly and still worth missing.

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      Oh, there are a lot of things that are not so positive about Ireland, especially if you are a religious minority in a rural community, but still, it’s home. 🙂

      • Milena says:

        Yes, home is home – even when home is a grey mass of blocks of flats! (I once read an article about young adults being upset when a number of blocks of flats were to be renovated and painted – it was their area and they were proud of it just the way it was. It was their home).

        I can imagine that being a religious minority in a rural community is not that easy. Rural communities aren’t very easy anywhere. The box in which to fit is very narrow 😉 and any minority would have a hard time.

        • Hevel @KosherKola says:

          Yep, exactly.

          Completely off topic, I understand that hosting the ESC is expensive, but does Sweden really want to make sure that you can’t win again?

          • Milena says:

            😀 I haven’t watched a second of it! (I don’t think I’ve watched since the early nineties when Carola won – 1991 I think.) My daughter wanted to, but she’s a disaster for two days afterwards if she stays up that late. However, I’m not surprised if our winner is someone who makes you want to hide behind a pillow when watching/listening! That’s how it usually is :-). Most of our better musicians/singers find the ESC totally embarrassing and wouldn’t compete for anything in the world.
            Actually, I remember there was such a discussion a number of years ago – maybe ten since time flies so fast – that we shouldn’t send someone too good because it’s so expensive to host it! I think it was after Charlotte what-was-her-last-name-then won – (in Israel, wasn’t it?)

            • Hevel @KosherKola says:

              I know when Israel won back-to-back in 1978 and 1979 we didn’t even participate in 1980, let alone host it. Of course there was the issue of Yom Hazikaron falling during the Eurovision dates, but really, the expenses also contributed.

  3. Oooh, I used to play the recorder! Well, in fourth grade, but still. It was fun. I guess I’ll be looking up videos of people playing tin whistles today.
    Bárbara Santana recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday – #3My Profile

  4. De says:

    My last name has an Irish origin and when I was a kid in school, I would spend the entire month of March spelling my name in it original form. Made the teachers kinda nuts, but I was always so proud.
    De recently posted..PTMy Profile

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      My Irish last name is actually spelled the Irish way. I had to use the more common form when living in the States. 🙂

  5. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    St. Patrick’s Day is a great day!!! I enjoyed reading this post!!! I’ve read some books by Irish authors that I love.
    Two of my kids (grown kids) got to go to Ireland last March. The university they work for…the marching band got to play in a parade on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland! It was so cool! We all got gifts from Ireland this past Christmas. 🙂 They kissed the Blarney Stone…sounds like it is quite a “chore” to do it!

    You have a rich and beautiful heritage!!! :-)And think of it this way…a piece of you will always reside in Ireland. I see that as beautiful!!!

    Happy Whee-kend and HUGS!!! 🙂

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      Yep, to kiss the Blarney stone you gotta climb all these old,narrow and slippery stairs, and then do some yoga to be able to kiss it. But it’s fun!

  6. jen says:

    I kissed the stone 15 years ago… and came home from Ireland with walking pneumonia.
    jen recently posted..Lent 2013: “The Cry of the Poor”My Profile

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      Now, that might just simply have been caused by Ireland. I love being home, but any extended period I spend there ends with pneumonia.

      Of course the big international germ exchange must not have helped.

  7. Jon says:

    Beautiful memories. 🙂
    The pictures make it look enchanting. 🙂
    Any trips home in the works?
    Hugs, Jon

  8. michelle says:

    now i really really want to go.. it looks so beautiful !

  9. Kathy Cassel says:

    It looks beautiful. I’d love to visit sometime. Lived in England a few months once and then three years later but only spent a day in Wales and a day in Scotland. A couple of days in France but never Ireland. I think experiencing different cultures and places would be great for my kids. Now if we were only rich….

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      Oh, when you get the chance, you should totally visit Ireland. Maybe when you are done with your fiction books? Those, I imagine, would have a wider appeal. I mean I read Ted Dekker and I even read the first three of the Left Behind series, simply because they are good stories. So there should be a market for your fiction books! (See, I’m planning for you how to get rich.) Then you could visit Israel, too. And maybe write a youth adventure book based on your experiences.

  10. Shauna says:

    Ireland is such a lovely place, and has so many wonderful things. Poor Ireland has suffered so during the economic landslide, and is again experiencing massive emigration of its young and well educated workforce.

    Lovely memory of your grandfather! I love the whistle, too. You’d appreciate knowing the man in the US who has helped bring a sort of renaissance here of the whistle is a Jewish man from New Joisy, name of Bill Ochs. He also figured out how to play 2 whistles at once, which is a fabulous and curious sound. You’d love to hear his Micho Russell recordings,though you can find him also on YouTube, no doubt. They’d be something to remind you of your grandfather! Though I believe he was a Clare man, so his Irish is a different accent, from what I always say is, Cark. (apologies). With Irish music it seems there are no boundaries. You should get the kids playing the whistle. Music and math come from almost the same place in the brain, so one helps the other along. Besides, it’s just such a great sound. And so simple an instrument!

    Happy Patrick’s day. Good thoughts. Good memories.

    • Hevel @KosherKola says:

      While Ireland has lost so much of the educated work force, there are now Polish, Slovak and Hungarian lawyers, teachers and economists cleaning office buildings, stocking shelves and working in hotels and restaurants.

  11. Bozot says:

    Never been to Ireland, but I’d love to go once. I felt so at home in Scotland….it might be similar.

    Those ducks are übercute 😀
    Bozot recently posted..Új étkekMy Profile

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