Saturday, March 27, 2021

A little bit of Ireland to ensure you're Lucky in Love by Peggy Jaeger

March is one of my favorite months because of March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. So the theme, LUCKY IN LOVE, for this month’s blog is appropriate in so many ways. 

 As a tidbit of backstory, I am 100% Irish American and wicked proud of that fact. My mother and father were both first-generation Irish Americans, so I grew up in a household where most of the people over the age of 40 spoke with brogues, which is where I learned to write the vernacular dialogue so well. 

In my series A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, 93-year-old Nanny Fee (Fiona) still speaks with a thick brogue even though she came to America at the age of 16 ( the same age my grandmother arrived on these shores.)The auditory memories I have of my grandmother telling a story are vivid and I used her cadence, tone, and slang for Nanny Fee.

I think I did a good job, too, evidenced by how many readers have told me when she is “speaking” on the page, they “hear” her in their heads and she sounds like a leprechaun! 

So, since we’re speaking of Luck this month, know that the Irish are a very superstitious lot and good luck, or good fortune, means a great deal to them. For instance, if a knife falls on the floor, it’s said a gentleman caller is coming. Finding a coin is considered good luck, but if you leave it about, bad luck will come to your door. Don’t ever put your shoes on the table or else bad fortune will meet you at every turn. If your left palm is itchy, you’re coming into some cash. The right, though, means you’re giving some away. 

 The Irish have full-proof ways of ensuring you are LUCKY IN LOVE (and marriage), and St. Patrick’s Day is considered by most to be the best day of the year to get married. I love this old Irish wedding poem which details the months a couple should marry to gain good fortune: 

 Marry when the year is new, always loving, kind and true 
When February birds do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate. 
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know. 
Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man. 
Marry in the month of May, you will surely rue the day. 
Marry when June roses blow, over land and sea you’ll go. 
They who in July do wed, must labour always for their bread. 
Whoever wed in August be, many a change are sure to see. 
Marry in September’s shine, your living will be rich and fine. I
f in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry. 
If you wed in bleak November, only joy will come, remember. 
When December’s showers fall fast, marry and true love will last.

 A few more wedding superstitions to ensure the happy couple is lucky in love include:
 1. The bride’s veil should be placed on her head by a happily married woman, and not a single maid. This allows good luck to pass from the matron to the bride. 
2. In the church, guests are given small bells to ring once the couple is legally married – this wards off evil spirits that could damage their union. 
3. The bride should wear a small horseshoe sewn into her gown, pointed upward so the luck will never run out 
4. The first person to greet the married couple at the church door once the vows have been said should be a man and not a woman ( this one boggles my mind, but they are superstitions for a reason.)
 5. During the first dance the bride’s feet should always remain on the floor – the groom is not to lift her off the ground, or else the fairies would come and steal her. 

 Like I said, they are superstitions for a reason, but the end result is that you want the couple to be lucky in love and life. 

 Here’s a little tidbit from my current Match Made in Heaven book, BAKED WITH LOVE, featuring Nanny Fee: 

 When the cake was finally served and I’d received a number of compliments on its design and taste, Nanny dinged her champagne glass and called for everyone’s attention. With all eyes on her, she smiled at Mac and Cathy. 

 “There now, seeing as I’m the family matriarch, it’s me duty to propose a toast to these two lovelies. But before I do, I’d like to say a few words.” 

 Lucas leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Any chance it really will be just a few words?” I bit down on my bottom lip to keep from laughing out loud. Nanny slanted the both of us a look, and I felt exactly the way I had when I’d been a student in her Communion class and she’d caught me talking out of turn. 

After giving us both a blistering, periwinkle stink eye, she turned back to the newlyweds. 

 “From the moment I met ya, Mac, I knew you were the man for me darlin’ Cathleen Anne. I knew down to me soul you were the one who could bring the happiness back into her eyes and the joy back into her heart. And ya have. I’ll always love ya for it.” 

 Mac smiled at her and then took Cathy’s hand. 

 “Cathleen Anne, me darlin’ girl. You’re me oldest granddaughter. From the moment your da put ya in me arms, I’ve loved ya. It didn’t hurt that ya were me own spitting image.” 

 Scattered laughter filled the room. Cathleen’s grin dipped down on one side, and she rolled her eyes good-naturedly. 

 “I’ve watched ya grow from an inquisitive, smart, responsible wee lass into an independent, beautiful woman who’s a force to be reckoned with inside a courtroom and out. Blessed, ya are, with beauty, brains, and a soul made for lovin’. And now with a man who loves ya as much as me and your sisters do, you have everything I’ve always dreamed of for ya, darlin’ girl, and I couldn’t be happier.” 

 Tears pooled in Cathy’s eyes. She laid her head down on Mac’s shoulder as he brought her hand to his lips. 

 “Well now, before ya all complain I’m getting too long in the tooth here”—she glared at Lucas and pursed her lips, to which he lifted his glass and saluted her— “stand and raise your glasses.” 

 When everyone in the room stood, champagne flutes held high, Nanny told Mac and Cathy, “This is an old toast I learned when I was a young lass back in Ireland. ‘May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.’ Congratulations, me darlin’s. May love and happiness follow you all your days.” 

 While everyone cheered and echoed Nanny’s words, Cathy and Mac rose and hugged her.

I'm so happy I could include that toast in the book because it was just perfect for Nanny Fee to give.
So, as the month comes to a close, I hope, pray, and wish you all have Luck in Love ( and life!)

Looking for me? Here I am:

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Until next month, lovely readers! ~ Peg


  1. Although our families left the brogue behind a few generations back, I love our Irish roots.

  2. What a great little poem! And those are some funny superstitions! I imagine a horseshoe in your dress must have been a bit heavy! I was married in August and yes, there have been many changes in my life. It's so nice that you can use those great memories and share them with others to enjoy!

  3. I'm a little Irish. I have the red hair to prove it! And someday I'm going to go there and I don't think I'm going to come home!

    1. I've been twice and each time I cried when I had to get to the airport to come back the US

  4. I'm Irish also. It was fun to visit Cork, the town my ancestors hail from.

  5. The superstition my Irish Grandmother always warned me about was letting my cat sleep in the baby's bed. She believed the kitty would steal her breath. Yes, sometimes, kitty snuck in for a cat nap with my daughter. Naughty, kitty.

    1. Nora - my grandmother always told me that one too, which is why she said she never liked cats!

  6. Hey, Peggy! What a lovely post! I enjoyed all the superstitions. I thought it was funny that you used that toast as I used it in one of my books, too! I have two characters who like to give toasts. One is a rock star, so his are a little less reverent! I love Irish idioms! They are so colorful in their descriptions and they have such wit! I had to tone the brogue down in mine as some beta readers had a hard time with it. I wonder if you’ve had any problems with that i hours. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. Hi MJ, actually, no, no one has ever complained abt the brogue dialogue. Probably because I don't do it a lot. I use LASS, T'is, Me ( for my) easy stuff like tthat, that when you read it just flows.

  7. That was supposed to say in yours! I’m on my phone. :)

  8. Love this post, Peggy, and learning about your Irish roots! I'm not Irish, but I am each St. Patrick's Day with a big boiled dinner. LOL Plus, Ireland tops my bucket list of travel destinations. Must say I really enjoy how you infuse your family history (including the Italians) into your books. Fantastic!

    1. Thank you, darling girl Write what you know has been my mantra. hahahah!!!!

  9. Loved the Lucky in Love proverbs, and the excerpt especially.


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