The luck of the Irish

There must be something to the saying for, in the 16 years I’ve been keeping daily weather records, the sun has always shone on March 17.

The day may be “partly sunny” but seen there definitely some time which is a record I suspect few, if any other, dates can match. Not here in cloudy Cassadaga. Look for it.

My ties to old Erin are somewhat suspect. Deserted or widowed in Ireland or having a husband who did not survive the strenuous crossing, it is definitely recorded that a woman, last name Crossett, arrived in America with four sons. (My records have been passed on to a new generation so forgive a rather hazy memory.)

There is a book about those four boys. Crossett, Ark., was named for one. Oh, yes, I had to visit when I wasn’t too far away. Everything –school, city hall, all buildings it seemed — was Crossett. It was fun! Unfortunately I was there one summer day about noon. Presuming it’s not the way Crossett always was, I found the place quite deserted. A phone book and plenty of photographs were all I could take away.

The lives of those four young Crossetts were thoroughly documented. To date, however, the efforts my grandfather and my father after him made have never connected us to any of them. I gather in those days when my grandfather was growing up knowing only a mother, one didn’t ask a lot of questions. My father devoted much effort to the search which I know continues by some in the family.

Whoever I am, it’s still a date to celebrate. For one thing we’ve reached the point where the days and nights are of equal length. It’s a promise of even better to come for all who cherish the long languid summer evenings of being outdoors.

Of more importance to my pup, this is the time when the sunlight reaches the mat by the shower, one of his favorite places to nap. Both pets are amazingly adept at searching out spots of sunlight wherever they might be.

It’s also the time when I’m guessing I can pretty safely (and pretty soon) put away my YakTrax till late (I hope) fall. I have MICROspikes to don now, so spiky I daren’t pull them on in the house. My carpet would be shredded in no time but they let the ice know right away that I mean business. (The warmed sun does melt parts of the driveway but it can’t reach the hilly part which can get pretty scary.)

Not yet but soon all the snow will melt. I promised I’d go searching when winter gives us that lovely respite but never made it in February. Laziness perhaps — or mud.

Somewhere out there is a newspaper still (I hope) encased in its plastic sheath. Dated at the very end of December it was the first of Minor’s follies. Instead of bringing it into the house (he generally leaves it on the top step in the garage or on the kitchen floor), this particular paper simply disappeared. He’s much faster back up that hill than am I. And he wasn’t about to tell.

I’ve caught him twice since — only because he’s slower or I’m faster or he wants me to find it. Had he not been standing by the woodpile, I’d have missed No. 2. Had he not been persuaded to retrieve it, it would have languished there till the high snow went away.

Yes, there was a No. 3. By now I know I need to keep an eye on him as he nears the house. I saw as he finished burying this paper in snow as deep as I. Knowing exactly where I thought it had gone, I tried digging. No luck. Once I convinced him I really wanted to read the current news, he found it in minutes. I can tell you I wouldn’t have.

I’ve had even less luck finding other lost items: a nice glove, one white sock, all of the cat’s Christmas presents and even a 30-inch rawhide candy cane. Does Minor have his own safe deposit box? Will I ever find them?

Bruce reminds me to trust that luck of the Irish. I agree. Bruce is my five-foot stuffed bear. Guests are asked to let me take their photograph with Bruce, copy then mailed as soon as I can. Bruce has costumes for all occasions. One year Bruce became “Barbara” for Easter but that raised such a fuss it wasn’t repeated.

So Bruce stands ready: green bowler with bow tie and pocket handkerchief to match. And the sun shines.

Who could be luckier?

Susan Crossett has lived outside Cassadaga for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. “Her Reason for Being” was published in 2008 with “Love in Three Acts” following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at