Posted in Holiday Joy, Travel

2023 Escape from St. Patrick’s Day #4

My daily snapshot of Robert’s and my 2023 trip to get away from Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations.

It is a rainy and cool St. Patrick’s Day here in Atlanta on day four of our little trek to get away from Savannah.

So we have enjoyed “indoor.” A workout at the Y and a hot tub soak. A little shopping. And now a lazy afternoon snuggled on the couch.

So resting comfortably, I send this blessing out to you all.


Good Housekeeping

Gibbs Gardens, Ball Ground GA

Posted in Joy, Humor, Travel

2023 Escape from St. Patrick’s Day #1

So as you regulars know, Robert and I live in beautiful Historic District Savannah … and we’re directly on the route of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade—one of the largest and longest and “liveliest” (i.e. alcohol-laden) in the nation.

Sidebar: After I retired from my career in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, an hour north of Savannah, I headed down to Savannah. Found a neat little apartment, which was directly on the parade route. I loved those few early years of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and even hosted several parties. Then later when Robert and I moved a few blocks over just off Washington Square, we found ourselves again on the parade route. That sounds convenient and fun, right? Well, we quickly grew tired of the hundreds of thousands of folks who descended upon our small city, with an annual contingent camping outside our apartment the night before the parade, partying noisily throughout the entire night, trampling our outdoor plants, and … using the bathroom in our little alley.

So we started our annual tradition of heading outta Dodge for the week around St. Patrick’s Day.

I thought I’d volunteer to keep you posted on our shenanigans this year so you wouldn’t have to ask.

After hauling as many of our outdoor potted plants inside as we could manage, alerting the cat sitter, and saying a prayer of protection over our abode, we rushed out of the SAV with an Irish blessing.

We headed to north Georgia, stopping in Atlanta for lunch and a visit to our favorite Atlanta artsy destination —the High Museum of Art.

I questioned HR’s gayness when I found him photographing and flirting with an indecisive woman.

He thinks his smile can always get him out of trouble. Ha!

Storming away from him, I went into the craft area, found a large piece of poster paper, and created a little art of my own, which they quickly hung in the Beginner’s Gallery.

Back on speaking terms, we looked at a few more pieces.

Can you sit in/on these?

Deciding we couldn’t, Robert and I drove north of Atlanta to the first destination of our little getaway, a cabin at Red Top Mountain State Park on beautiful Lake Allatoona.

A late afternoon hike.

Here’s Robert conquering … a rock.

Why can’t hills be flat?

OK, enough of this foolishness. I’m eating Robert’s dinner off the grill. See you tomorrow.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (3/15/13)

Top of the Friday morning, to you. Here are Five Friday Bringers of Happiness:

1. This cool pic of blooming almond trees in California sent by my new buddy Don Simmons. Don is good friends with Rick and Linda, the couple who moved to Savannah from Wisconsin. One fabulous day they gave me the tour of the “Joy in their own back yard”.  Here’s what Don said in his accompanying email:  “Since you mentioned almonds in one of your post, as something that brings you joy–I wanted to send you one of the great views that I have here in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where most of the world’s almonds are grown–it’s time for our ‘blossom trail’ and the almonds are certainly giving us a beautiful show–as well as the Sierras!” 


2.   Finishing up a great Winter Quarter at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).  My two classes:



3.  Savannah azaleas (near Forsyth Park):



4.  The promise of SPRINGTIME:


5.  Fresh pineapple.

Have a Lucky St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!

Posted in Savannah Joy

The Greening, a Feis, a Friend and Bach: A Pre-St. Patty Day Weekend in Savannah

A few reflections on the weekend BEFORE St. Patrick’s Day weekend here in Savannah.


One of Savannah’s coolest St. Patrick’s Day traditions has to be the greening of the fountains.  In a week, we will welcome the city’s most popular holiday.  And at noon Friday the beautiful fountain in Forsyth Park, surrounded by several hundred people, morphed into a bright green explosion of water color.  Soon thereafter the other fountains in Savannah followed suit.

Tangent Ahead:  Okay, I know this is a Happiness Blog and all, but let me vent a second, okay?  Please?  But first, a little background:  While I taught up the road at Georgia Southern, I heard this refrain from time to time:  “GSU?  Oh, what a party school!”  That got on my last nerve.  My very last.  (Similar to the Kardashians’ dilemma over what to do after “reality” TV.)  Why did the comment irk me?  Simple.  GSU (or UGA or Emory or Harvard) is a party school if students choose to party there.  But GSU (etc.) is a great place to get a wonderful education for those students who choose to do so (which, by the way, are the vast majority).

In a similar vein, what do many people associate with our city’s incredibly popular March holiday?  Drinking on River Street, of course.  But that aspect of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration is only one part of the wonderful holiday, albeit a decidedly profitable one, and the one that often gets the most press.  However, so much more, SO MUCH MORE captures the attention and interest of most Savannahians.  Which brings me back to the greening of the fountains.  End of Tangent.


Thinking I would just mosey up to the fountain and watch somebody toss in a bit of green dye, I was shocked at the size of the gathering and the palpable excitement of the event.

Before the greening:


After the greening:




Here’s James A. Ray, the Grand Marshal of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.



And here’s his sister, Nancy Ray Johnson, who is the second female in Savannah St. Patrick’s Day history to be the Aid to the Grand Marshal.






Ging1 Ging4 Ging5


And then on Saturday at Emmet Park near the river, Tara Feis (feis= festival, pronounced “fesh”) burst on the holiday scene with Irish music, dancers, food and fun.  This annual celebration of Erin Go Bragh–Ireland the Beautiful is completely family friendly and alcohol-free.



Here’s a bit of the Glor Na Daire Irish dance school performance:


And perennially popular local singer/songwriter Harry O’Donoghue‘s closing song, “All the Best”:


Saints & Shamrocks  ****

After enjoying the festival for a couple of hours, I went in search of the official St. Patrick’s Day Parade Magazine, and finally found it at the beautifully delightful Saints & Shamrocks boutique …



… specializing in religious gifts, Irish imports and fair trade gifts.  There I met the welcoming, helpful owner and new friend Hope (I love that name) Ebberwein …


… who gave me a copy of the magazine.


[Should I dye my facial hair green for the parade viewing?  Now be honest.  (Some of you weren’t when I asked if I was too old to wear skinny jeans.  See item#4 in the skinny jeans hyperlink.)]

Bach Music Marathon ****

Still not finished with the day, I walked into the Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church on Calhoun Square, where organist Christopher Jacobson from South Carolina sat at the incredible pipe organ performing a two-day marathon of the COMPLETE organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach (257 individual pieces!).




I get tired just trying to hum through Abba’s three most popular #1 hits.

What a tremendously festive weekend!  A greening.  A feis.  A new friend.  And a concert.  I wonder what the actual Saint Patrick’s Day Twenty-Thirteen will hold.  I’ll let you know.  I’m hosting a little parade viewing party, since my place lies directly on the parade route.