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All through the long winter

“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy and my spirits soar.”
Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes must have lived in southern California to have soft ground on the first day of spring. Our ground is still pretty frozen. A few days after spring began, Hubby took himself down cellar and found two bags of bulb food from last year. He took one bag outside and put one-half cup of food over each patch of bulbs. It is easy to do this now because all the bulbs are flowering or about to flower. After they die back and disappear, we cannot remember where they are. It might be wise to put a plant name stick in the ground now to show where the bulbs had bloomed.

I cut back some of our hanging philodendron and pothos plants at home because they were getting much too long. Some of the pieces that I cut off seemed to be very healthy. I found rooting powder at Walmart and planted several of the pieces, after dipping them in the rooting powder, in a couple of pots, with new potting soil. They seem to be doing well. I previously had tried to root them in water but had no luck. I hope that these new plants become as green and lush as their parent plants.

What a terrific Pope’s Hill meeting we had on Feb. 25. (Sorry that I am so late in telling you about this.) Pope’s Hill organized a yearly donation through the Stop & Shop of $1,000, which is to be divided among worthy neighborhood groups. This year, Phil Carver, president of Pope’s Hill, and Mayor Tom Menino handed out the checks to: Project DEEP, the Murphy Community Center (Corrine and Maureen), Dorchester Youth Hockey, Dorchester Lacrosse, the Neponset VFW Post, St. Ann’s CYO, and the Kit Clark Senior Center. It was wonderful seeing so many little kids attending the meeting and going up to have their photo taken with the Mayor and Phil when their group was called. We must thank Stop & Shop for sending over so many goodies for this meeting, in addition to their usual monthly donation of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and donuts. We thank Pete Lyons, the manager of the Stop & Shop on Morrissey Blvd/Freeport St., for bringing over the items personally. We thank the Stop & Shop Corporation for continuing their yearly donation. We also must thank Joe Sammartino and the Pizano Café, now the Deadwood Cafe and Brewery, at 820 Morrissey Blvd., for giving Pope’s Hill so many pizzas for this meeting. We thank Lou Pasquale and Frank Olbrys from Phillips for accompanying the pizzas to the Murphy Community Center. The kids at the meeting were thrilled when they saw the pizzas and gobbled them up in short order.

Here are a few more dates for your calendar. The Mayor’s annual Coffee Hour will be held at the Martin Playground, on the corner of Myrtlebank Ave. and Hilltop St., on Thurs., May 21, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Pray for a lovely morning. This is always a fun time for those with little kids. Pope’s Hill’s president Phil Carver has announced the date of the annual Pope’s Hill/McKone St. Lawn Party. This year’s lawn party will be held on Sat., June 27, noon to 6 p.m. That is always a great time. City Councilor Maureen Feeney has also announced the date of her 15th annual Maureen Feeney Golf Classic. It will be held on Fri., May 8, at the Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park. Proceeds from the Golf Classic will benefit the Maureen Feeney Youth Fund, Inc.

I was so sorry to have missed the annual UMass/Boston Community Breakfast, at which the Robert H. Quinn Awards for Outstanding Community Leadership are presented. I had already scheduled my yearly physical with my primary care physician, Dr. O’Keefe. (A double appointment is needed for a yearly physical.) I read that Carline Desire, the Executive Director for the Association of Haitian Women in Boston, was the recipient of the Quinn Award. George A. Russell, Jr., Executive Vice President and Director of Community Affairs for the State Street Corporation, was recognized for his exceptional service, particularly through corporate partnerships to the communities of Boston.

The breakfast was held on Thurs., Mar. 26, in the Campus Center Ballroom Center (third floor) at the university. When I received the invitation from Chancellor Motley, I went to put it on our calendar and realized it was at the same time as my yearly doctor’s appointment. I emailed my UMass friend Gail Hobin and told her I was heartbroken that we could not attend. This is such a nice event. We usually sit with our Savin Hill friends, Walter and Doris Pienton, with whom we traveled to Washington, D.C. a few years ago, We are also joined by our friends Loretta Philbrick and Joe Chaisson. We usually see Fr. George Carrigg, Sr. Elizabeth Calcagni, and Louise Tardif from our church. Our longtime friends, Tom and Barbara Cheney, are usually there. So is Robert Severy from the Dorchester Historical Society. Hubby and I really missed being there with all our terrific friends for such a wonderful occasion. I hope that, next year, there will be no conflict.

Hubby and I were, however, able to attend the 2009 Scholarship Reception in the Alumni Lounge at UMass/Boston on Mar. 31. As we entered the room, we were greeted by Joe DeMedeiros from the Alumni Office at the University. I had heard that he is gearing up to run in this year’s Boston Marathon. Joe told me that he had just run 21 miles. (Just the thought of 21 miles made me tired.) One of the staff members was kind enough to find us seats near the podium.

In came our friend Carol DeSouza, who works at the university, and took the seat right next to us. We always enjoy speaking with Carol. She told us that she would soon be visiting her daughter, who works in Dublin. Hubby immediately offered to be her luggage-bearer on the trip. We told her that it was wonderful that she was able to go to Ireland. Carol laughed. The last time she was in Ireland was many years ago when she was backpacking around the country. She also told us that her son is studying medicine at Brown University. She is certainly proud of her children’s accomplishments.

We also met other friends at this reception. Marianne Connolly, whom I hadn’t seen in many years, came over to greet us. I was really thrilled to speak with her. I finally had a chance to meet her twin sister Barbara and Barbara’s daughter. Marianne was so active during the Pope’s Hill Association’s Energy Workshop, which was highly successful. By the way, I always put Marianne’s and Barbara’s birthday in the Birthday Column. I still consider Marianne a good friend even after all these years. I also had a chance to see our pal Joe O’Brien at the reception. He is always terrific to speak with at any function. Bill Walczak, the Head of the UMass/Boston Alumni Association, was also introduced but we didn’t get a chance to chat with him. Chancellor Keith Motley came over and chatted with us. I also had a chance to say, “Hi” to Vice Chancellor Darryl Byers.

It was right after my yearly physical that I came down with a cold. I was so proud that I hadn’t had a cold since 2005. I took a few cold tablets and my nose finally stopped dripping. My voice, which had been in the baritone range, finally returned to my usual alto range. I was, however, sorry that Hubby and I were not able to get together with our friend, Peter Woloschuk that weekend. We will have to get together with Peter sometime fairly soon in his renovated “digs.”

I couldn’t believe what I heard on WBZ radio the other day. CBS, which owns WBZ, announced a new contest, just in case you need to have a colonoscopy. If you win the contest, CBS will take you to New York, put you up at a nice hotel, and then make provisions for you to have your colonoscopy in New York. I couldn’t believe that I heard this correctly but then I heard it for a second time. I doubt if the person who is to have the colonoscopy will have much time to enjoy New York. He or she will be busy preparing for the colonoscopy the day before the procedure is done and won’t be able to leave the hotel room. After the procedure is done, I doubt that the person will feel much like taking a tour of the city before returning home. What a dumb contest!

I was sorry to read of the death of Linda Mullally. Linda died at her home in South Weymouth on Apr. 11, at age 68. Linda lived in Neponset until moving to Weymouth 15 years ago. Her son Stephen went to St. Ann’s with our son Paul. Our family sends its sympathy to her children: Stephen, Finley, Mary Linda “Linda,” Timothy, Karen, and Anne.

I hope that you all are able to join your family in celebrating Easter Sunday. I pray that it is a sunny day and warmer than it has been recently. May you all have a wonderful Easter from all the McDonoughs.