|The Fisherman's Memorial Statue at Loughran's Point Park at Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey |
braves the snow. (Barbara Danza/The Epoch Times)
The reply from Cormac began with early good wishes for Christmas and ended with an honest opinion of some writing I had recently sent him.
His weather report from the West of Ireland was far warmer than his words about my draft of a story.
He was enjoying an “extremely mild and beautiful Clare.”
“We even have the fabled Last Rose of Summer blooming outside the cottage door!” he added.
Oh behalf of Honey Badger and myself, I then relayed season greetings to Cormac and his clan “from a bloody freezing New Jersey with more snow on the way.”
Surprisingly, Cormac sent another note back rather quickly.
“Dammit, Lowney, your email brought the Jersey weather along with it like a shot.”
“Complete change....wind and sleet!!!!!!!!!”
“Don't contact me again for a few days please!!!!!!!!”
The white flakes have been falling freely and far too often here.
But the winter weather is not slowing down the Irish happenings in these parts.
The Knights of Columbus in Elizabeth celebrated “Christmas in Killarney” with the Willie Lynch band.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians in Jersey City honored the Cunning clan of Hoboken and a few more beside with Eamonn Ryan and his band providing a lively sound.
During a Sunday snow, St. James Gate in Maplewood hosted a brilliant afternoon trad session featuring more than a dozen musicians.
The traditional Irish music continues on mightily each Tuesday night at St. Stephen’s Green Publick House in Spring Lake.
Irish bands still play the Blackthorn in Kenilworth each Sunday evening, snow or shine.
St. Patrick parade committees around the Garden State are putting on Christmas parties from Seaside Heights to Clark.
The Nugent Association even braved a winter wonderland afternoon for an Irish Viking pub tour in memory of the recently late Danny McDonough. Danny made us laugh, and the Nugents were roaring with smiles for him as the snowflakes fell.
Then Honey Badger and I had the chance to mix things up and take in a Scottish celebration of the season.
Thanks to a kind gift, we enjoyed “The Pipes of Christmas” at the Central Presbyterian Church in Summit.
The two-hour performance featured war pipes and drums, graceful brass, a Scottish harp and Irish pipes as well as readings.
The theme was a Scot’s Christmas but the Celtic flavor was soaked through.
One gentleman with a brilliant Scottish sound of voice read a Welshman’s words.
“Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house.”
Dylan Thomas’ poem “A Child's Christmas in Wales” hung in the air of the church for all of everywhere.
May your home be warm and flooded with music this Christmas.
Happy Christmas to all.
And Cormac, sorry about the email. I’ll write you again when it is mild and sunny here.