Hol­i­days just not the same with­out color­ful dec­o­ra­tions

The Covington News - - Sunday Living -

Don’t for­get to wear some­thing green to­mor­row. If you don’t, you might get pinched. As far as I know, there aren’t any St. Pa­trick’s Day fes­tiv­i­ties planned in Cov­ing­ton, but you can head over to Cony­ers at 4: 30 p. m. to­mor­row to see the World’s Fastest Grow­ing St. Pa­trick’s Day pa­rade.

We south­ern folk don’t seem to get as ex­cited as our north­ern neigh­bors about cel­e­brat­ing St. Pa­trick’s Day. That’s a shame, be­cause I like the hol­i­day. But then again, green is my fa­vorite color, and I was brought up in a fam­ily that cel­e­brated ev­ery time the cal­en­dar gave us an ex­cuse to do so.

Mom loved to dec­o­rate the house for ev­ery oc­ca­sion. I al­ways knew that when I came home from school on Fe­bru­ary 15th, I would see sham­rocks and green place­mats where red hearts and lace had been on the kitchen ta­ble that morn­ing. And on March 18, they mag­i­cally dis­ap­peared to make way for all of Mom’s beau­ti­ful Easter dé­cor.

I’ve tried to carry on her tra­di­tion by dec­o­rat­ing my home for each hol­i­day, but this year my house has been bar­ren. We moved a few months ago, and I still haven’t found my spring dec­o­ra­tions.

I did man­age to un­cover one pa­thetic lit­tle bunny to hang by the front door. Be­cause of how I grew up, it just doesn’t feel like a hol­i­day if my house isn’t fully decked out, but that’s just the way it has to be.

And that is per­fectly fine with my hus­band, Don­nie. While my fam­ily grew up mak­ing a big deal out of all hol­i­days, his fam­ily was quite the op­po­site. It took a few years of mar­riage for me to con­vince him that it ac­tu­ally was OK for adults to cel­e­brate their own birth­days. It was just an­other one of those funny dif­fer­ences that you have to sort out af­ter mar­riage -some­thing that you never think to ask the other per­son be­fore you get hitched.

I cer­tainly never thought about ask­ing Don­nie how he cel­e­brated St. Pa­trick’s Day, and I doubt his an­swer would’ve been a deal­breaker, re­gard­less. I’d just grad­u­ated with my de­gree in vis­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tions — a fancy term for graphic arts — when I met him on March 17, 1989.

We were at a post- grad­u­a­tion house party and were the only two nerds not in­ter­ested in en­gag­ing in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties. So we went out­side and sat on a porch swing to­gether, and I mar­veled at how easy it was to talk to him.

I made it clear that I was not look­ing for a boyfriend, and he un­der­stood. Three days later, he asked if he could kiss me, and I sur­prised my­self by say­ing yes. Who knew that 19 years later, we’d still be to­gether, with two kids, a mort­gage and a mini­van?

I still think he hung the moon. He’s great about hu­mor­ing my crazy whims, such as serv­ing him green pan­cakes topped with green whipped cream for break­fast on St. Pa­trick’s Day. To­mor­row, I am also try­ing my hand at cook­ing corned beef and cab­bage for the first time. I can’t re­call hav­ing tasted a sin­gle bite of corned beef, ever, so this is ei­ther a re­ally brave or re­ally dumb thing I’m do­ing.

There are a gazil­lion corned beef and cab­bage recipes on the In­ter­net, so I hope I chose a good one. It sounds easy enough. You just boil a beef brisket for a few hours and throw in some veg­eta­bles at the end. It should be fool­proof, but then again — it’s those kinds of recipes that of­ten slay me.

I hope it turns out well, and I hope there’s enough for left­overs, be­cause it prom­ises to be a crazy week ahead. We usu­ally get a de­cent break be­tween St. Patty’s Day and Easter, but this year, there are only a few days to get ready for the Easter bunny. To add to the fun, my sweet lit­tle boy Eli turns six on Good Fri­day.

Next week­end’s sched­ule is packed with egg hunts, soc­cer games, birth­day par­ties, church and host­ing Easter din­ner for our ex­tended fam­ily. We are still bat­tling ear in­fec­tions and the nev­erend­ing cold, so I’m pray­ing for our meds to kick in.

If they do, maybe I’ll find the en­ergy to hunt down my Easter egg tree and jazz this place up a bit for spring.

Kari Apted

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