THE WEATHER: This is one of those mid-March times none of us who yearn for springlike weather should be having. I've rarely heard more complaints (including mine, perpetually) about the prolonged winter-like conditions this late in the winter.To not usurp great friend Paul Douglas's domain, and looking at the trends, I think by next week this time we'll be on "the other side" of this colder-than-normal grip for the remainder of the month, then Twins baseball April 1st. Can't wait!
ST, PATRICK'S DAY: I hope you and yours are having a happy one. In my opinion, and the opinion of many, it truly IS a day when everyone's Irish. Although I've had the privilege to visit England and Scotland several times throughout the years, I've never been to either Ireland or Northern Ireland, and they're definitely on my "bucket list". The closest I ever came to knowing more about The Emerald Isle (except for flying over it many times prior to either arriving in England, or leaving when headed back to the U.S.) was having the joy to host two teenage kids from Northern Ireland during the time there were still bombs exploding in Belfast and other parts of that country. A church in the western Minneapolis suburbs asked for volunteers to host the kids. We did, and it was "magic time". It was the summer of 1985. The first teenager to arrive was named Agnes. She was from the town of Carrickmore, which we later learned (from her) was one of the IRA strongholds to manufacture bombs. I later learned Carrickmore was also near Ballymena, the birthplace of actor Liam Neeson. The first time I interviewed him for one of his films, he was happy to know about my hosting the two kids from near his hometown. Agnes's boyfriend, Charlie, was the second of our guests, but for only a few days, prior to their departure back to Northern Ireland. We wanted to show Agnes as much of the U.S. as possible for the short three weeks she was here, thus the day after she arrived here, we drove her to Mt. Rushmore and back for a four-day excursion. Agnes's family was large, and one of her younger sisters was named Mairead, pronounced by Agnes as merry-uhd. Beautiful name, beautiful people. One of the most enchanting things about Agnes was her speech. When she spoke, it was like listening to a musical babbling-brook , with the accent on brook. Could have listened to her forever. The lilt of her pronunciations was better than any accent ever affected for "Finian's Rainbow". I hope she and Charlie are well since these 28 years have passed. One thing of which I wasn't aware: The Irish, Northern or not, are very fond of onions, mostly cooked. That was ONE part of the visit at which we could have balked, but realizing the anxieties they had to face at home, we decided to just use a lot of air freshener after some dinners, and savor those onions. :) I hope you're savoring this great day for the Irish. Erin Go Bragh.
Thanks for reading, thinking and sharing in this blog. Please, if you wish, join me for my SENIOR MOMENT webcasts at www.startribune.com/video, then accessing the Lifestyles link, then A SENIOR MOMENT for more of my geezer memories and thoughts. The subject changes every Monday, as does my choice of bubble gum.