As the calendar portends, spring is not until tomorrow, but today is a heady mix of crystalline skies, cool breezes, new crocus and frenetic dog. Chores persist indoors with the threat of guests arriving next week so I clean, do laundry, clear the table and otherwise make a vain attempt to make the house presentable - all while coming off the rush of St. Patrick's Day.
The annual celebration in green is a holiday of major proportions here. After all, being a family with an Irish dancer and guitarist playing in a band with a Celtic bent (http://www.wildryemusic.com) has both its compulsions and responsibilities. All that makes for a satisfying alternative to a day that most people think of as an excuse for partying.
For many years now, my St. Paddy's starts early in the morning as the local Irish dance school trundles a troop of kids off on an itinerary filled with appearances at schools and retirement homes. The first year or two of these events witnessed many of these youngsters being shy with the oldsters. A few years of being on the stage at performances and competitions, though, have turned the youngsters into hams or near hams. As a result, striking up small talk with the grandmas and grandpas of the day has become more natural.
What's even more fun is a few of us adults get the roles of teacher/auntie/stage manager. We shepherd these kids around and line them up and tell them what to do next in the midst of a dozen voices all asking questions at nine or ten different locations in a single day. We get to dance with them, too. Then we send them home with their parents, tired and cranky. What's better than that?
My only regret this year was that I was too tired to enjoy a Guinness...