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My Dream for ‘National Pay It Forward Day’ AND WHY I’D CREATE A HOLIDAY AROUND KINDNESS
Did you know that Monday, March 26, is “Create Your Own Holiday Day?” I’d never heard of it until a friend mentioned the idea to me, but since then, I haven’t been able to stop daydreaming about the holiday I’d make if I had the power. There are a lot of great things out there to base a holiday on — cute shoes are definitely worth celebrating, and so is a delicious plate of lobster — but in the end, my mind kept going back to my grandmother and the lessons I learned from her as a little girl. My grandmother Elizabeth was one of the most generous, kind-hearted people I’ve ever known. When I was growing up in Gloversville, New York, she lived just two blocks away from me, so we spent a lot of time together doing one of her favorite things: helping others. I used to go with her to deliver washing machines and dryers to people in need, and I knew she'd give someone the shirt off her back if they wanted it. Even though I was really young back then, her lessons in generosity stuck with me, and as an adult I love to pay it forward. That’s why if I could make up a holiday, I’d dedicate it to my grandmother Elizabeth, and call it National Pay It Forward Day. National Pay It Forward Day would be all about highlighting and encouraging
little acts of kindness, like those chains that get started sometimes in Starbucks drive-thrus where one car pays for the coffee for the person behind them, the next person does the same, and on and on. I love those positive domino effects! We don’t have thruways here in Naples, but when I lived up north, I’d always start chains in the toll line by paying for the person behind me. Half of the fun was wondering how far back the streak went. On my holiday, paying it forward like that at coffee shops, in toll lines, and even in grocery stores, would be encouraged. Those stories of people buying groceries for the people behind them in line are so inspiring, and I’d love to see more of us with the means help out our neighbors that way. If I had the choice, I think I’d make National Pay It Forward Day fall right on Create Your Own Holiday Day at the end of May. It’s the perfect time of year because it’s far enough away from Christmas and New Year's that people won’t still be stuck in holiday burnout, but it’s also late enough to be spring-like enough up north. Good weather always puts people in a better mood — which is why I always say that here in Naples, where it’s pretty much 70 degrees and sunny year-round, we have no excuse not to be nice!
I know National Pay It Forward Day probably won’t become a thing anytime soon, but for now, I’m going to do my best to keep living it myself. In the past, I’ve paid it forward by working with a local charity that provides food for hungry, at-risk kids and teens, and I hope to work with them more in the future. Plus, I’ll always be the type of person to start a chain of positivity when I drive through Starbucks for my latte — so line up behind me if you can! This month, I’m going to get started on a little Pay It Forward Day magic, and I’d love for you to join me! Here’s how it works: In the next few weeks, take 10 $1 bills, or 10 $10 bills, or 10 $100 bills, whatever you can afford, and use them to pay it forward. You can pass them on all at once, or spread them out to multiple people, but the goal is to share what you have and watch how the positivity spreads. If you take me up on the challenge, I’d love to hear how it goes! You can email me your story at email@example.com, and I’ll share some of the most heartwarming
responses in a future newsletter. Let’s make the world a better place!
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Say Goodbye to Spring-Cleaning! THE PERKS OF LIVING WITH MINIMAL STORAGE
Spring is finally on the horizon, and for most of our northern neighbors, that means the arrival of spring- cleaning. In other words, it’s time to dig into the basement, the attic, and the coat closet in order to sort out what’s worth keeping and what should be thrown on the donation pile. Odds are you’ve been there yourself, staring down an avalanche of stuff that made you tired just looking at it. Well, here in Florida, as crazy as it seems to new move-ins, spring- cleaning is little more than a concept for reality TV. Most homes in Naples don't have enough clutter to need spring-cleaning because there simply isn’t anywhere for clutter to hide! Basements, attics, and even coat closets are rare here because we’re just 3 feet above sea level, and without winter to worry about,
there’s no need to store heavy coats, scarves, and boots year-round.
