My daddy’s birthday is March 18th. He turned 6 on the day that one of the deadliest tornados in history hit his little town of Murphysboro, Illinois (1925). His family and most of their property were safe, but his memories of the event were horrible. As a child, he drove a team and wagon around town taking his mother to house after house to tend to folks who were not as fortunate.
By the time my dad reached about 70, he was plagued with two things on his birthday. People always wanted to talk to him about the big tornado … and I always wanted to have a St. Patrick’s Day themed birthday party for him! Both were equally bad! He’d tell people that he didn’t want to talk about the tornado … and he’d tell me that he wasn't Irish … that … if he was anything other than being an American … he was Scottish! He was big on being American!
Well Daddy, I’ve got news for you! St. Patrick wasn’t Irish either … he was Scottish! … and even though you aren’t with me anymore, I’m celebrating your birthday this year … Scottish - St. Patrick’s Day style!
Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick, was born in Scotland, near Dumbarton in (around) 385. His parents were Romans living in Britain and were in charge of the colonies. Patrick was captured by a raiding party when he was 14 and taken to Ireland as a slave. Druids and pagans inhabited and ruled Ireland at that time.
Patrick grew close to God, but remained a slave for 6 years.
After having a dream in which God told him how to escape, he went to the coast and located some sailors who took him back to Scotland where he reunited with his family. He had another dream, though … and in it, the people of Ireland begged him to come back to them. He studied for the priesthood; was ordained; was further ordained as a Bishop and returned to Ireland in 433. He made friends with the chieftons, taught the lesson of the Holy Trinity by using the shamrock clover … converted the people to Christianity … and remained in Ireland until his death 40 years later.
We are celebrating with our Scottish Tartan plaids. The blue/beige on the upper left of this collage is pretty close to the modern Douglas Clan Tartan. I bought several spools of Douglas tartan ribbon (from Scotland) for my daughter's wedding decor ... and since then, we've bought every ribbon, fabric, plate ... etc. that even closely resembled the various Douglas plaids! The salad plate is also Douglas! I've set the table this way ... to mimic the tartans ... and the flower of Scotland, the thistle ... This thistle pattern is Stengl pottery. the green plaid dinner plate is Royal China (c1950s) and the salad plates and mugs are Jeffrey Banks (new). I've used salt dips with spoons, because I'm serving a cod salad that will be better with some chunky Celtic salt. Notice the winking eye on the glasses?
My centerpiece runs the length of the table and is composed of vintage St. Pat's cards, a silk flower garland studded with a few roses ... and some glittery shamrocks! Happy St. Patrick's Day!