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In like a Lion

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch.
A wind comes off a frozen peak
And you’re two months back
In the middle of March.”
“Two Tramps in Mud Time"
by Robert Frost (1936)

I really can’t tell it’s March. It was too warm last week. Our outdoor cat Louie has taken up residence in the larger of two flower baskets on the front porch, especially in the afternoon. The only day he wasn’t sleeping in the basket was the day last week when the temp was in the 80s. He was under our porch where it was cool. (He still has on his heavy fur winter coat.) Our forsythia bushes are magnificent. All the bushes are tall. In one bush there is a stalk that has exploded. It almost touches the top of our sun porch. The daffodils outside the Murphy/Leahy-Holloran Building have been out for almost two weeks. Our daffodils came out this past week. We even have a bunch of grape hyacinths. The rose bushes are beginning to leaf out. The magnolia trees in Neponset are in full bloom. The first magnolia to bloom, however, was the one outside St. Christopher Church in Harbor Point. This is a Star Magnolia tree that the children of the Notre Dame Montessori School had given to Fr. George Carrigg some years ago. The Star Magnolia is the first magnolia tree to flower each year.

Back to the terrific St. Patrick’s Dinner at the Leahy-Holloran Community Center: When we came into the cafeteria, our friend Cathy Coyne presented me with two Irish tams, one for daughter Sue and one for me. The tams were knitted, with green and white yarn making up the tam part, and with a green, white, and orange yarn pompom on the top. They were beautifully done and fit our big heads as if they were custom made. I wore mine all day St. Patrick’s Day, to Gerard’s and even to church. My fellow parishioners loved the tam and commented on it. Sue and I send our thanks to Cathy for making them so quickly. I understand that Cathy learned to make the tams from her mother, who is still making them (about 20 this year) for each St. Patrick’s Day.

I solved a mystery while attending the spaghetti dinner. I told you that daughter Sue almost fell out of the car just before Valentine’s Day when she saw that the name “Sue” was “written” in red inside the electric heart that was over the Currach Restaurant in Adams Village. Well, I finally found out who the “Sue” was. Charlie Tevnan came over to me and confessed that he had asked Danny McDonald, the owner of the Currach, to put his wife Susan’s name in the center of the heart. We were delighted to learn that it was for Susan Tevnan. Susan and our Sue were in the same class at Mount St. Joseph Academy and are still friends today.

Wed., Mar. 14, was a busy day for me. I worked that morning until noon. At 1:15 p.m., I was at the podiatrist at Carney Hospital. By 2:15 p.m., I was in the Mammography Room for my yearly appointment. Since the quarterly Senior Supper was to be held at Carney, beginning at 3:30 p.m., I thought I would sit in the hospital lobby for about an hour and then head toward the cafeteria. Hubby would pick up pal Eileen Burke and bring her with him to the supper. No sooner did I sit in one of the chairs in the lobby than I dozed off. When I came to, it was 3:15 p.m. and time for the supper. Down I went to the cafeteria and found our table. Hubby and Eileen came in on my heels. So did pal Margaret Buckley. Barbara Couzens, from External Affairs/Community Advocacy at Carney, came over to greet us. The topic for the supper was “Beware of Scams/Learn How to Protect Yourself, Your Personal Information, and Finances from Internet and Phone Scams,” presented by the Medical Area Federal Credit Union. Sister Paula Tinlin said an Irish Prayer for us because it was so close to St. Patrick’s Day. Many of the seniors chose to have the corned beef dinner. The other choices were chicken cordon bleu and fish. We all had the same veggies: boiled potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. For dessert there was either chocolate cake or lemon cheesecake. We also had a salad and a roll to start our meal. The cost of the Senior Supper was just $5. What a bargain!

Then the speakers came to the microphone. We listened to two representatives from the Credit Union. They passed out a booklet: “Taking Charge, What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen.” They urged us to get a copy of our credit report once a year. (It is free once a year.) The companies that do this are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. (I found those names in the booklet they gave to us.) They told us to check the report because it can sometimes contain mistakes. We were also told to look at our monthly checking account statement to make sure that all the purchases were our own. Quite a few of the seniors raised their hands when asked if they shredded important documents. I usually tear ours up into little pieces. We were warned: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” We were also warned to protect our Social Security Number and our date of birth. Never give either of them out over the phone or on the internet. Some seniors have been scammed by receiving an e-mail on the internet supposedly from the IRS. “The IRS never contacts a person over the internet, asking for your SS number or your date of birth” they told us. When you get rid of an old computer, be sure that you wipe the hard drive clean before you throw it out.

At the end of the dinner, Carney President Bill Walczak and his friend Chris played and sang Irish tunes for us. We also joined in singing with them. We then were treated to Irish step dancing, thanks to children from the Greene-O’Leary School of Irish Dance. (There are studios in Milton, Westwood, and Arlington.) We thank Ella O’Hanlon, Ava O’Mahony, Anna Fahy, Maeve Foley, Sydney Queally, Ellie Mitchell, Clara Tennyson, Taylor Burns, Mary Kate Folan, Dana Barovich, Brianna Sullivan, Sophie Werner, Michaela Sullivan, Julia O’Toole, Meghan Sicard, Madison Kelley, Katie Johnson, Meggie Yarcich, and Meghan Philbin. The dancer who won our hearts and drew the most applause was four-year-old Dannny Sullivan, who was terrific. I was also delighted to meet George and Barbara Roper at the dinner. We were very happy with the entertainment and also the food. The next Senior Supper will be June 13. There will be a little more about the March event in next week’s paper.

I did get a chance to get into the Flower Show, which was held at The Seaport Convention Center last week. Cousins Margie and Janet had warned me that the place was very crowded and that it was quite warm. Clad in a light-weight jacket, I went into the show and was pleased that there were not too many patrons at that early hour. I asked for a program and found out where the Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer booth was located. I flew right to that booth and bought a bottle of the fish and seaweed blend, which is positively wonderful. I began chatting with Gregg Brasso, who was the dealer for the fertilizer at the show. I told him how much we enjoyed the product and it had served our plants very well. He told me about his scented geraniums. (He had grown 20 varieties for the show.) I ended up buying the Lady Plymouth variety, which had variegated leaves. I want to put the plant outside but it has been getting too cold at night. Gregg gave me a wonderful hint. He told me not to put the plant in plain potting soil as it grows. He said to mix the potting soil with about 90 percent peat moss. We have a little peat moss left from last year and will buy more to replant all the house plants while I sit on the front porch some cool day in the near future. Gregg said that plain potting soil gets hard, almost like clay. Gregg, by the way, owns Riverside Gardens at 204 River St. in Weymouth.

A few days before St. Patrick’s Day, daughter Sue gave us a lovely gift. It was the CD of “Mitch Miller’s Favorite Irish Sing-A-Longs.” The CD had 22 of our favorite Irish tunes: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “Mother Machree,” “When You and I Were Young, Maggie,” “Sweet Rosie O’Grady,” “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,” “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and “Harrigan.” While I was working on mailing the Pope’s Hill membership letter, I was singing along with the CD. I was surprised that I remembered almost all the words. It is a great Irish CD and it is still available online.

This quote is from a magazine named Reminisce, that I really enjoy: “It is easy to see both sides of an issue when you are not interested in it.”