Wearing It Proudly!

Last Saturday, Danny and I rode the chairlift with a friendly gentleman. We commented on the the fine weather and fresh snow and noticed his accent.  This started a guessing game. He removed his goggles and squinted into the bright sunshine as Danny and I tried to guess his nationality. After naming eight or nine countries, we gave up. He said, “I’m Ukrainian.”

We continued talking after we arrived at the top. Then he wanted to guess my heritage. He asked me to take off my goggles and look at him straight on and then in profile. “Irish,” he said, “Your nose gave it away! It’s the same one they drew on Leprechaun’s in books and cartoons back in the day.”


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My father always claimed he was full-blooded Irish. Then out of the blue a couple of years ago, he mentioned a Scottish great grandmother who came to live with them for a while. “What?” My mother asked with skepticism and just about fell over.

Knowing that I’m more than 75% Irish (maybe closer to 70% with this recent revelation), always put a spring in my Irish step this time of year. Another part of that spring comes from nostalgic memories.

I grew up in a creative household. My dad was one of the original Madmen and my mom was always whipping something up in the kitchen or on the sewing machine.

They started a new and unique tradition. Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the Leprechauns visited our house. They were a messy lot and would spill their chocolate filled coins all over the house while we slept. My sister and I searched high and low for the little fellas, but we never found them. Later, my brother joined in the shenanigans.

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My mother would bake an apple pie while corned beef, carrots and cabbage simmered all afternoon on the stove top. The scent was heavenly. As if that weren’t enough, she baked soda bread. After my dad returned from work, we would sit down to an authentic Irish feast while traditional music played from my dad’s record player.

I continued this tradition with my own family. For my son Kelly, this is one of his favorite holidays. Every year, he makes an Irish feast for his friends. I am still working on an invitation.

An Irish Leprechaun

So when I look in the mirror at my pug Irish nose, I smile. I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, even for a glimpse of those elusive Leprechauns.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To watch Danny and I dance an Irish jig – Click HERE!

For the more about my family’s fun with Leprechauns – Click HERE!

Click for more of my wild Colorado life and travel adventures.

88 thoughts on “Wearing It Proudly!

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  1. A long line of Irish folk, huh? Those Irish – you have to watch ’em. They’re clever, full of blarney, and sneaky, but boy can they dance.

    Fun post and I totally love that you son has carried on the creativity tradition. Must be in the genes.

    Top ‘o the mornin’ to ye.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. I am tippin’ my hat to ye too! Yep. We Irish folk are full of shenanigans!
      Kelly’s middle name is Patrick, so he really loves this (his) holiday. My daughter does too, but is too busy studying to entertain. I’m sure I’ll be passing on the Irish recipes to her someday!
      Thanks Patricia!


  2. Susie and Patty,
    I have been working on our family history for many years. I can share with you when you want. BTW, I always figured it was our smiling eyes that gave us away.


  3. I can’t believe I missed the Holy Day! Dammit if life doesn’t get in the way of better plans. I will be celebrating with ‘me Irish girl tomorrow night. St. Patrick won’t hold it against us, of this I am certain.


    1. I’m drinking a stout beer. The apple pie is in the oven and the Irish dinner is simmering on the stove. I’ll send a virtual dinner plate and beer over to you! Have fun tomorrow night!


  4. What a wonderful day you all had! Sounds like your family knows how to make friends. You all on the chairlift, and then your son with his party — Happy Saint Patrick’s Day indeed!


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