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The Neighborhood Blossoms


“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.”
author unknown

The unknown author describes how it has been in around Boston. Hubby had some of the windows open when the temp was in the 80s two weeks ago. Now we have our sweaters and fleece jackets on around the house, while the furnace tries to keep us warm. I had wished to put the little scented geranium that I bought at the Flower Show out on the front porch, but it’s too cold. We also have a white rose bush in a pot of water inside the house, but it is too cold to put it on the porch. The water in the bucket would have frozen with the temp at 30 degrees last Saturday morning. I heard that it was minus two degrees on Mount Washington one morning last week. The blossoms on Fr. George’s Star Magnolia tree outside St. Christopher’s Church were beautiful on Saturday. The following Tuesday, they had turned brown from the cold. Thank goodness that jonquils and tulips can withstand the below-freezing temps. The magnolia trees, all over our neighborhood, are magnificent. Check out the pretty trees in front of the Ramada Inn on Morrissey Blvd.

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On Fri., Mar. 16, Hubby and I joined members of the K Club on a bus trip for seniors to Cape Cod that was organized by Eileen Collins, the club’s trip coordinator. It was a cold, rainy day when we left Boston and the weather followed us all the way to South Yarmouth as we approached the Ocean State Job Lot Store. Eileen asked us to be out of the store in just about a half hour. We went through the store rather quickly because we knew what our next “port-of-call” was going to be.
Back to the bus we went and were driven just a short distance. The bus turned into the Irish Village (where else would we be on the day before St. Patrick’s Day!). All of us who have stayed at the Irish Village smiled. We knew we would have great food and great Irish entertainment. We were welcomed by Tom McCormack, our host, with whom we have so much fun. We were ushered into the large dining area where there were easily two more busloads of seniors. We were delighted to see Terry Ryan, Patsy MacDougall, and Jeanette Nephew, who had come to the Cape with Peggy McDonough in an Eascare handicapped van. (Ryan Whitcomb from Eascare had made their arrangements.) Eileen invited them to sit with us for the luncheon.

The food was excellent. We had our choice of corned beef, chicken cordon bleu, or fish. We were amazed at how quickly the staff of the restaurant was able to feed so many seniors. (They positively have it down to a science.) All the while we were eating, Norman Payne played for our enjoyment. For dessert we had chocolate pudding. Then we thought we had been transplanted into an Irish castle. Out came a dozen Irish step dancers from the Maureen Haley School of Irish Dancing. The 12 girls looked positively beautiful as they danced for us in both ghillies, or soft shoes, and in hard shoes, like tap shoes. Eileen told me that she had heard that some of the elaborately decorated costumes could cost up to $1,000. She also mentioned that the girls are able to resell the costumes to the younger dancers and then purchase new costumes for themselves. The girls danced beautifully and were given rousing rounds of applause after each set. They certainly deserved the praise.

We had a little time before we headed for the bus so I made a mad dash to the little gift shop across from the registration desk. On the way to the shop, I saw the owner of the Irish Village, Jack Hynes, and also Tom Davidson, and Bridget, the lady who staffs the front desk. In the shop I found Irish plush dolls with shamrocks embroidered on them, so I bought several for gifts. Sadly we left the Irish Village but we knew that we will be back in a few months for almost a week’s vacation.

The bus then took us down the road to not one but two dollar stores. Almost everyone went into the Dollar Tree store first because we know that everything in that place is just $1. I wandered through the store and bought a few things, mainly greeting cards. Hubby bought some batteries. We kept the items small because our bus was carrying a total of 43 people so there would not be much space for big items. Some of the seniors went next door to the Family Dollar Store. I sat outside on that cold day and chatted with long-time friend Rita Gillespie. Soon it was time to board the bus for the ride home. Thank goodness we were leaving the Cape with light traffic rather than coming onto the Cape with heavier traffic. We thank the K Club for providing the bus and thank Eileen Collins for organizing the trip. I know that Mary, Norma, Peg, Dottie, Evie, Phyllis, Gemma, Rita, Dollly, Agnes “Dodo,” Ann, Sis, Terry, Fran, Irene, Ann, Katherine, Pat, Tommy, Peter, Nell, Clare, Mary, and Cathy, plus Hubby and I and the others that I didn’t get a chance to meet had a wonderful time.

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By the way, I must thank Cathy Coyne once again for making Irish tams for daughter Sue and me. I didn’t realize that the main part of the tam had all the colors of the Irish flag. I didn’t see the orange part of the tam because it was under the big green, white, and orange yarn pompom. I finally spotted the orange part when I saw the underside of the tam as I put it safely in a plastic bag to save it for next St. Patrick’s Day. By the way, I heard that Cathy’s Mom made 52 Irish tams this year. Wow!

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Back to the Senior Supper at Carney Hospital on Mar. 14: I must thank Barbara Couzens of Carney for sending me the list of all the hospital’s volunteers who made the supper seem effortless. Those who helped were Sr. Paula Tinlin, Elizabeth Clifford, Kathy Heffernan, Gemini Hullum, Atria Horton, Laura Vasconcelos, Barry Friedman, Bob Hasenfuss, Beth Pollara, Kathleen Kileen, Idelmira Silveira, Mike Stack, Scott Tripp, Bernice McNeil, Roy Contreras, Ann Hart, Bill Howland, Susan Raiche, Keith Colavita, and last, but not least, Bob Anglund, who mans the desk in the lobby weekdays. The seniors thank the volunteers and the kitchen, facilities, and housekeeping staffs for their help in making the supper go so smoothly. We look forward to the next supper, which is on June 13.

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Last Wednesday evening, Hubby and I decided that we would take advantage of “The Light Is On For You” and go to Confession at Blessed Mother Teresa Church (formerly St. Margaret’s). There was plenty of parking in front of the church so that made things easy. As we entered the church, we were stunned at how pretty the church looked, with the overhead lights reflecting off the walls and the beautiful woodwork. Father Hui Nguyen heard our confessions. At the end of mine, I complimented him on the beauty of the church. I must also mention that we met several very nice women as we entered the church.

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I was so happy that we were at the 4 p.m., Mass at St. Christopher’s Church on Sat., Mar. 24. The Mass was offered for Bob and Julia Fullam. We are friends of the Fullam Family and were pleased to attend. Daughter Sue even read at the Mass. … I was so sorry to read of the death of Lillian Holst on Mar. 25. She was a long-time friend and a lovely lady. I send my sympathy to her nephew and nieces, Paul Lyons, Cherylann, and Eileen Ide, and to her many friends. … I was also sorry to read of the death of Catherine “Snookie” Corbett. Catherine was well known because she worked at the former Bradlees store on Morrissey Blvd. (Bradlees is sorely missed, even to this day.) I send my sympathy to her children and grandchildren. … I was checking through old newspapers the other day and discovered that Mildred “Millie” Casali had passed away on Dec. 19, at age 79, after a lengthy illness, at her home in Scituate. Millie and her husband, James “Ozzie,” owned Casali’s Market in Adams Village for many years. I am sure that those who knew her from the market are sorry to read of her passing.

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During March, I received so many e-mails dealing with the Irish. One was regarding Irish sayings. “May the road rise to meet you” means “May success be with you.” “Top of the morning” was a Hollywood invention and it is never used in Ireland. Neither was “And the rest of the day to you.” “Slainte” means “Good health to you!” “Cead Mile Failte” means “A hundred thousand welcomes.” Speaking of sayings,
I loved these thoughts on courtesy by Erastus Wiman: “Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of the pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much. It pleases him who gives and him who receives and thus, like mercy, it is twice blessed.”