I'm trying to remember when the last day was where it wasn't gray, sleeting and the fucking wind wasn't blowing over 30. It's sure been a minute. My raingear has mildew stains on the inside, and smells like a frigging bible story. 3 days at this point? 4? Lord.
So it's been a bit of a long march these past few days. It happens. The ruck hump aches are here for sure, where after a few days of spending 12+ hours a day head down with 10-12lbs of raingear riding on your shoulders and neck where you carry their weight, headaches and soreness are constant. The antifungal kits were broken open yesterday to dust the boots and feet so we don't have an athlete's foot outbreak.
Situation normal. We're fine, just a bit short-tempered and demoralized. God has forsaken us, or at least has punished us for what are probably an unusual amount of sins. I mean, we're sailors. We're not saints. God watches out for us, obviously, childhood friends of his kid and all.
BUT, it's only 2 more days' until St. Patrick's Day.
Growing up in Boston's Irish Riviera, St. Patrick's day was probably the most fun day of the year. For adults. For kids, it's still a school day, and at least in my childhood, that meant we had spent the last 3 weeks in school learning 1-2 new songs along with the standard 5-6 old standby classics to sing en masse at an evening assembly with everyone's parents watching. Oh, this wasn't on St. Patrick's Day, of course, it was the Friday before... St. Patrick's day was for adults to drive to watch the parade and day drink all day in South Boston on the one day when the Irish mafia wouldn't make trouble, and catch up with childhood friends. If you weren't in school but were under legal drinking age, there were certain bars where you could put $20 in the hat for gun money for the IRA and drink anyhow.
As an unmarried adult, and this was after the blessed Good Friday Accords, I was home from sea or fishing on many occasions for Irish Christmas. We never got into trouble, just woke up early for blood pudding and bangers with Jamison or Bushmills and coffee, then proceeded to drink and eat too much, go see live music at a pub, sing until we were hoarse, curse the English forever and go sleep if off.
Not gonna lie, I really miss Irish Christmas. I haven't been able to properly celebrate in years and years. 10-15 I at least.
I mean, it's not the same. The South Boston parade was organized and funded by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a Catholic organization. Since half of Boston's union tradesmen, city workers and EMS were both Irish and Catholic, the city of Boston was heavily involved, too. When a group of non-Catholic gay men were refused welcome to join the parade, as being neither Catholic, an Irish organization nor members of the EMS or trade unions, the Mayflower descendants in the state house, who also were not Catholic, and not overfond of the people of South Boston for their ancestry, ruined everything for everyone forever. As leftists often do these days, but this was a new thing back then.
Anyhow, I'm old and don't live in New England anymore, God be praised. But for some reason, I can't ever properly be home and free of obligation enough to properly celebrate a wonderful feast day. Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife is amused by the whole thing, but to a Brazilian lady, a bunch of gringos acting silly doesn't have cultural connotations and just looks like a fuss, but I have a brother and sister who both live close by, and one of these years I'm going to put a fun day together for us.
Sadly, this is not my year for that. But some day.
My paternal grandmother was quite the irish patriot, even going to the point of naming my father, who was born in 1917, roger casement. I grew up in one of the catholic neighborhoods in Detroit that had more of a polish than irish flavor and my dad really didnt care about being irish so my orientation is more generic midwestern catholic.
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