The Perfect Mom
I have often thought about the qualities that would make a mother perfect in the eyes of their children, husband or friends, and I realized not only did I have the perfect mom, but I had married one as well.
To me the perfect mom is someone who is an encourager, a listener, your best friend as you go through life’s ups and downs, a confidant, your best advocate and fierce protector! She typically runs the household, handles the finances, not to mention all the less the glamorous jobs around the home.
She is the social director, your biggest cheerleader and oftentimes the team mom. She has a special way of making the home warm and inviting to family and friends, and no one knows how to make the holidays more special than a mom whose decorative touch and holiday dinners are what memories are made by.
She has that special ability to make you feel loved when you had to be corrected for those miscues, and has an uncanny insight knowing when you need that extra hug or encouraging note for no apparent reason.
Unlike most corporate executives who relish their title and are paid handsomely for their accomplishments, the perfect mom receives no monetary compensation, or title, and is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only compensation they seek is the appreciation and love from their family.
How do I know all this? When my mom passed away I felt like I lost my best friend and to this day I still feel her loss. All the attributes I mentioned above described my mother. I consider myself very blessed that not only did I have a mother who was nurturing, but enabled me to soar to heights I never imagined. However, I consider myself very fortunate to be married to a woman who has embodied every quality I feel that makes the perfect mother, partner and friend,and I thank God every day for these two special women he has brought into my life.
I hope you will join me in thanking all those “Perfect Moms” for giving so much of themselves to make our lives and those of our children so very special
For those of you not familiar with Young Life, while it is described as a Christian based organization where staff and volunteers alike contribute their time to mentor and assist middle and high school students based on Christian values and principles, it is much more. Kids of all faiths, race and ethnic backgrounds are welcomed into an “authentic environment”where they can talk about the challenges they face in everyday life.
As you know, each month we like to highlight the accomplishments of someone who has given much of himself or herself for the betterment of their community. This month we would like to recognize Maewyn Succat. Who’s Maewyn Succat you ask? He isn’t anyone I heard of and most likely isn’t a name you’ve ever heard of either, yet somehow he has impacted our lives in ways you never thought possible.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Maewyn Succat was born in Britain and around age 16 (around 400 A.D.) he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave where he worked as a shepherd. After six years he escaped and returned home and received “a calling” to preach the gospel and spent the next 15 years in a monastery preparing himself for mission work. Once he became a priest his name was changed to Patricius and eventually to Patrick. St. Patrick, as he is known today, was considered a patron saint and national apostle of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is said he used the three leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, however, many years later the fourth leaf was added by the ancient Celts as a charm to ward off evil spirits. While the Almanac says there is no direct record St. Patrick actually used the shamrock as a “teaching tool,” in the early 1900’s O.H. Benson, who was an Iowa school superintendent, came up with the idea of using the shamrock as an “emblem for the newly founded agricultural club.” In 1911, the “four-leaf clover” was chosen as the emblem for this national club program, later known as 4-H.
Many centuries later, St. Patrick’s Day marks the day of his passing, but it is far from the somber religious holiday you would think. It is perhaps the only day of the year that regardless of one’s religious, political or ethnic background we all become Irish for a day. The saying that sums this up best for me is, “Irish today, Jewish tomorrow.” This is in reference to the year round Jewish deli staple of corned beef becoming part of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage. And just like New Year’s, there is a camaraderie and revelry on this day second to none. Irish pubs around the world celebrate this day and none do it better than Punta Gorda’s Celtic Ray Public House.
Opened in 1997 by Proprietor Kevin Doyle, “The Celtic Ray,” as it is known by the locals, has continued to evolve and expand from being one of the only places around offering “the quality of imported beers and the atmosphere of a traditional Irish Pub,” to an eating and entertainment destination. As Kevin Doyle, “Publican” so aptly states on his website, “Bars are filled with lonely people. A pub is a very social scene. “You may come alone, but you won’t be for long,” and if you are around this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be in good company with hundreds of Irish men and women just like yourself!
Rich in tradition and personality, the bartenders and wait staff at the Celtic Ray take on Kevin’s engaging wit. In fact years ago there used to be a bartender by the name of “Tess.” Tess was a real spitfire. Rail thin, heavy smoker, raspy voice and known for razzing all those who stepped up to the bar. Years ago, a friend of mine decided to stop for beer. Tess greeted him in her usual manner and in her heavy Irish brogue asked, “What’a ya have luv?” My friend replied, “What kind of beers do you have Tess?,” to which she rattled off several imports. My friend said, “How about a Miller Lite,” to which Tess replied, “What di ya say? ya go on a get the hell outta here.” It was her reply that kept customers entertained and coming back for more. A couple of years ago I went there with our son and saw Kevin and asked if he still kept in touch with Tess, as I heard she returned to her home land. Kevin replied, “She went back to Scotland.” “Scotland?” I questioned, “How’s that working out.” Without missing a beat Kevin replied, “She’s a librarian, and this guy came in one day and asked for a book on suicide. She told him, “Go on and get the hell outta here, you’re not going to return it.” I asked Kevin if he was kidding and he said, “It sounded good didn’t it!” I don’t think you’ll confuse Kevin or his Celtic Ray with St. Patrick and his mission work, but somehow the atmosphere Kevin has created is a place where strangers come from all walks of life leave as friends.
If you are looking to make this St. Patrick’s Day one to remember, or just looking to getting in touch with your “Irish” heritage, even if it is for just a day, be sure you make a visit to the Celtic Ray as part of this special day. “You may come alone, but you won’t be for long.”
Merry and Bright! We’ve made a list of our area restaurants open Christmas Day 2018. Although we’re checking the list twice, if you know of a restaurant that will be open yet isn’t listed in this post, feel free to comment. Reservations are strongly recommended as some are offering special seating’s and menus. Also, please ensure you call to verify times.
Punta Gorda Restaurants Open Christmas 2018
The Captain’s Table at Fishermen’s Village
1200 West Retta Esplanade, #55
Tel: (941) 637-1177
Celtic Ray Public House
145 East Marion Avenue
Tel: (941) 916-9115
201 W Marion Ave
Tel: (941) 637-8800
Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside
33 Tamiami Trail
Tel: (941) 637-6770
88 Keys Florida
The Wyvern Hotel
101 East Retta Esplanade
Tel: (941) 639-7700
The Perfect Caper
121 E. Marion Ave.
Tel: (941) 505-9009
River City Grill and Italia
131 W Marion Ave
Tel: (941) 639-9080 (941) 639-7655
Englewood, Venice, Cape Haze, and Sarasota Restaurants Open Christmas 2018
1400 Aqua View Lane
Englewood, FL 34223
Tel: (941) 473-0171
Rum Bay Restaurant at Palm Island Resort (take the water taxi from behind Johnny Leverock’s)
7092 Placida Road
Cape Haze, FL 33946
Tel: (941) 697-0566
Sarasota and Venice Restaurants Open Christmas 2018
411 St Armands Cir, Sarasota
10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch
Boca Royale Golf and Country Club
1601 Englewood Road, Englwood
Kumo Japanese Restaurant
17945 Tamiami Trail, North Port
Crows Nest Venice
968 Tarpon Center Dr, Venice