Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

You know, there are so very many Irish sayings and proverbs – every year around this time I start looking them all up – and there’s the usual “May the wind always be at your back – may the road rise to meet you” stuff, and “a good run is better than a bad stand.”  This goes hand in hand with “many a time a man’s mouth broke his nose.” – Then there was my great grandmother’s one – when she would get frustrated with all the kids and grandkids running her in circles, she was known to have said – “Blessed be, stick a broom up me arse why don’t you and I can get some sweepin’ done while we’re at it.”

So, I was telling a friend of mine that when I was researching Aran knitting I came across another that stated “. . . and may a red-haired woman not wander across your path.” “How’d we get such a bad rap?” I ask her (this is where my husband usually sniggers), and my friend says to me – “I guess you’re just too damned distracting.” I’ll take distracting over a harbinger of danger anytime – even if to the occasional guy named Bill they are the same thing (I love you sweetie).

So, this is Jack


And this Saint Patrick’s morningn day starts out with me baking yummy Soda Bread and telling Jack that for a brief moment of time – perhaps half hour, no maybe ten minutes – we considered naming him the Irish version of Owen (okay, I considered it). He asked why we didn’t, and when I told him it was spelled “Eoghan” and his dad thought his life would be miserable with every kid and teacher trying to call him “Ee-oh-gu-han” that it would just be more kind to go with Jack.

I always knew I’d have a son named Jack, named for my grandfather, John Henry O’Brien, named by his father, Henny O’Brien. So Jack is going around all day saying, “I wish my name was Eoghan, can we change it? I want to change my name to Eoghan, that’s cool.” I have been reminding him that Jack Manning, named for a Jack O’Brien no less, is just about as Irish as it gets. Yeah, well . . . “Eoghan” is off playing with the boys down the street. And, as you might expect, Teamhair cniotáil (Tara is knitting).

Slainte! – have a pint for me won’t ye now?