It is a beautiful day here in Berkeley, sunny and warm , the playgrounds packed with toddlers in crisp new spring outfits. Tank top wearing college kids picnicking on park benches and happy dogs frolicking out in fresh air. Somehow, this makes me sad. Perhaps it is because today is also Saint Patrick's Day, and my mind can't help but wander back to Fado's in LoDo. All of the people in green out under the tents, drinking beer and wearing shiny mardes gras style beads, because nothing says "party" like a cheap plastic necklace. I miss it. Pre-children we were a part of the crowd, boozing it up at 11:30 am with our friends, hopping from Fados to whatever bar might pass as "Irish" and slamming car bombs down while bag pipe music whined loudly in the background.
After the kids arrived, we tried to keep the traditions alive. When Zack was about 1.5 I remember heading to "happy hour" on St. Paddy's day with a few other couples and their children. We went to a Mexican bar that was attached to an Irish bar. We sat and ate chips and salsa, drinking coronas, and wishing we were over on the other side, the side that was crowded with young people and full of celebration. In the years that followed we gave up on trying to join the throngs of partiers, and instead ventured downtown in the early morning by foot to watch the annual parade. It was a nice tradition.
Now I find myself in a new city, and there is no such thing as tradition anymore. Everything must be recreated, and while that can be refreshing and fun, I miss the comfort that "home" provided. And as the days get warmer I think of my favorite times in Denver. I think of evening walks to the Red Trolley for gelato, I think of the hot summer days I spent with my sister and our children at her pool, I think about drinking a cold Coors Light in my best friend's air conditioned kitchen while our husbands played guitar hero and our boys fought mercilessly over hot wheels. I miss the familiarity and the love that comes from family and old friends.
So here I am sad on Saint Patty's Day, and no green beer in sight to drown my sorrows.
I miss you Denver. More importantly, I miss you Denver people.