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Dusting off, post-Sandy

“Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast.”
By Sara Coleridge

Quite a few of the leaves on our trees fell on top of our grass. Other leaves fell on our street and “dammed up” at various spots in our gutters. We were so relieved that we just had a roofer fix a piece of siding that that had pulled away from the wood, high on the side of our home. He was just in time to save that piece from sailing off “into the wild blue yonder” with Hurricane Sandy’s winds.

As I mentioned in last week’s column, a ship built for the 1962 film “Mutiny of the Bounty” was in serious trouble because of Hurricane Sandy as she tried to make her way to Florida. Called Bounty, she was not able to withstand immense waves so her crew abandoned ship and 14 crew members were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. A female member of the crew was picked up but was unresponsive. She was pronounced dead when she arrived at the hospital. The captain, Robin Walbridge, is still missing. One of the Coast Guard rescue swimmers said it was one of the biggest seas that he had ever been in.

For those of you who know Generosa (Aiello) from her frequent calls to the talk hosts on radio station WBZ over the years, here is an update. She has been in a nursing home for several years. Early Monday morning, I heard host Morgan White Jr. tell his listeners how she is doing. (She finally reached the age of 100.) Her daughter answered the phone when Morgan called her room the other day. Generosa’s section of her nursing home is now being turned into hospice care and she will remain in that section. Morgan said words to the effect that, “We all know what that means.” Please say a prayer for her. By the way, Generosa is affectionately known as “The Princess of Peabody.” Well into her ‘80s, she operated a fundraising farm stand for Children’s Hospital along with WBZ host Dave Maynard.

I was so sorry to read of the death of Sean Dennis Egan, of Newton Centre, formerly of Dorchester, at age 51. As soon as I saw Sean’s photo in the obituary, I knew that he was our former UPS delivery man. He looked just a little older because of his moustache than he did when he worked for UPS. No one could have been nicer. He knew that our daughter Sue lives across the street from us and would, therefore, bring any large package over to our home for safe-keeping. After he left his delivery job, he opened Florian Gardens on Gallivan Boulevard (I used to see him there). I was able to attend his wake in Newton on Sunday, arriving as the funeral home opened at 4 p.m. Never have I seen more people. The line went through the rooms and hallways of the funeral home before reaching the family. I told his wife Mabel and his Mom Mary Ann that he was the nicest and kindest delivery man that we had ever had. I even told his Mom that she did a great job bringing him up. Both were surprised that I had come “all the way from Dorchester.” His obituary noted that Sean also owned the Forget Me Not Landscaping Co. I still shake my head that he has passed away at such a young age. (The lady standing in front of me in line said that he learned he had cancer at the beginning of the summer.) Our family sends its sympathy to his wife Mabel and to his children Charles and Melanie. We also send our sympathy to his mother Mary Ann Egan, formerly of Dorchester, and to his siblings: Maureen Spencer, Dorothy, Thomas, Timothy, Kevin, Dennis, Patrice Lewis, Paula Connolly, Michael, and Joseph. By the way, in one room of the funeral home I saw a floral arrangement that must have had 100 roses in it from Winston’s Flowers in downtown Boston. The lady standing in front of me also told me that Sean had worked for Winston’s. That shows how much the company thought of him.

Back to our trip to the Irish Village: Eileen Collins, who organized our trip to the Cape, asked us to join her friends at Persy’s for breakfast. (The Irish Village, on our plan, does not provide breakfast every day that we were there, just some of them.) We drove along Main Street in Hyannis looking for the restaurant. There was no one on the street to ask directions of. Finally we found a jogger. “Could you tell us the way to Persy’s?” “Of course I can,” he said, with a smile. “You are at the wrong end of Main Street.” He gave us directions and off we went. We saw a parking space right in front of the restaurant. Out from the car we sprang. We were 15 minutes late. As we up went to the front door, we saw a sign: “CLOSED TODAY FOR ELECTRICAL UPGRADE!” Hubby and I looked at each other and laughed. We had no idea where our friends had gone. We decided to go back to Friendly’s, the only breakfast restaurant we knew.

