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That was then…

“Same thing every year, getting up at the crack of dawn, drinking, fighting, throwing up, pissing on walls, and then you leave the house and things get bad.” ― Greg Fitzsimmons [Image credit: Boondock Saints]

This is now…

I get it. We’re ‘distancing’ and the world-wide party that’s St. Paddy’s will stay home, perhaps pour an Irish coffee, and watch (depending on your generation) The Quiet Man, The Commitments, Waking Ned Devine, Once, or Brooklyn. Our trips and parties and parades and maybe even green beer are postponed, but that can’t change one thing.

This is the day we’re all Irish.

I remember the first time it happened to me. It was a lifetime ago that I landed in Ireland and stuck out my thumb looking for rides. I’d just graduated with a shiny new diploma in Anglo Irish Lit, and it was time to see what I’d spent all those years studying.

My advisor claimed the best way to see Ireland was to hitchhike. And he was right. I met an amazing, incredible cross-section of people, and was invited into their homes, lives, and pubs.

The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh): the hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty.
The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old city walls of Galway, now part of Galway City. The ring, as currently known, was first produced in the 17th century.

Everyone had a family member or friend in the States—did I know them too?

Almost everyone had a random collection of rocks in their field—did I know it used to be a castle?

One had the wrong idea—did I know it was that easy to break someone’s nose?

And one was the funniest person I’d ever met—did I know I’d be leaving with a ring on my finger?

Life happened, the ring ended up in the bottom of my jewelry box, and the memories have faded. But there’s something magic about Ireland. And even if the closest we can get this year is a slice of Guinness Cake and a video, we’re still all Irish.

(My mother’s family are Lanigans, so here’s a sample of what I grew up with…)

And that Guinness cake?

Guinness Chocolate Cake. [Be very careful or I might accidentally give you the recipe and you’ll be absolutely forced to make it. Repeatedly…]

WTH… here you go! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Guinness is good for you. [Image credit: IrishPubEmporium]