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December Snow

“This morn the world about us
Is carpeted with snow,
Not a single mark to mar it,
But ‘ere too long I know,
There’ll be prints of every kind…
How plainly they will show.”
By Florence Steelman

Outside our home, we usually see cats’ footprints in the snow. After the big snowstorm on Dec. 20, however, our backyard looked positively beautiful with the carpet of snow over our grass intact. The snow was too high for even our cat to plow through. I had to restrain myself from going out to make “snow angels” in the snow. I knew that I would be frozen after making just one angel. I came to my senses and realized that snow angels are for kids. The day of the snowstorm we stayed in for most of the day. Daughter Jeanne and son-in-law David had wisely cancelled our family Christmas party on Saturday after hearing the weather forecast for snow all day Sunday.

On the Saturday before the big snowstorm, niece Terri hosted the Christmas party for Hubby’s side of the family at her apartment in Attleboro. Terri is fortunate to have a huge room, which incorporates both the dining room and living room. It is perfect for a party. Hubby’s nephew Steve was already there with his wife Judi, and their kids, Steve Jr. and Ashley. Niece Mary was there with her daughter Renee. Mary’s husband David (Hubby’s nephew) had remained at his Mom Peg’s home to help her with a plumbing problem. Our daughter Jeanne came in with the World’s Greatest Granddaughter Erin. Erin went right over to sit next to her Auntie Sue. Sheila was also there, sitting with her daughter Judi. In came Terri’s friend Ryan, his wife Lauren, and their little kids Jesse and Dakota. It certainly livened up the place watching the little ones and their antics. They were so excited about Christmas.

There was quite an array of food at the party. Niece Judi made Buffalo Chicken Dip, Artichoke Dip, baked ham, hash brown potato casserole, Christmas-decorated cupcakes, and toffee bark candy. Judi’s daughter Ashley is following her mother’s culinary footsteps because she made wonderful stuffed shells. Hostess Terri made meatballs, eggplant parmegian, sugar cookies, brownies, and onion dip with chips. Daughter Sue made her chocolate pudding pie and potato salad. Daughter Jeanne brought all kinds of veggies and dip. Niece Mary made her Mexican Dip. Needless to say, we had plenty to eat.

We tried to find a program on cable TV to play a fireplace scene with a roaring fire but it only lasted for 20 minutes each time we programmed it. Since then, we found a DVD at Walgreen’s, which shows a beautiful roaring fire, accompanied by lovely Christmas music. It was just perfect for the holiday season. We also had Terri’s two cats at the party. I can only vouch for one of the cats though. “Lestat,” who is known as “Little Man,” stayed hidden for most of the afternoon. (I did spy him in Terri’s bedroom.) The second cat, ”Lima,” made up for the other cat. “Lima,” whom I called “Pretty Boy,” visited each one of us at the party. I patted the sofa and he jumped up next to me. He looked at me but I wasn’t familiar to him so he jumped back down and went investigating some of the others at the party.

All during the afternoon at Terri’s place, we kept watching out the windows for the start of the big snowstorm that was predicted to start early that evening. We left Terri’s place in Attleboro about 8:30 p.m. and the snow had not yet started. The traffic was heavy on the way home but it moved right along. Just before we left, Terri asked Hubby, Sue, and me to come back to her home on the Monday during school vacation week. She said she would make a meatloaf dinner for us. Of course, we said that we would be delighted to come.

Hubby and I also received a phone call from our friend Jane Matheson. She invited us to have lunch at her home sometime during the week after Christmas. Jane asked if we could come on Tuesday of that week, which was perfect for us. Jane greeted us heartily as we walked into her home. Jane told us that her home was built in the early part of the 1800s. You would never know that her home was that old. It looked beautiful, especially with the Christmas decorations. Jane had the table all set for our luncheon. She made her very own quiche with ham, along with lovely, warm rolls and a salad. For dessert, she had small shortbreads, made by one of her friends.

We loved being with Jane. We talked about so many things. She loves the PBS specials, particularly the Jane Austen ones. She watches the BBC America Channel, which we also watch. We talked about the British version of the “Antiques Roadshow” program, which is on Ch. 241 on Boston’s Comcast Cable most afternoons. (Now that Jane is retired, she is able to watch it in the afternoon.) We laughed about the difference between the American version and the British version. Our old American antiques are perhaps 200 years old. The old British antiques are probably 500 or 600 years old. We couldn’t believe that we had chatted for almost four hours. Time passed so quickly. We thanked Jane for inviting us. We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Last Tuesday morning I was up very early. I heard overnight host on WBZ radio, Steve LeVeille, as he spoke with early morning anchor person Deb Lawler about the percentage of people who enjoy their jobs. (In recent years, the percentage of people enjoying their jobs has decreased.) Steve asked Deb if she enjoyed her job. She said, “Yes!” Then he asked her how many years she had been at ‘BZ. She proudly told Steve that, on Dec. 17, 2009, she had celebrated 25 years at the station. Congratulations, Deb. You do a great job.

I was sorry to read of the death of Patricia (Tuley) Norton on Dec. 30, at age 77. Patricia died at the age of 77 at her home in Braintree. She grew up in Savin Hill. Pat was the wife of the late James Norton and was the mother of James, Ann Marie, Robert, Thomas, Donald, David, and Brian. She was the sister of Theresa Dorr and Sister Margaret Tuley, DC, and the late Matthew and Donald Tuley. Many residents of Dorchester know Pat’s sister, Sister Margaret Tuley, who worked at Carney Hospital for 10 years. I send my sympathy to Pat’s children and to her sisters, especially Sister Margaret. I had a chance to chat with Sister Margaret while she was here in Boston for the wake and funeral and just before she returned to her convent in Buffalo, NY.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Jean Reardon. She and her husband Joe were long-time members of the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association. I remember seeing Jean and Joe often at the midnight Mass at the Arch St. Shrine (when there was a midnight Mass) many years ago. Their daughter Mary went to St. Ann’s School and to dance lessons at Pegge Parker’s Studio with our daughter Susan. I send the sympathy of our family to Joe and to their daughters Mary and Patricia. Jean was a very nice lady.

Thanks to the latest First Parish Church Bulletin, I discovered that the annual Dorchester Day Kick-Off Buffet, with Gerard’s famous meatloaf dinner, will be held at the church on Thurs., Mar. 25. It is already on our calendar. That is a great evening and the food is wonderful.

When I called daughter Sue last Friday (Jan. 8) to tell her that it would have been Elvis’s 75th birthday, she immediately sent me an odd e-mail. The Grizzlies, who are the basketball team in Memphis, Elvis’s birthplace, would be playing the Utah Jazz team that evening. In honor of Elvis’s 75th birthday, the hometown team would wear blue suede sneakers. Throughout the game, the arena would be filled with Elvis’s music, clips of original Elvis performances, and live entertainment. It sounded like it would be a very enjoyable evening.

Each Friday in January, the Museum of Science in Boston will show free films every hour from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets will only be available at the museum’s box office the day of the event. Each person may have tickets for two shows per day. It might be a great place to take the kids or grandkids, especially the Friday of school vacation week.
Being the proud parents of a registered nurse, Hubby and I loved this car bumper sticker: “What love can’t cure, nurses can!”