My mother was born on St. Patrick's day, and my father currently resides on the Emerald Isle, so for most of my life, March 17th has been a festive day. I've been to St. Paddy's day parades in Toronto, New York and Dublin; and without a doubt, the very best place to be on this day is Dublin. All the pubs are full and everyone is in a good mood, which is not to say that everyone is drunk, but rather, people are kind, happy and hospitable. The parade itself is nothing short of spectacular, colorful float after fanciful float winds its way through the historic streets of this fine old town. On this particular St. Patrick's Day, my mother and father are taking a little break from the last gasp of winter with a visit to my nomadic brother John and his wife Nancy in Florida. I half thought I might make a short surprise visit to Florida myself (I love surprises), but then I thought it might be nice for John and Nancy to have mom and dad all to themselves this year. So find yourself a nice cozy pub with Guinness on tap ("smooth as a mother's milk", as my friend Tim Gilligan, proprietor of the Queen's Hotel in Colborne describes it), settle in with a few close friends and enjoy the day. You never know, you just might run into me there, in which case, I'll buy you a pint or two! Until then, "May the road rise up to meet you; may the wind always be at your back; may the sun shine warm upon your face; and rains fall soft upon your fields; And until we meet again; may God hold you in the palm of His hand." (an Irish Prayer, origin unknown).