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Promise in the Fresh Spring Winds

“There’s promise in the fresh spring winds
That sweep across the country hills.
And Nature gives a gentle nudge
To wake the sleeping daffodils.”
“To Spring”
by Alice Weatherly

If you want to see some gorgeous early daffodils, take yourself down to the Murphy School and the Leahy/Holloran Community Center on Worrell St. and take a peek. The daffodils looked so beautiful as we entered the Community Center for the first annual “Taste of Ireland” Dinner. There could not have been a nicer day for this dinner. It was Neponset in all its glory!

I received some wonderful news last Saturday. I heard that Kerilyn and Michael Baker of Holbrook became the parents of twins on what better day than March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. The boy, Michael Anthony, is a little older than his sister, Adrianna Elyse. The very proud grandparents are Mona and Gary Miller of Neponset and Jane Baker of South Boston. The twins are fortunate to have two great-grandmothers: Maria Skinder and Dorothea Miller. My congratulations are sent to all of them.

All during the week before South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Mar. 14, we watched many of the TV weather forecasts. It didn’t sound good for Sunday. A northeaster was coming up the coast. The weather forecasters were right on the money. It was a terrible day. We heard Paul Sullivan on Saturday, on WROL’s Irish Hit Parade, say that the parade, up to that hour, would be held on Sunday, in spite of the weather. On WBZ radio, on Sunday morning, it said that the parade was on.

Hubby and I left home just about 10 a.m. and drove to East Fourth St., the home of our friends, Margaret and Tom McCauley. Hubby dropped me off at the house and then tried to find a parking spot. He was stopped for a road race. The police officer, on detail, was very helpful and told him to go down the next street, where he might find a parking spot. Hubby found a parking spot on the way to Castle Island. It was the closest parking spot to the McCauleys that he had found in 35 years. Usually he is down by the Firefighters’ Bench, close to Sully’s parking area. By the time, he arrived back to Tom and Margaret’s home, the bottom of his slacks were soaked. Thanks goodness, he had on a Totes Raincoat from his teaching days of being out in the rain with the school buses. His upper clothing was well protected.

When we arrived at Tom and Margaret’s, I went out to see if I could help Margaret with the food. She said that the kids and grandkids were going to do all the work. I did see that she had already set out her brownies, each of them individually wrapped in waxed paper. Margaret’s niece Donna and her daughter Michelle came in on our heels. On went the coffee. Donna told me about the wedding of her daughter Nikki, scheduled for the following Sat., Mar. 20. We all said a prayer that the weather would be wonderful. Donna described her Mother-of-the-Bride Dress to me. It sounded wonderful.

Then more and more of the family came in: Tom and his wife Mary; Mary and her husband Vincent; and Mike and his wife Wanda. All the women are much better cooks than I so I moved into the living room with Tom Sr. and Hubby. They were watching Sen. Jack Hart’s St. Patrick Breakfast. It was wonderful watching it on a big screen. In came friends John and Angela. (Angela has been friends with daughter Mary since law school.) John is Originally from Dorchester and is a cousin of friends of mine. He mentioned that he was going to see his cousins at a big family reunion in June. John and Angela are fans of “NCIS,” just as Hubby and I are, so we had a wonderful time speaking about that program. Now that John has officially retired, he and Angela have bought into a part of an “artifacts”/antique store in Salem. John was telling us that the biggest sellers, right now, are men’s hats.

We were then called to dinner. Mary had brought a lovely spiral ham. Tom’s wife Mary had brought her famous chicken fingers. Both went very quickly. Donna had brought a big tray of potato salad. There were plenty of desserts. I heard Mary’s husband Vinnie telling Margaret that he had brought her favorite, a lemon cake.
Then we began watching the parade, from an upstairs window. Hubby and I didn’t venture outside, the first time ever. Some of the young kids were brave and did go out. A couple of the Dads went out to watch them. I must say that the kids received all kinds of trinkets from the marchers because there were so few onlookers in the heavy rain. Some of the other kids stayed inside and played air hockey. We watched John “Wacko” Hurley’s home, which is right across the street. Wacko stood on his porch with four Naval officers from the USS Halliburton for part of the time, but when it began raining heavily, the five went inside the house. They came out once or twice again during the parade. By the way, it was Seals from the Halliburton who rescued Capt. Richard Phillips from the Somali Pirates in April of 2009.

About 4:30 p.m., Hubby and I decided to leave. We had to stop at Rite Aid on the way home. We thanked Margaret and Tom for inviting us to their home for the parade. This is probably the 34th time that we have been invited to their home on Parade Day. We received our first invitation to their home in 1976 when their son Mike and our son Paul were freshmen at B. C. High. After stopping at Rite Aid on Gallivan Blvd., we arrived home. (We saw quite a few pumps spewing water from residents’ cellars as we drove along Minot St.) Hubby changed his pants, socks, and shoes when he arrived home. We put them over the baseboard heating units to dry before he could put them into the hamper. We will never forget this St. Patrick’s Parade Day, with its monsoon rains.

I was sorry to read of the death of Robert “Bob” Scannell on Mar. 15, at age 74. Bob was in management at Boston Edison Company where he worked for 34 tears. I send my sympathy to his wife of 52 years, Geraldine, and to their children: Susan Young, Bob Jr. (of the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club), Bill, Laurie Sullivan, and Kevin.
On Thursday, Mar. 11, Hubby and I attended the Confirmation Mass at St. Christopher’s Church. Bishop John Dooher was the celebrant of the Mass, assisted by Deacon Charles Sullivan. Fr. George Carrigg, pastor of St. Christopher’s, Fr. Bill Carrigg, and Fr. Garrett Barry, of St. Mary’s Church in Randolph, concelebrated the Mass. There were 40 Confirmandi: 25 young people and 15 adults. The program, written in English, Spanish, and even a little bit in Nigerian, was very helpful in following along with the Mass.

Following the Mass, we all went downstairs to have some desserts. Our pal Dorothy Harris made the large sheet cake, which had strawberries on it and in it. Our church custodian Craig also made some of the desserts. (He also is a wonderful baker.) The newly-confirmed people had their photos taken with Bishop Dooher and with Fr. George. It was a very happy evening for the Confirmandi and their parents and for the rest of us parishioners who joined in he celebrations.

While listening to Paul Sullivan’s live remote broadcast from the Butcher Shop in Adams Village on Mar. 13, Hubby and I heard Paul mention that the shop’s co-owners, Alan Gibson and Jerry Donahue, would be giving St. Brendan’s St. Vincent de Paul Society a percentage of the money taken in at the shop during the first two weeks of March. Fr. John Connolly, pastor of St. Brendan’s, and my friend Mary Shea, who is the vice president of the SVDP Society, accepted a check for $1,200 for the Food Pantry during the program. What a wonderful thing for the Butcher Shop owners to do.

There is still time to go to confession on the Wednesday evenings of Lent. Every church and chapel in the Boston Diocese is open to the public from 6:30to 8 p.m. Two weeks ago, Hubby and I were in the car, driving through South Boston. We were very near St. Monica’s so we went in. We were the only two going to Confession at that time. We had a lovely African priest hearing our Confessions that evening. It took very little time. We were back in the car in 10 minutes. We met a friend named Marion at St. Christopher’s on Confirmation evening. She said that she had been to confession at St. Monica’s that same evening, only earlier than we were. There is still one more Wednesday evening. Remember: “The light is on for you.”

I just saw a very funny t-shirt in a catalog that just came to the house. (I may purchase it for Hubby or me): “I now have more prescriptions than subscriptions.”