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Autumnal Musings

“They’re coming down in showers,
The leaves all gold and red.
They’re covering the little flowers
And tucking them to bed.
They’ve spread a blanket fair
All up and down the street
And when we walk in the cool air,
They rustle ‘neath our feet.”
By Lacy McKay

Our yard looks great, thanks to our neighbor Phil and his crew. They took out all the weeds in our front lawn and planted new grass seed. The grass came up quickly and it looks positively beautiful. We still have a few roses blooming. Hubby took most of our tomatoes off the vines. We did have BLTs for lunch last week with our own tomatoes. They were so tasty. I worry about our impatiens but the temp has not been cold enough to kill these delicate little plants. Hubby was able to get up the electric jack-o-lantern on our rose trellis this past weekend. We also have an orange plastic pumpkin windspin with smaller plastic pumpkins inside the largest one. The smaller ones spin in all directions when there is a good breeze.

When I finally settled in at the Bostonian for rehab, two people came in to visit me. Chris, the maintenance man, had remembered me from three years ago. With him was one of his co-workers—and my longtime friend, Dick Connell. They wanted to see if everything was o.k. with me and to see how I was doing. Kim Denver from the Payroll Dept., also came upstairs to say, “Hello.” (Her sister Marsha is a nurse at the Bostonian.) I instantly bonded with my nurse Grace the first evening she was working. She could easily have been one of my kids. She told me about her kids and I told her about the World’s Greatest Grandchildren, Brendan and Erin. I also renewed a friendship with pal Nurse Beatrice. By the way, while I was at the Bostonian, I was on the Pope’s Hill floor. That sign made me feel like I was really at home.

My cousins, Larry, Michele, Joe, and Jo sent me the most beautiful fruit basket, accompanied by the cutest little bear. Hubby took it home to dismantle it. Daughter Jeanne came in and ended up taking some of the luscious fruit back to Rockport with her. The Pope’s Hill Association sent me a lovely dish garden, which was sprinkled with beautiful blue artificial flowers. It looks lovely on our front porch. Fr. George, Sr. Elizabeth, and the members of our church also sent me a dish garden. It stayed on the windowsill of my room until the day I left rehab. It sits next to the Pope’s Hill dish garden on our porch. My friend Agnes came in one of the first days I was in rehab and brought me a red miniature rose bush. It is still on my porch and is doing well.

I met the therapists who were to help me regain use of my knee. Barbara and Rosie were two of them. Rosie had a preemie son, who was still in the hospital so we asked about him often. Jennifer, my main therapist, remembered me from three years ago. Linda Miller came around to the rooms to give out Communion. So did my longtime pal Mary Vinciguerra.

One quiet afternoon at the Bostonian, I was fortunate to receive a visit from two young gentlemen. Brendan Mannion and John Connolly are students at Pope John Paul II Academy’s Neponset campus. They were sent my friends Mrs. Kathy Costello and Mrs. Maureen McKinnon to play their fiddles for me. Because I listen to the Irish Hit Parade on radio station WROL every Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., I knew the Irish songs that they played for me. I was even able to sing along with them. The kindergarteners and first graders even made get-well cards for me. What a lovely treat it was to hear the boys play and to receive the get-well cards. I send my thanks to Mrs. Costello and Mrs. McKinnon, their students, and to Brendan and John.

One of the first times I ventured out after knee surgery was to attend a Houghton St. Crime Watch Meeting at the Leahy/Holloran Community Center on Tues, July 27. Joan Pierce, Jane Cavaleri, and Courtney Murray organized the meeting. Our Community Service Officer Dennis Rorie, from District C-11, arrived to tell us what was going on in our neighborhood.

Dennis noted that car breaks were up all over the city. He urged us to take anything of value in our cars into our homes when our car was parked. He said that thieves were particularly interested in GPS devices, iPods, and cell phones. He also noted that the windows in the Murphy van had been broken, and that a motorcycle had been stolen on South Munroe Ter. He, once again, mentioned that a 911 call on a cell phone in Boston goes to the State Police. To make a cell phone call to Boston Police, you should dial 617-343-4911. At the end of the meeting, while those participating were enjoying soda and cookies, a pail filled with summer things, including sun-protection lotion, a Frisbee, and flip flops, was put up on a raffle by our friend Janie. Hubby won. (He is very lucky except in the Mass. Lottery.) He was thrilled. So were our grandkids when they saw the pail.

Hubby and I always look forward to the bi-monthly letter from the Castle Island Association. This is the time of year to renew dues in the association. If you are not a member and would like to be, send a check for $8 per person to: The Castle Island Association, Box 342, South Boston, 02127. If you have little kids, you probably would like to know that the annual Magical Halloween Castle at Fort Independence will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24, from noon to 4 p.m. each day. There is usually a big crowd attending and the kids seem to love it. Also in the Castle Island Newsletter, it mentions that there will be a “Support Our Troops” event at the Island from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 5 to 7. The troops need toiletries, alcohol-free wipes, phone cards, and hard candy. Hubby always gives the volunteers some cash to buy needed supplies. Cash donations are most welcome.

We knew that Oct. 10, 2010 was a special day. It was the date for the Irish Heritage Festival in Adams Corner. It was also a special day to be married since 10 in some sports means a perfect score. According to the TV on 10/10/10, there were 32,000 weddings across the U.S. on that day.

Speaking of the Irish Heritage Festival, I must heap compliments on Sean Weir and John O’Toole for organizing that wonderful event last Sunday. Adams Corner was filled with people. Many were from outside our area. I met people from Quincy, Roslindale, and Milton. There were even two Irish-Americans from Rockport. Daughter Jeanne and The World’s Greatest Granddaughter Erin drove down from that northern suburb to the Irish Festival after church. We knew that they were there even before we even came to Adams Corner because we parked our car next to Jeanne’s in the McKeon Post’s parking area. It was there that we picked up the bus that took us to the festival.

When we got off the bus, daughter Sue called Jeanne on her cell phone. Jeanne told her that she and Erin were standing outside Gerard’s. We met them there. I asked Erin if she could eat because she had four wisdom teeth removed on Thursday. “I can only open my mouth a little,” was her reply. In we went to Gerard’s for breakfast or lunch. We were greeted by our friend Theresa. Our waitress was pal Beth. Sue ordered French toast; Erin, blueberry pancakes. Jeanne ordered an omelet because she is on a gluten-free diet. Hubby and I ordered sandwiches because we had eaten breakfast early. Sue and Erin gave each other half of their breakfast so they could both enjoy French toast and blueberry pancakes. Erin was able to finish her pancakes and French toast. This was the first solid food she had eaten since Thursday, before her dental surgery.

I must thank the staff from Carney Hospital for administering flu shots at some many locations in the next few weeks. Hubby, daughter Sue, and I went to St. Gregory’s early last Sunday. Flu shots were scheduled to be administered from 8:30 a.m. to noon. By the time we got there at 8:15 a.m., our friends Craig and Pat were already there. My friend and co-worker Barbie was there with her sons Joey and Timmy, and her sister Peggy. A former co-worker, Ginny, was there also. Daughter Sue brought our pal Eileen with her. Our friends Sis and Barbara from St. Gregory’s Seniors were already there. It was like old home week at St. Greg’s. Now we don’t have to think about getting flu shots. God bless Carney for providing his service.

I loved this old proverb that I saw in “Birds and Blooms” magazine: “A wise old owl sat in an oak; the more he saw, the less he spoke; the less he spoke, the more he heard; why can’t we all be like that wise old bird.”