I like this time of year. It harkens back to Medieval times in that the days are marked with saint's days and liturgical seasons. Starting with St. Valentine's, Ash Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's day, in this part of the country, anyway, all these days are observed. It all culminates with the Easter Triduum and, in Western New York, a Polish festival day called Dyngus Day. There is also a secular observance on March 14th which I celebrated for the first time.
The new holiday is Pi Day - 3.14. Linda of Raveloe (that sounds vaguely Medieval, doesn't it?) invited a group to come to her shop and enjoy pie and discuss the mathematical wonder that is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl. We had a lovely evening eating pizza pie and a variety of dessert pies. A few daring members of the group endeavored to sit in a circle and all knit on the same circular shawl at the same time. There were six knitters using circular needles and separate balls of yarn. We discovered that it can be done. Practice will make the process easier, but our experiment was very satisfactory.
A week ago Saturday was Cousin Bridget's fabulous corned beef and cabbage feast. The day after that was the St. Patrick's day parade in Buffalo. Bridget and I made a day of it. We parked our folding chairs on the corner of Delaware and Chippewa Street and enjoyed watching the parade and the parade go-ers.
There is a considerable amount of imbibing as a traditional element of this particular parade. This year was no exception. As the day wore on, it sort of devolved into a drunken brawl. Walking back to the car, Cousin bridget had to grab me by the collar and drag me away when I turned into a rubber-necker when a rumble started across the street from us. We did, however catch sight of a tree which only blooms during this parade:
Starting last Tuesday, I have the dubious honor of hosting my daughter's two dogs while she and her family spend a week in sunny climes. That brings the canine count around here to three. This is the legal limit in my community. That is, I have discovered, a good rule. My life has been letting dogs in and out and in and out. Today I took a picture of the three amigos. When I posted it on facebook I gave it the caption "There is not enough Febreeze in the world to make this couch smell normal again."
On Friday, after the obligatory Lenten fish fry, I went to a lecture by Edwidge Danticat. She is the author of Crik, Crack! among other books. Ms. Danticat is Haitian and much of her lecture was directly related to her background. She was very charming and likable. She is an alumna of Barnard College, as is my own sweet daughter. I brought my knitting with me and enjoyed the event completely.
Today I went to the opening of an art exhibit at the Castellani Art gallery on the campus. The exhibit was devoted to the art of Alice Bak. I knew Alice and always enjoyed her work. She worked very hard to preserve the Polish traditions and folk art in the community. The organizers expected about fifty people to attend the event and were thrilled to have over 200 people show up. Alice was a humble person in the very best sense of that word. She would have been delighted to see such a crowd. I particularly loved the Easter table that was set up with the pysanky eggs and traditional centerpieces. I feel very inspired to have a similar display in my own house. I also loved the sweet embroidery motifs on the tablecloths.
There is a tradition of paper-cutting in Polish folk art. Alice would consider a Polish proverb and create a beautiful papercut to illustrate it. After the show, there was the nicest dinner you can imagine hosted by Bridget and her mother Patricia. it was a Polish menu with pierogie and breaded porkchops. Delicious beyond words. So... That is what my early spring has been like. Busy and interesting.