At first, the lack of storage can take some adjusting to, but after a while, most Floridians love living lightly! Without all of the stuff to deal with inside, we can spend more time outside swimming in the ocean, relaxing on the beach, and soaking in our world- renowned sunsets. Once you get a taste of that lifestyle, odds are you won’t ever want to go back. With that in mind, we suggest that you double down on your spring-cleaning efforts this year if you’re planning to move from a cooler climate to your Florida dream home. It’s time to dig deep and toss those winter coats, mismatched gloves, and lumpy sweaters once and for all so you can give up spring cleaning for good! When you’re ready to kiss your cluttered, high- stress life goodbye, give us a call. We can help you find a home that has exactly the number of storage solutions you need for the things you love, without anything extra to gather dust. Chicago. Then, in the booming post-World War II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages. Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do. Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland until relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love. You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ROOTS CELEBRATING ST. PADDY’S DAY IN IRELAND VS. AMERICA
From extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage. That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways. On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations. The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, New York, and
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CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN STYLE! 3 WAYS TO PARTY LIKE THE IRISH IN NAPLES
Naples has a proud Irish population, courtesy of transplants from Boston, and every St. Patrick’s Day, they come out in force. If you’re not wearing green, toting a shamrock, or digging into a plate of corned beef on March 17, you’ll definitely be in the minority! Luckily, that passion for all things Irish means that Naples has some of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around. If you haven’t yet made plans for the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these three options:
Flynn, to give a live “Brothers From Another Mother” comedy show for the occasion. You can snag tickets at EventBrite.com starting at just $8.99, and ring in St. Patrick’s Day rolling!
IRISH PUB HOPPING Any time you’d like!
the bagpipes, pet the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, and show off their bright green costumes. Whether you’re new to Naples or an old hand, you won’t want to miss the fun.
This last option takes a bit more effort, but the end result is worth every second of planning. Though it may surprise you, Naples is actually known for its Irish pubs, including Paddy Murphy’s Irish Pub, Old Naples Pub, Shea’s at Lansdowne Street, Erin’s Isle Restaurant & Irish Pub, The Crooked Shillelagh, and more. Make a list of your favorites, grab some friends, and pub-hop through the night!
THE NAPLES ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Saturday, March 14
TWO FLYNN’S ST. PADDY’S DAY CELEBRATION Tuesday, March 17
This parade down Fifth Avenue is one of the best in the nation, and it’s definitely the city’s main event! Last year, more than 40,000 people turned out to see St. Patrick, watch the elaborate floats go by, listen to
If you’d like a little humor with your holiday fun, try celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Off the Hook Comedy Club! The club is bringing in two Boston stand- up comedians, Jackie Flynn and Kevin
• 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds • 2 tsp salt • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided • 5 sprigs thyme • 1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 2 pints cherry tomatoes Ratatouille INGREDIENTS
TAKE A Break
1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine.
5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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Kimberly’s Dream for ‘National Pay It Forward Day’ Inside This Issue 1 2 2 3 3 4 The Perks of Living With Minimal Storage The Evolution of St. Patrick’s Day 3 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Naples Ratatouille Staying Stateside for St. Paddy’s?
Staying Stateside for St. Paddy’s? CELEBRATE WITH THESE LITTLE-KNOWN FESTIVITIES
There’s no place quite like Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a purely religious holiday to honor the legend of St. Patrick chasing all the snakes out of the country has turned into a global celebration. But if a trip to Ireland isn’t in the budget, check out these three little-known stateside destinations that are just as festive.
A LITTLE LUCK IN AMERICA’S HEARTLAND O’Neill, Nebraska, is home to the world’s largest shamrock and more unique St. Patrick’s Day traditions. This Irish community doubles down on its heritage every March with a traditional parade, music, and Irish dancing. But the town also hosts a popular dodgeball tournament and donkey basketball. What could be better than pummeling your opponents in dodgeball and outpacing the competition while riding a donkey in the school gymnasium? Perhaps enjoying a pint or two with your teammates afterward. And O’Neill is just the spot to do it. OHIO’S LITTLE PIECE OF IRELAND You may not be able to fly to Ireland, but you can visit a little piece of it right in the U.S. Head to Dublin, Ohio, this St. Patrick’s Day for a traditional celebration sure to put a wee bit o’ pep in your step. Partake in a traditional Irish breakfast or enjoy a parade complete with bagpipers and Irish dancers. Boasting one of the largest celebrations in the U.S., Dublin is an affordable alternative for those looking to celebrate the Irish way.
SHORT AND SWEET IN ARKANSAS Thanks to the clever thinking of some Irish friends meeting for a pint at a bar on one of the shortest streets in the world, Bridge Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade will travel 98 feet once again this year. Don’t assume the turnout isn’t robust just because the distance is staggeringly low. The parade lasts for hours, drawing thousands of people to watch celebrities, musicians, bands, floats, and Miss Arkansas glide by. The event also features a Blarney stone kissing contest and a parade king and queen.
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