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Grass is the forgiveness of nature

“Grass is the forgiveness of nature-
her constant benediction.
Forests decay, harvest perish,
flowers vanish, but grass is immortal.”
By John James Ingalls

The grass is our yard is immortal, well almost. It will last until late November. Right now, it is growing very quickly with all the recent rain and the high heat. The sun, rising early the other morning, looks like a golden circle over Dorchester Bay. By the way, we have just about 15 hours of daylight this week. Our air conditioners have been on, both day and night. I am not looking forward to our electric bill.

Thanks to a kind invitation from our friend Barry, Hubby and I were invited to attend the annual meeting of the Fields Corner Community Development Corporation. The invitation noted that the meeting was to be held on Tues., June 21, the first day of summer, at the Ditson Street Senior Housing Building, 25 Ditson St. Barry greeted us and invited us to be seated. I gave him some photos that Hubby had taken at the FCCDC’s Christmas Party. There were several photos of Barry and his son Sean that came out terrific. Barry was so pleased. The Chief Executive Officer, Donna Finnegan, also welcomed us with open arms.

We also had a chance to chat with Barbra Trybe and Karen Crowley. Ellen Mason, president of the FCCDC Board, welcomed all of us to the meeting. She introduced CEO Donna and the rest of the staff, including Barry, Louise, Robin, Patricia, and Virginia. There were two speakers for the evening. The first one was State Sen. Jack Hart. Jack told us some of his background. Jack was a graduate of the Class of 1979 at B.C. High, the same class as our son Paul. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and attended the Kennedy School of Government. We were stunned when he said that he represented 160,000 people and worked with 120 community groups. He praised the work of Mayor Tom Menino. The second guest speaker was newly-elected State Representative Carlos Henriquez, who was sworn in on Jan. 5 of this year. He mentioned that his mother Sandra had run the Boston Housing Authority. He told us that he would be focusing on job creation and training programs.

That evening, the Board of Directors of the Fields Corner CDC was going to honor three people. The first was Maureen Feeney for her years of service on Boston’s City Council. Director Donna surprised Maureen with an unexpected gift. Maureen was positively thrilled to receive a lovely cake plate from the new Home Goods Store in Fields Corner. (Previously, she had mentioned, in passing, that she had admired the plate.) The second person to be honored was Mary MacLean, a resident of the Ditson St. Senior Building. Mary, with many of her family members in the audience, was honored for her years of community involvement. Hubby and I had a great time chatting with Mary and her daughter. They both remembered when Hubby worked at the Supreme, then Purity-Supreme Market in Fields Corner. For 34 years, he mostly ran the “front end,”(the cashiers) part-time on weekends. Both praised Hubby’s wonderful work and his caring manner in dealing with the customers.

The final person to be honored that evening was my friend and fellow columnist in the Dorchester Reporter, Community Service Officer Mike Keaney from Police District C-11. Mike mentioned that his family grew up with Sen. Jack Hart’s family. Mike told us that he has been stationed in Dorchester for 25 years. He hopes that he will never have to leave. Following the official part of the program, we were all invited to partake of the wonderful refreshments. Pal Barry had put out an array of summertime treats. I kept to the fresh fruits, which were positively delicious. Hubby was seen indulging in the calorie-ladened treats. By the way, I must comment on how pretty the community room is. It is the perfect place for a summertime meeting.

On Wed., June 29, Hubby, pal Eileen, and I attended Carney Hospital’s Senior Supper in the hospital’s cafeteria. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Young H. Kim, from the Carney Urology Dept. His topic of discussion was Female Urinary Incontinence. Nancy Lafoe, Director of Community Partnerships and Mission, welcomed us to the supper. Sister Paula Tinlin came around to each table to chat. There were two choices for dinner (at $4 pp): either salmon or chicken marsala. Pres. Bill Walczak then came to the microphone and welcomed us to the supper. He asked us to greet Joseph Burneika, the vice president in charge of external affairs at the hospital. I remember Joe from years ago when he was head of a local civic association. (Joe did come over to greet us during the meal.) Joe mentioned that there was a new campaign: “So you think you know the Carney – Think Again!"

