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A torch flung to the trees

“Autumn burned brightly,
A running flame through the mountains,
a torch flung to the trees.
by Faith Baldwin

There are more and more leaves turning color as the days grow shorter and the temps are cooler. Some of our rose bushes have defied the cold and are still producing blossoms. Hubby has had to turn back the timer in the front hall, which turns on the light on the hutch. The sun sets, now, about quarter of six. In two weeks, we will turn our clocks back one hour when we return to Standard Time. Hubby and I planted some purple grape hyacinths and some yellow and pink tulips on a beautiful day last week. We placed the hyacinths close to the front gate and the tulips on the side of the house that gets the most sun. I don’t mind grape hyacinths outside but cannot bring them in the house because of their pungent odor.

No sooner did we come home from our wonderful trip to Indian Head, than we had to pack our suitcases for an equally wonderful trip to Cape Cod with Eileen Collins and her friends. It just happened that our trips were one following the other. For our second trip, we were going to go to the Irish Village in West Yarmouth. We already had been at the new Irish Village and loved it. There was one added feature to this trip. We had our own car and could come and go during the day as we pleased.

As usual, we shopped our way down to the Cape. We almost stopped just over the Sagamore Bridge until we noticed that the mall had been completely demolished. We learned later that there would soon be a Market Basket Store in that spot. Many years ago, Hubby and I shopped at the Market Basket Store in Chelsea and liked the prices and especially the quality of the produce. We stopped going there when the construction on the Zakim Bridge began and it took too long to get over and back.

We took the exit to Hyannis and made runs into K Mart, the big Christmas Tree Shop, and the Job Lot Store near the rotary. We knew that dinner on Monday was not part of our package so we stopped at Friendly’s. We arrived at the Irish Village just about 5:30 p.m. While Hubby went into the office to register, I sat out in the car facing Route 28. I was watching three tall trees in front of me. There was a loud noise that frightened these birds and at least 50 flew out from the branches from one of the trees. All I could think of was the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds.”

We got our key cards and went to our room which overlooked the outdoor pool. We called the front desk and discovered that our pals Eileen Collins, Mary Scarborough, Marie Schalmo, and Marilyn Ferrara were on the other side of the hall from us. We found that Mary Keeley, Barbara Sullivan, and Pat Devilly were in the room next door. Roy and May Crawford were in our wing. So were Joe and Barbara Scarborough. We went to the dining area and were entertained by the McTeggarts, a terrific Irish duo. (Jimmy Byrne is from Cork; Mike O’Brien, from Dublin.) We had seen them the last time we had been at the Irish Village. They played almost all the Irish music that most of us knew. We were so good that the McTeggarts would keep quiet at times and let us sing parts of their songs. As soon as we got back to our room on Tuesday evening, daughter Sue called to give us the results of the District 3 City Council elections. She told us that Baker had 31.5 percent of the total vote; O’Toole, 25.8 percent. Hubby went across the hall and gave the results to pal Eileen.

While we were down the Irish Village, we took advantage of the lovely indoor pool. Hubby, however, was in the hot tub before I could even get into the pool. Most of us congregated near the hot tub because the warm water was splashing over the wall and into the cooler pool water. I began chatting with a lovely gal from Salem. She and her husband were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. They were with friends who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. We told her all about the Irish Festival at Adams Corner. We knew she would enjoy it.

We were sorry to leave the Irish Village; we had such a good time. Our friends were great. The meals were wonderful. We had a terrific time having fun with Tom McCormack, who seats everyone in the dining area. There were several evenings when the staff fed four busloads of travelers. The staff is amazing to watch. They have everything down to a science, serving the food, and clearing off the tables for the next busload of travelers. To thank Tom for being so nice to us, our group bought several boxes of Stage Stop fudge for him. (He loves fudge!) We will miss sleeping later in the morning (to 7:30 a.m.) We enjoyed the meals with our pals and the entertainment in the evenings. We thank pal Eileen for organizing the trip to the Irish Village.

I was sorry to read of the death of Frederick MacDonald. Fred served as a state representative from 1972 to 1974. I knew Fred from the Dorchester Historical Society, where he had served as vice president. Hubby and I would meet Fred at some social gatherings. When Fred lived in Canton, he knew Hubby’s buddy Al Cronin, who worked in the Boston Schools with Hubby for years. We send our sympathy to Fred’s sister Elizabeth Bombas and to his cousin “Little” Fred MacDonald. Fred was always such a nice person. We really enjoyed speaking with him.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Russell Steinbach Sr. on Oct. 16 in Florida. Russ was the former owner of Steinbach’s Service Station, at the corner of Adams and Gibson Streets. I always heard that people trusted him in fixing their cars. I send my sympathy to his wife Marie and to their children Russ Jr. and Donna.

Last Thursday, Hubby and I were driving along Day Boulevard in South Boston and saw an electric sign that said that Old Ironsides would be turning around on Friday at 11 a.m. We never miss a chance to see that beautiful ship so we were in our car before 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning. We were able to get to South Boston in a very short time because traffic at that time of morning had subsided. Hubby dropped me off in front of Sully’s while he went to find a parking spot. (There were many more cars than usual on this fall morning.) Hubby caught up with me as I walked. We saw a Boston Police boat just ahead of us as we walked. Hubby hurried up the hill and yelled to me, “She’s coming now; she’s early.” He came down the hill quickly and we double-timed the rest of the way. (Oh, my tender knees!) Hubby took out his camera as the Boston Fire Dept.’s boat sailed past the fish pier, spewing five columns of water into the air in honor of the ship. Then along came Old Ironsides, being pushed slowly by a tug boat. What a sight! She gave me goose bumps.

There were quite a few people on board the ship as she passed the fish pier where there were about 50 people waiting for her to arrive. Everyone, except the little kids, was there with a camera. Hubby is tall so he could shoot photos over the heads of people in front of him. Every once in a while, a rainbow would appear in the columns of water that the Fire Dept.’s boat was shooting in the air. Hubby caught several photos with the rainbows quite distinctly shown. The crew of the ship, as it passed the fort on Castle Island, shot off the ship’s cannons. The soldiers, who were on the hill in front of the fort, gave the ship a 21-gun salute. Hubby took photos of the ship as the crew shot off their guns, (I jumped every time the loud cannons in front of the fort let loose.) Once again, Hubby caught a photo of the fire coming out of one of the three cannons on land. What a photo! All the while the ship was in the area of the fish pier, there was a helicopter overhead. We were not sure if it was for security reasons or if it was a news helicopter. There were at least three smaller Boston Police boats near the ship as she sailed past us. We are so happy that we came early to catch this incredible sight, Old Ironsides sailing once again.

Of course, to reward ourselves for seeing Old Ironsides, Hubby and I treated ourselves to lunch at Sully’s. The hot dogs, fries, and coffee tasted great on that cool day. Almost everyone else who had been on the pier thought the same as we did and had lunch at Sully’s on that beautiful day.

Hubby has removed the screen and put the glass in our front storm door. Almost all the storm windows are down. He pulled down the storm window on the sun porch. This week, between rainstorms, he will pull out the tomato stakes before the ground freezes. The Halloween candy is in a bowl near the front door. Once again, I bought Tootsie Pops so I won’t eat them. If I had bought a bag of Snickers or any other chocolate bar, they might not have made it to Halloween.

I hope that all our children have a happy and safe Halloween!