Here they come, blowing down the canyons, pinwheeling trampolines, slamming doors, moving cars, taking over the out-of-doors. Who controls March winds? We know they are coming; we even name them.
Weathermen here blame our weather problems on La Niña or El Niño. They get proper recognition. (For those not from here, La Niña is dry and El Niño is wet in our neck of the woods.) It has to do with sea temperature and air pressure. Droughts or monsoons are not just in Africa or India, New Mexico has them too. We are a high desert, so it is only to be expected.
Last week Bill and I were coming back from a funeral at Fort Stanton, down past Capitan. The wind caught the white salt east of Willard, and I thought we were part of a new Sharknado movie. “Beware the New Mexico winds, they pick up rattlers, tarantulas, and rabid coyotes and drop them on tourists! Coming to a theater near you.” This weather. Who ordered it? In the length of time it took me to type and speak of wind, it is snowing. It is cold out but not sticking. The crows—our murder of crows—are hiring a hit man because we ran out of bread for them. They just stand and stare like, “Remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Sweetheart? Let’s have that bread.”
The only ray of sunshine I can find in March is St. Patrick’s Day. Ireland’s Irish celebrated it with a church service for 1,000 years. The pubs on March 17th have been closed during all this time, up until the1970s. When they decided it was good for tourists, in 1995, Ireland began to copy the American way of celebrating. The real St. Patrick’s Day parties and parades began as an American holiday in 1601. And, my little green friends, it was begun not by expatriate American leprechauns, by the Spanish of St. Augustine, Florida.
It seems a vicar, Ricardo Artur, held San Patricio’s good time parade. Irish soldiers, before we were a country, held a parade in 1772 in New York City. Soon after that, all big cities with Irish immigrants held parties like it was Cinco de Mayo. Wait, what?
Five years ago, I left the winds of New Mexico and flew with two friends to meet another who lived in Savannah, Georgia. This Southern city has the second-best St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country. We sat on the curb in lawn chairs and watched a three-and-a-half-hour parade. The music of bands and pipers was incredible. The floats colorful and funny and the food was delicious. The only parades I’ve seen better, are those in Moriarty and Estancia for 4th of July and Old Timers’ Day. (Maybe I could talk those communities into having an All-Green Day. We could get the kindergarteners to be Leprechauns. Someone must own some bagpipes. They hold Celtic games at Edgewood.) Anything would be better than listening to that wind.
Traditional foods for tSt. Patrick’s Day are corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots. I make it, but it is a pain. Then I remembered those Irish really love salmon. Lightly salt and pepper. Put it on a grill. Don’t overcook. (For your eyes only, I have the magic sauce, given to me by Brian Boru, himself, King of the Leprechauns. Don’t believe me? Watch Sean Connery in the 1959 classic, “Darby O’Gill and the Little People.” King Boru is there. You too can be green for a day. Sauce for Salmon: half cup of whipping cream chilled, 1 large cucumber peeled and de-seeded, cayenne to taste, 1 tablespoon wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried dill weed. Whip the cream first in a blender to soft peaks. Then add all the rest, mix, chill and eat it with a spoon. This green magical substance will be your next best sauce for fish or salad.) Roaring Mouse, forgetting about the wind for a few moments of Irish bliss, out.