Dr. Kim came to the podium and told us he has been at Carney since 2010. He mentioned that 80 percent of women stop their meds because of side effects from OTC drugs. He noted that the kidneys become more active at night. He also mentioned that alcohol is a diuretic. He told us that psychiatric meds slow down the passing of urine. He urged women to urinate every two or three hours, and not hold urine for four, five or, six hours. He also said that most urinary tract infections start in the rectum. He urged any woman who suspects she has a urinary tract infection to bring in a specimen. Doctors need to know what type of infection the woman has so that they can prescribe the proper medication. He also warned that diabetics are more prone to infection. When Dr. Kim asked for questions, the audience started asking questions slowly. He told us that cranberry tablets are O.K. to take. He advised anyone who had more than three infections in one year to go to a specialist in urology. He thought that four eight-ounce glasses of water are enough for most people to drink per day.

I tried not to be too technical in what I have just written. (I couldn’t anyway because my medical knowledge is sparse.) If you think that you have any type of bladder infection, see your primary care doctor or a urologist. Just remember to bring a urine sample. Just before we left, Nancy Lafoe thanked the hospital personnel who assisted in the Senior Supper. Barbara Breslin, Doris Hanlon, Sue Kelliher, and marketing intern Max Pany helped set up the cafeteria. The registration table was manned by Mary McGaugh and Kathleen Killeen. Our servers were wonderful: Sister Paula Tinlin, Bob Angland, Beth Pollara, Bill Howland, James Seide, Sister Margaret McSweeney, Sue Kelliher Bob Hasenfuss, and once again, marketing intern Max Pany. It was a very informative evening.

Our entire family was saddened to read of the death of Judith (McKinnon) Finn’s death on July 1, after a long battle with cancer. Judy was the wife of 39 years of our former neighbor, Paul Finn. She was the mother of Kristen Finn and Jessica (Finn) McNally, and the daughter of our dear friend and neighbor Rita (McKinnon) Gillespie and the late Francis McKinnon. Judy’s sister Janie (McKinnon) Cavaleri kept our family aware of Judy’s medical condition throughout her illness. We were pleased that we were able to attend her wake at the MacDonald Funeral Home in Marshfield. Our friends and neighbors, Jean Hunt and Joanie Pierce, were already at the funeral home when we arrived. So was another long-time neighbor, Muriel Gibbs. Hubby and I were able to extend our sympathy to Judy’s husband Paul, her daughters, her Mom Rita, her sister Janie, and to her brother (and our former neighbor) Fran McKinnon. Judy was a graduate of Cardinal Cushing High School in South Boston and Boston City Hospital’s School of Nursing. She was a registered nurse in Scituate for 30 years. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Sister Clare O’Keefe, a Sister of Charity-Halifax for 61 years. She was the sister of my late friend, Lydia O’Keefe, who worked at the Dan Marr Boys and Girls Club for many years. (What a lovely lady Lydia was!) Sadly, Sister Clare is the last of the O’Keefe brothers and sisters. I am sure that she is in Heaven. I extend my sympathy to her nieces and nephews.

The other day, which was quite hot, I was in our air-conditioned living room, half asleep in my chair. I had turned on the Turner Classic Movie Channel. The movie being shown was titled Deep in My Heart, about composer Sigmund Romberg. (Romberg was played by Jose Ferrer.) I didn’t remember seeing the movie when it came out so I kept watching. The music was beautiful. Hubby came in the room and read Leonard Maltin’s review of the movie to me. It was just an O.K. movie but there were some special parts. One was the dance with Gene Kelly and his brother Fred. I thought Fred was equally as talented a dancer as Gene. It was a wonderful segment to watch. According to Maltin, that was the only time that Fred Kelly ever appeared in a movie.

How delighted I was to hear that Kevin Doherty was given the Good Neighbor Award by the Cedar Grove Civic Association. Kevin does so much for St. Brendan’s Parish, plowing in the winter and helping with the grounds during the rest of the year. I am sure that his wife Karen, my daughters’ friend, and his in-laws, Greg and Sarah Ashe, are extremely proud of him also.

Here is a quote, by Eleanor Roosevelt, for the patriotic month of July: “The function of democratic living is not to lower standards, but to raise those that have been too low.”