Before we got out of the car at Friendly’s, Hubby said, “Walk on the designated pathway in and out of the restaurant.” Friendly’s was where I had tripped and fallen last May over a small cement block (a mini Jersey barrier). I did as he said and walked on the yellow stripes, making it into the restaurant without tripping. We indulged ourselves on bacon, eggs, and home fries. Everything was scrumptious. I walked back to the car without falling by following the yellow stripes on the walkway again.

We then decided that we would journey down Main Street. We went into Mrs. Murphy’s Store and saw some wonderful buys. I restrained myself so I could hit Cuffy’s. We decided that we would turn back onto Route 134 in Dennis because we wanted to hit the Agway Store, which is a feed store and a florist rolled into one. We went there to buy a second, large cat-litter tray for our home and one for a friend who has two cats. We walked out with both of them, one purple, one blue. (We use ours to go under our air conditioners to catch the drips.)
Then we went into the stores in the Patriot Square Mall in Dennis. We love the card shop there. There is also a nice CVS. There is even a AAA Travel Outlet where Hubby gets his travel books and maps. Hubby and I thought we would have a sandwich at Burger King to tide us over until dinner. As we drove back to the Irish Village, we talked about going to the pool and so we checked the pool area when we came in. Eileen Collins was there as was Marie Schallmo. We quickly put our purchases in our suitcases, letting the big cat-litter trays stay in the car. We changed into our bathing suits and went to the lovely pool. Hubby went right into the hot tub while I stepped, gingerly, into the main part of the pool. Being a coward, I sidled over toward the hot tub because, when the bubbles were on, hot water was spraying over the side of the hot tub and into the pool, where I was waiting. It was nice and warm in that area.

Back we went to our room and showered. We still had time for a short nap before dinner. We then met our friends in the dining area. I must mention all those who joined us at the Irish Village: Marilyn Ferrara, Marie Schallmo, Mary Scarborough, Peggy Gorman, Caroline Inello, Evie Dunne, Phyllis Hartford, Jean Merlino, Ed and Mary Lou Flaherty, Marie Fronk, Ray and Mary Fronk, Barbara Sullivan, Pat Devilly, Darcy Cushing, trip organizer Eileen Collins, and Hubby and I. The dining room coordinator Tom McCormack (or Tomas MacCormaic, in Gaelic) welcomed us back and seated us at two tables. I saw steak tips on the menu and settled on those. I almost ordered Cuchulain Potatoes, which has cabbage in the recipe but wimped out and ordered regular mashed potatoes. The rolls were hot. I chose not to have an appetizer that night. People were ordering all kind of things for dessert: hot fudge cake, carrot cake, brownie a la mode, assorted cheesecakes, Boston crème pie, and strawberry shortcake. I asked for a small scoop of ice cream, which was terrific. Hubby, to whom I was not speaking after he ordered, chose strawberry short cake, my favorite.
Then we sat back with our coffee while Norman Payne played for our enjoyment. We sang along with Norman if we knew the songs. This evening, he had additional entertainment, a lovely singer named Sheila Glynn. What a voice she had! She sang “Four Green Fields,” “Danny Boy,” and “Fields of Athenry.” Sheila told us that her CD was available for purchase in the little gift shop near the front desk. By the way, Norman said that he was going back to his home in Athenry after this “gig” was finished. He made us all laugh when he said, with a chuckle, “You can trust me with any money that you want me to take back to your families in Athenry.” As if we would believe that! We finally walked slowly back to our rooms just about 10 p.m. It had been a long day.

I was so happy to hear that my friend Norma Conley is recovering nicely from partial hip replacement. I miss seeing her at different events with her pals from Keystone.

This plaque that I saw in a catalog really made me laugh: “I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything… but I can still fit into the earrings that I wore in high school!”