Few are more Irish than Aunt Peg.
Except for me, she is the last of the McHughs, the baby of six kids and now 88 years old. Her mother and dad were both from Ireland — in fact Grandpa McHugh taught me the Irish jig as a little girl in the living room of the house he built with his own hands.
So Peg loves St. Patrick’s Day. In years past, there was alway corned beef and cabbage and Irish records to play; still there are special green wreaths on the door, tiny shamrock plants from the supermarket, a sparkly green sweater. So when this scarf caught my eye (and how could it not?) on a street vendor’s cart last weekend, I knew it was bound for glory under Aunt Peg’s winter coat.
Five bucks and a couple of stamps later, it was winging its way to her. So I was not surprised to arrive home from work tonight to a joyful phone call: “It’s beautiful! I don’t know where I’m going on St. Patrick’s, but now I’ve got to go somewhere!”
Aunt Peg is alone, and gets lonely: something like this sort-of-awful scarf probably brought back loads of bittersweet memories. But that’s what being Irish is all about, isn’t it? We do love to shed a tear.
It’s the sentiment.