Happy St. Patrick's Day! This is a special day in our family for three reasons. One, my little brother Patrick was born on St. Pat's Day 24 years ago. Two, Daniel's little sister Jennie was married on St. Pat's in 2001. Three, I'm Irish on my mother's side. This year we had an extra special day because it was also the 20-somethings class fellowship night at our church. We played air hockey, ping-pong, foosball, basketball, and video games interspersed with gabbing with friends and eating ice cream. Unfortunately, the one thing I forgot to do was take a family photo of all of us wearing green.
Now for a funny family story about being Irish. A few years ago my older brother Shane went on his first ever business trip to NYC. He hailed a cab outside his hotel and asked the driver to take him to a bar, any bar, since he'd never been to NY before. The cabbie said, "You want an Irish bar, right?" My brother was confused and asked him why he would think that automatically. The cabbie said my brother looked obviously Irish...my brown-haired blue-eyed brother with a slight Okie accent who doesn't look a bit Irish as far as we knew. My brother was still wondering what made the cabbie assume he was Irish, so the cabbie said, "I can tell you're Irish. What's your last name?" My brother laughed and told him that his last name is Shields, which is actually a German name. The cabbie just said, "Yes, but what was your mother's maiden name?" Then my brother grinned sheepishly and admitted that our mom's maiden name was Fitzgerald, an Irish name. Those NYC cab drivers are pretty sharp.