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Unusual October

This is, indeed, a most unusual October. October in Boston is supposed to have the most sunny days of all the months of the year. After watching the Patriots’ game yesterday, I thought we had jumped ahead to December or January. On our way home from Cape Cod last weekend, we did see some pretty leaves. The only things we missed were some red maples. Most of the foliage was in shades of yellow.

Back to our mini vacation at the Irish Village: Because we were not to get dinner that first evening in our vacation package, we decided that we would eat at the Friendly’s in Hyannis. It is a lovely, fairly new restaurant so we enjoyed our dinner. On the way to the Irish Village, we stopped at the Job Lot Store near the Hyannis Airport. (There are days when we bend over in the parking lot because the planes are not that far off the ground as they take off.) We can always find something we need at a Job Lot Store.

We finally arrived at the Irish Village. While Hubby was taking the luggage out of our car, I went in the office to register. I was amazed that we were given Room 12 on the first level, right near the office. I found out later that our friend Eileen had requested that we seniors have first floor rooms, if possible. We found Eileen’s room and discovered Eileen, Mary Scarborough, and her sister-in-law Barbara Scarborough playing a game called Mexican Train Dominoes. Hubby and I watched but were a little too confused to participate. (I don’t even know how to play regular dominoes.)

The first night, our group, all 14 of us, gathered in the dining room to hear the musicians scheduled to play, the McTaggarts, John and Mike. There were quite a few groups in with us, including a busload of people from Queens, NY. The McTaggarts, John and Mike, were wonderful. (One of the brothers looks very much like our friend Gerard Adomunes of Gerard’s Restaurant.) I had heard their names mentioned on the Irish Hit Parade on WROL on many a Saturday afternoon. They had almost everyone singing along to their music. They must have played at least four hours without taking a break. They announced that Fr. Brian Dowd was among the visitors from Queens. Fr. Brian would say Mass at 7 a.m. the following morning in the small room near the dining hall. Most of us said that we would attend the Mass. When the McTaggarts finally took their break, we walked slowly to our rooms. It had been quite a busy day.

The next day, Hubby and I arose early so that we could attend the Mass. The smaller room in the dining area was filled to capacity. Father announced that he would celebrate Mass at two local churches the next few days while his busload of people was staying at the Irish Village. From the small room, we went directly into the large dining hall for breakfast. We could have almost anything on the menu. I ordered tomato juice the first day but on the other two breakfasts, I indulged by having a fruit cup. Everyone was pleased with the wide variety of selections on the breakfast menu.

Tuesday morning, after breakfast, we decided that we would go the opposite way on Route 28, into West Dennis and Dennisport. We were so early that none of the stores had very many people in them, making shopping a breeze. We first stopped at the Christmas Tree Shop in West Dennis. Then it was off to the Job Lot Store in Dennisport, in the old Bradlees building, near the Post Office. We also stopped at Benny’s where Hubby found a couple of things we needed. Then it was off to the Patriot Plaza on Route 134. That area has some lovely stores. Hubby went into Stop & Shop and came out with a few snacks for our hotel room. I hit the clothing store but didn’t find anything appropriate for the County Mayo Dance that would be held on the following Sat. evening. We both went into the Hallmark Store, which had wonderful Halloween decorations and gifts. (If I ever win the lottery, I will purchase a Hallmark Store.) I made a purchase there. Then we hit the good-sized CVS store and bought some soda since it was near lunch time. To the side of the Patriot Square Plaza, there is a big—and busy- Burger King so we carried out sandwiches and sat in the car, listening to the Boston news on WBZ.

Back we went to the Irish Village. The minute I put my head on the pillow, I was gone. Hubby watched “Bonanza.” Because he worked two jobs for 34 years, he saw very little TV. It just happened that the episode that was airing that day was one of about five that he had ever seen. When I awoke, we went down to Eileen and Mary’s room, where the gals, along with Barbara Scarborough, were again playing Mexican Train Dominoes. Eileen told me that we would be very pleased with the dinner meals at the hotel. While we were still chatting, we saw several of the 10 busloads of people that would also be having dinner.

Because there were only 14 in our group, we were able to fit into the dining area easily. Tom McCormack, the restaurant manager, and his crew had everything down to a science. The busloads of people ate in shifts. As soon as one group finished eating, the staff cleaned off the tables and set them for the next group. It was amazing to watch them work. We were given a paper with all the selections from which we could order. I had a wonderful turkey dinner while Hubby, of course, had roast beef. The McTaggarts, once again, entertained us and kept all of us enjoying the music.

When we awoke the following morning, it was a very rainy day. Because breakfast that morning was not part of our package deal, Hubby and I decided that we would go back to Friendly’s in Hyannis. (Friendly’s has great breakfasts.) There were not too many out in the rain so we revisited the Christmas Tree Shop and Kmart. We decided that we would drive down Main St. in Hyannis to see if the Candle Factory still had its outlet store. We went up and down the street but couldn’t find it. (The store always had wonderful buys and lovely “seconds.”) We drove back to Route 134 and had lunch at D’Angelo’s.

Back we went to the motel. Eileen had seen a coupon in one of the Cape Cod promotion books for money off the usual price at the Cape Cod Super Buffet so about 5 p.m., we headed for the buffet. We saw several buses in the parking area so we figured there would be a mob inside the restaurant. We were ushered to an area that had been set aside for us. We were delighted to see two new additions to our group, Eileen’s friends, Virginia Cunniff Hutchinson and her sister Esther Moynihan. We had met Ginny about 10 years ago during a trip to the Canadian Rockies. There will be more about our trip to the Irish Village next week.

I was so please to read that everyone’s friend Mary O’Brien is to be one of the recipients of the prestigious Shattuck Awards this year. The award is given to city workers who are outstanding in their service to the city. Mary is a teacher at the Agassiz School in Jamaica Plain. She also takes e-mails regarding mainly Dorchester events that have been sent to her and resends them to all the people on her list of contacts. I thank her personally for making me aware of things that should go in our paper. What a wonderful service she performs! She is most deserving of the award. I know about the Shattuck Award because my cousin Janet, when she was principal of the Tobin School in Roxbury, was one of the past recipients of the award. Hubby and I were so pleased that Janet invited us to the Shattuck Awards the year she was chosen. The ceremony and the reception following were just wonderful.

My sympathy is sent to Sister Anne Malone, SND, of the ODWIN Learning Center, on the death of her mother Virginia on Oct. 6. I was also sorry to read of the death of Dorothy “Aunt Dotty” Sutliff, in Quincy, formerly of Dorchester, Oct. 7. I send my sympathy to her sister Ginny Van Der Meulen and her brother Arthur “Arky” Sutliff. I was also sorry to read of the death of Amedus Frank Tuffo on Oct. 8. I send my sympathy to his brother, my friend Joe, and to the rest of the family.

Here is a wise old adage: “When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.”