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An autumn covered with gold

“I, when the summer was over,
Found autumn was covered with gold;
And colors more lovely than springtime
Were there for these eyes to behold.”
“Autumn Rapture” by George Kossik

As sunset occurs now about 6:40 p.m., I understand that the decreasing amount of sunlight each day causes the leaves to turn color. We have about 10 sunflowers in front of and down the side of our home. Maybe three or four of them are taller than Hubby, probably seven feet high. We thank our neighbors, the two Jims, for taking down one of daughter Sue’s trees. The tree, which looked dead, was on their shared fence line. There were also two good-sized branches from trees in the back of her yard that had come down during Hurricane Irene. The two Jims removed them also and will chip all of the wood. Our neighbor Phil and his crew mowed our lawns, mulched the rose bushes, and planted clumps of pretty flowers. With all the clean-up, our yards can now be shown in House Beautiful, thanks to our wonderful neighbors.

On Sept. 8, after Hubby, Eileen Burke, and I came home from Twin Rivers Casino, our somber moods, caused by losing at the casino, changed drastically when we entered Fr. Lane Hall at St. Brendan’s to join the members of the Irish Pastoral Centre in celebrating their newly-opened home in St. Brendan’s Rectory. Eileen Collins and Mary Scarborough invited us to sit to with them. Many of our friends from the monthly luncheons at the Irish Cultural Centre were there. Angela Durkin and Ronnie Stanley made sure we had some coffee. It was so good to see our pal from the Castle Island Association, Eileen O’Connor, who was sitting with Ronnie. I asked Eileen to say “Hello” to the CIA’s president Bill Spain, for us. The Pastoral Centre’s chaplain, Fr. John McCarthy, was enjoying chatting with all the guests. The new executive director of the IPC, Alicia Connors, went around to all the tables, welcoming the public. Cora Flood, the Senior Coordinator for the IPC, was there with Brian Crosse and their beautiful kids, Orla and Killian. Jim and Tess Collins danced to much of music. Dorchester’s Dan Houten was one of the volunteers for the opening celebration. We loved seeing Sr. Marguerite Kelly there. Pat Walsh enjoyed the afternoon. Maureen McNally, who sings at the monthly Irish luncheons at Canton, was at St. Brendan’s also.

At the IPC celebration, I did have a chance to exchange a few words with the Irish Consul General, Michael Lonergan, and congratulated him on his new son, just two months old. Josephine Lacey and Pat Moran, from the Irish luncheons, were also at St. Brendan’s. Siobhan Gallagher, from the Irish Emigrant , came around interviewing and photographing some of the guests. She chatted with Eileen Burke, Hubby, and me and took a great photo of the three of us that was in her newspaper in the Sept.12th issue. It was a wonderful celebration. The new Irish Pastoral Centre is located at 15 Rita Rd., Dorchester, to the side and in the rear of St. Brendan Church. The phone number is 617-265-5300.

If you are over at Castle Island this Sunday, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur will be walking from 10 a.m. to noon to raise money for their Sisters in South America and Africa. Their table should be set up between the children’s playground area and the public rest rooms. Please be generous if you see the Sisters. Sr. Elizabeth, from the Notre Dame Montessori School at St. Christopher’s, will be one of those walking.

On Wed., Sept.7, daughter Sue was in Tufts Medical Center having surgery for a pinched nerve in her neck. Because of the nerve damage, she had lost the feeling in her left arm and hand. All summer long, she had gone to therapy. The doctors had hoped that therapy would relieve the pressure. Finally, after seeing her spinal surgeon, she learned that she would have to undergo surgery; the therapy was not working. Sue’s cousin Terri, a retired nurse, volunteered to go into Tufts and stay until the doctor had finished the surgery. She would understand better than Hubby and I when the doctor explained what he had done. About 2:30 p.m., she called us and said that the surgery had gone very well. Terri then said she would call us when Sue was taken to her hospital room.

About 5 p.m., Terri called and said that Sue was still in the recovery room. There were so many patients that day that there was a delay. Hubby and I decided that we would go to the recovery room. Sue was feeling O.K. there, thanks to medication. She did say that she could feel some sensations in her thumb, which she had been unable to feel before the surgery. Daughter Jeanne and the World’s Greatest Granddaughter, Erin, had come down from Rockport to check on Sue. Jeanne and Erin stayed for quite a while but finally had to get back home because Erin had homework.

About 7 p.m. Sue was taken to her room. Terri, Hubby, and I followed Sue and the nurse and orderly down a long hallway and stayed for about an hour while Sue settled into her new room. Just about 8 p.m., we left and walked, in the light rain, past the huge F.A.O. Schwarz bear statue outside the hospital. We were all pretty hungry so we decided that we would go to Gerard’s. I drove with Terri so I could give her the directions to Adams Corner. We were able to follow Hubby’s car so I had very little to do. We had forgotten that it was Wednesday evening, and Wednesday evening at Gerard’s is the time for Irish music. We had been to these Wednesday evenings Irish sessions but Terri, who lives in Attleboro, had never attended. She was tickled to be there. Our friends Kevin Doherty and Kevin Jr. were among the musicians. We ate our sandwiches while tapping our feet to the music. We walked Terri to her car and showed her how to get back on the Expressway. We thanked her for staying with Sue most of the day. The hectic day had turned out well.

The following day, Terri was back at Tufts to take Sue to her Attleboro home from the hospital. Sue was to stay there for almost two weeks because Terri had offered to care for her during her recovery. When Hubby and I got home from Twin Rivers, Sue and Terri were still at our home. (The date for Twin Rivers had been set and paid for a long time we knew the date of Sue’s surgery.) Sue had been discharged late in the afternoon. They were waiting until her pharmacy had filled the prescriptions that the doctor had given her. About 7 p.m., Sue called and learned that the prescriptions were ready, so with Terri carrying Sue’s small suitcase of clothes, they left for CVS and then for Attleboro.

Terri knew exactly how to care for Sue’s incision with 19 staples and how to dress the bandages. We received daily updates from both Terri and Sue. About 10 days after the surgery, we asked if Sue would be able to go to the Cracker Barrel Restaurant near the Wrentham Outlets. I had a gift card from the Vera Bradley Handbag Store for my birthday so I wanted to use it. The girls were already there in the gift shop at Cracker Barrel. Sue was gingerly walking around so she wouldn’t jar her neck. We didn’t stay in the gift shop too long and were ushered into the restaurant area. Once again, we had a terrific waitress named Michelle. Everybody was hungry so we ate well. Sue was getting bushed so she and Terri left while Hubby and I found the Vera Bradley outlet. I didn’t see anything in the “Betsy” style that I liked so I asked if I had to use the gift card by the end of September. One of the employees told me that I could use it into October. We will just have to return to Wrentham in the next few weeks. Sue was to be in Attleboro for at least another four days, or so we thought. I will tell you why she returned home earlier than she and Terri had planned in next week’s column.

I have noticed how pretty the new St. Ann’s Bulletin has been over the past few weeks. The photos from the 9/11 tragedy on the front page of this past week’s bulletin were striking. Speaking of 9/11, many were saying, “We will never forget!” I personally like this slogan: “We will always remember!”