This year Saint Patrick's Day is March 17th! As holidays go, this one can be somewhat vague. For many people the celebration is all about the beer. Irish beer is even better. My AA friend commented one year, it was her favorite holiday when she drank because it was such an acceptable way to get drunk. Other people can celebrate by wearing green, or wearing orange because it goes with green in a real eye popping manner. If you are Catholic you can celebrate it like a regular saints day, with a trip to the church and a mass.

When I was a kid I lived in Chicago where Irish holidays were big. There was a good sized Irish community in Chicago. Almost everyone at school would wear green on that day, every shade from pine dark to lime green. Also the Chicago River, famous for it's backwards flow, would be tainted an eerie almost neon green color in celebration for the day. Green ice cream shakes were also common. They didn't taste so great. It was usually a peppermint flavor or creme de menthe. And of course people wore four leaf clover or shamrock pins for decoration.

Saint Patrick was supposed to be famous for chasing the snakes out of Ireland. Some people claim this is a metaphor because there weren't any snakes in Ireland to chase out. What was he doing then? Perhaps he brought Christianity to the pagan clans. If he did, he would be sorry now to see what God doing lately. The Catholics and the Protestants are killing each other in Ireland. They both believe in the trinity, in Jesus Christ and the holy communion but they are killing each other. I don't think that's would good Saint Pat intended.

If he wasn't chasing out real snakes may be he was chasing out crafty politicians. Lots of people call them snakes. They sneak in promising great stuff like more jobs, less taxes and free beer for all. Then they have to raise taxes to pay for all the beer. The next thing you know, you need more job to pay all the new taxes but no employer can afford to hire you because they are all paying new taxes too. May be St Patrick was a craft king maker himself. It's hard to say once one fades into ancient myth, eponymous holiday and all.

There are other Catholic saint days, but they don't seem to get as much air time as grand old Saint Patrick's. I think it's because of all the beer in involved. Some places even dye their beer green. The bar outside my window has put up decorations. There is shiny green foil hanging from the rafters. It reflects in the sun. They may even have a special band. I did not notice that the church put up special decorations.

Frankly I don't like to be around drunk drivers. Even with all the advances in car safety, you can get banged up badly if a drunk driver hits you. I think going on a hike up on Mt Abel is a nice way to celebrate St Patrick's Day. It's quiet, but certainly green. You can drink if you are discreet about it, and puke where ever you like. But you won't be endangering anyone with your crazy driving. You can even commune with God and bring it back to it's Catholic roots. Be reverent. It's nice.