Surviving Green

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

No, I don’t ever sit and suffer writer’s block. There is always something in my active mind to share with you. After sorting my memorabilia that has rested peacefully on shelves in my office—some for many years—my mind is churning with ideas in proliferation.

What a wonderful body part is the mind with its capacity for storage—years of it. But it only takes a brief reminder to bring a temporarily forgotten thought back to the conscious mind. Don’t you hate it when you forget something and a younger person exclaims, “My, you must be getting old!” I reply by reminding that younger person that I have many years of memories stored and it may take a little longer to retrieve what is in that crowded brain of mine.

Why did you think I wrote about sharing wisdom? If I don’t occasionally unload my years of wonderful learning, it spills over without being shared as it was meant to be shared. Fortunately, no matter what age, we celebrate special days together. The recent St. Patrick’s Day went by this year without my offering to share the song I wrote about it.

Some years ago I was teaching and wanted to introduce a St. Patrick’s Day song to my second grade class but could not find one. No matter. I just whipped up a song of my own creation.

Here are the words:

Once there was a leprechaun came on St. Patrick’s Day

To tell us of the kindly saint that drove the snakes away.

He was beloved of them all, the fairest ever seen.

And now on old St. Patrick’s Day we’re wearin’ o’ the green.

If you let St. Patrick’s Day go by without researching the story behind it all, it isn’t too late to do so. My special friend and I certainly didn’t let the day go by without doing it up brown—oh, oh—I mean green. The doorbell rang—both of them. Yes, I have two. One with a simple “ding dong,” a hardware store two tone ring and another that is much more interesting with a musical melody. After hearing both chimes, one after the other, I tootled over in my power chair (no, I’m not out of my cast yet) and opened the door to a truly green experience—green felt fedora, green shirt and pants to match. I was not to be outdone as I sported my T-shirt that announced, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” But to top it all off my fellow brought in a huge pot of corned beef and cabbage which had been simmered many hours before it was ready to accept the addition of new potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onions. No supermarket frozen and later to be thawed and reheated variety. How much more healthy could we get, eh?

A photo shoot followed with my neighbor coming over to capture two celebrants, first with a real flash camera and then with what I call my “throwaway” drug store variety. Since I still can’t stand on both feet, I hopped from recliner to sofa so that two smiling Irish (well at least in spirit) could be captured for posterity. Now I have portraits representing every season. It is time to finally produce that personalized calendar I have been saving pictures for. I have nine months to prepare, almost like birthing a baby, right?

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at or 206-935-8663.

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