Monday, March 3, 2008

The Luck of the Irish!

How cute is this cover on the March, 1968 "Jack and Jill" magazine? It's from my own stash because I can never resist a St. Paddy's Day collectible. Technically, four leaf clovers are not shamrocks, but they are also a sign of good luck so they are often depicted on St. Paddy's Day cards and as a traditional symbol of Ireland. Shamrocks, the unofficial Irish symbol, have three leaves, not four. Today I bought a little pack of holiday tissues with pigs and four leaf clovers on them and the clerk said, "I don't know what pigs have to do with St. Paddy's Day." Actually, he's got it wrong. The pig is a traditional Irish good luck symbol, it's the four leaf clover that is the interloper. I don't know the origin of the pig as a good luck symbol, but I suppose if you were living through famine by surviving on potatoes that a pig would be, indeed, a very good thing to possess. My own mother lived through the depression by eating potatoes: mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, homemade potato chips, and fried potato cakes. She told me that she even had to take a potato cake to school for her lunch because they didn't have anything else. For myself, I had a potato with most hot meals. When I was growing up, we had a hot noon time meal we called "dinner" which nearly always included some potato dish and then we had a cold night time meal. My own supper was often cheese, crackers and a piece of fruit (as it still is today). When I went to my first Irish restaurant, I discovered my traditional supper listed on their menu as the "Ploughman's Platter." How funny to discover that I was eating ethnically and didn't even know it!

I have always loved St. Paddy's Day and the tag swap this year is certainly making me feel very festive and close to my Irish roots. The tags are pouring in and more are promised in the near future. Thank all of you who have participated. I so appreciate each and every one of you. I know you will all be happy with your Tag Swap Books.

In a semi-related story of good luck, I have been hunting and gathering for a few days and my luck has been so phenomenal that I can only credit my Irish heritage. Maybe my ancestors are leading me. I have found tatting, old buttons, children's books, old store stock, old game pieces, and more. I had almost given up regular searches for these things because most of the local places never seem to have enough (at least at the price I am willing to pay) to make the search worthwhile. I think Ebay may have been responsible for that. I have hopes of getting a blog banner up soon and I have found a few things I can use for that. Now if my Irish spirit guides are listening: old cabbage rose wallpaper - just give me a nudge in the right direction, please.

What stories of your Irish heritage or unexpected good luck do you have to share?

5 comments:

Daisy's said...

If you want some vintage roses wallpaper for a blog banner, the graphics fairy blog as some great ones you can download. Thats where I got the bckground for my blog banner.
Darly

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Trish!
Thank you soooo much for visiting my blog and saying all of those nice things! It gave me a chance to come over her and visit you.

I am a wee bit Irish...Actually I am Irish, French, Dutch and German! I enjoyed reading through all of your posts on Irish folklore, swaps and more...
I hope you visit me again soon..
Penny

leavesofgreen said...

That's a wonderful story about your mother! I have a similar one about my mother.

obsessed scrapbooker said...

I am a huge cheese and cracker eater too! Yet another thing we have in common! Elizabeth

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

I don't have any Irish blood in me(my children do as their grandfather was from No. Ireland) and "lucky" I'm generally not.