Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

How’s that for an exciting title?

I should preface this post by saying that, to the best of my knowledge, I am not Irish. From what I can tell, I am mostly German. I have never even been to Ireland. Still, I seem to have an immense love of Ireland, especially in books.

The summer after my freshman year in college I spent the summer working at the beach. I lived in a large female boarding house which housed twenty-seven young women, aged nineteen (me) to twenty-four. Of these twenty-seven girls, only three were American. The remaining twenty-four girls came from around the world— Brazil, Australia, France and Spain each had a representative or two. The majority, however, came from England and Ireland.

The three of us that were native to America were the first in the house, so we bonded immediately. As the rest trickled in through May and early June, we found ourselves in a new situation—one kitchen and only a handful of bathrooms shared between women of different cultures. Oh, did I mention only one phone, too, in a time before cell phones?  Some we lived with because we had to. Some we wanted to kill (like the one who used said phone for hours-long conversations to her boyfriend every night).  Others became good friends.

In particular, there were two girls from Ireland that I spent a good amount of time with. They introduced us to their friends that were living around the town. We went to parties, we stayed out all night, we would sit on the beach talking until the sun came up and we all realized we needed to go to work. It was amazing.

Throughout the summer, I heard amazing stories of Ireland and Scotland from my new friends. I was mesmerized. The descriptions of the towns, cities and countryside were all stunning. Don’t even get me started on the accent! I was so in love with the accent that I would sit and listen for hours—and there isn’t much that can shut me up! (Poor Pookie, born in the US, with no accent to make me listen to his every word.)

Eventually the summer ended and we all went back home and to school. I had picked up some of their phrases over the summer, much to the amusement of my friends.

We stayed in contact for a while, but I haven’t heard from anyone in years.  We all moved on; the only thing left from that summer is the memories, a few pictures, and a love of a country I have no real ties to. (Two, actually—I can’t forget Scotland. But it is St Patrick’s Day!)

One day I will get to visit Ireland. Kaye is going in a few months, so I am sure she will take lots of pictures and fill me in on all of the great things to see.

Until then, I get my fill in books. I love books set in Ireland—Nora Roberts, for example, give such a stunning picture of the Irish country-side that I feel like I am there. I also love books written by Irish authors. PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahearn may be favorite book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and then laugh again. My poor husband thins I am insane every time I read it. But, on top of a very moving story, it captures the Irish setting and the speech patterns I have come to love so much. I can hear the accents in my head.

So, until that happy day when I finally have the opportunity to visit Ireland, I find books do an amazing job at filling in—making me feel like I am back with the friends from that summer in the 90s, this time on their turf.

So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I am off to read a book. Does anyone have a suggestion?

About Susi Borath

Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.
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9 Responses to Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  1. Kaye Peters says:

    All the books taking place in Ireland that I know of, you have already read. So no help from me on that end. Sorry.

    I will say that in October when Sparky and I leave for our two week trip with no kids that there is a possibility that with the emails and pictures I will be sending back home, there will also be a letter stating that we’ve decided to move there and never return. I can’t wait!

    Love the title, by the way, how did you ever come up with it? 😉

  2. Mark says:

    Great title, reminds me of….. well beer. And not that green light beer that bars try to push down your gullet, but real, delicious premium beer, perhaps a Guinness in the spirit of the Irish.

    Since you have read them all have you seen the episode of Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations when he is in Ireland? Check it out on maybe netflix or if you have on demand TV. I don’t watch much but his show is pretty good.

    • Savana Quinn says:

      HA! I can honestly say I have never had green beer. Guinness, on the other hand, sounds amazing right now. Or Jameson’s. That would work, too.

      I have never seen the show, but my parents are addicted to it. (Surprised? didn’t think so.) I will have to check it out.

      Seeing you post on this takes be back to that summer in HS at the beach with the waiter we kept getting that had us all saying, “bloody bastards” by the end of the trip. Our poor parents! Actually, you used to be a drawn in to the accents as I was! (For those that this makes no sense to, Mark is my cousin, and our families spent a week at the beach every summer. Good times!)

      • Mark says:

        Or a Guinness with a bloody sidecar of Jameson’s!

        True story, those times at the beach were always a blast. Yeah girls with accents are a bit of draw for me especially the Aussie and French girls…

        Damn what I wouldn’t do for a crab cake sammy from Belly Busters, I ate at that place four or more times a week when I lived there.

  3. Hilary Clark says:

    Sigh…I love Ireland. And the Irish accent. I want to live there. Thank you for the reminder.

    I spent a week there in April 2008, flying into Dublin, then driving down through Wexford and Waterford to spend a couple days in Cork, then up for three days in Galway and the Connemara before a straight shot back across the country to fly out of Dublin. I loved every single moment and bit of scenery and word I heard. Kaye and her husband will have an absolute blast. But remember to drive on the other side of the road if renting a car! On the first day, I had several near misses with shrubs, buses, and pedestrians and then I got the hang of it. 🙂

    I kept a journal of the trip…maybe I should turn it into a blog post…hmmm.

  4. Lisa Kramer says:

    I love Ireland too, for some reason (hence my birthday wish to go to Ireland). I embrace all things Irish. When I spend time with Irish friends, I can’t help but fall into the accent. At least most of them understand that I am not doing it to make fun, but because it sounds like “music to me ears. “

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