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Summer Prayers

“Father, Creator of all, thank You for the summer!
Thank You for the warmth of the sun
and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see
all around me and for the opportunity
To be outside and enjoy Your creation.”
“Summer Prayer” from St. Gregory’s Bulletin
“Garden Memories”

Hubby and I both love the summer because we seem to have more time – time to work in the yard; time to work around the house. On really hot days, we bring boxes, file folders, and mail to sort through into the air-conditioned living room. It is amazing how many things we uncover in boxes. I found clothes that I never wear anymore and put them in a bag for “Morgie’s.” We had enough plastic dishes in the kitchen (on which to put cat food) so that we could have fed at least five cats, not just our one outdoor cat “Louie.” Hubby continues to water the outdoor plants and bushes.

On Friday evening, May 18, Hubby was invited to his former school, the Hennigan in Jamaica Plain. That evening the school’s new library was to be named “the Eleanor Kearse Perry Library” in honor of Hubby’s late former principal. Because I also thought the world of Eleanor, I tagged along. We were quite impressed with the mobs of people that were already there. Of course, we made a bee line for his former secretary, Helen Nichols, who kept the school humming for so many years. We had called Helen in the afternoon to make sure she was going. There were sandwiches and cold drinks available because most teachers didn’t have time to go home when school had ended for the day.

We were welcomed to the program by Nadine Cruz, a Hennigan teacher. Principal Maria Cordon, former Principal Amy Sprott, Eleanor’s sister, Renea Kearse-Randle, BPS Academic Supt. Joseph Shea, Nicole Bullock, and James W. Hennigan Jr., the son of the man for whom the school was named, jointly did the ribbon-cutting. Principal Cordon and former Principal Sprott unveiled the plaque that had a beautiful likeness of Eleanor on it. The evening was a wonderful and a fitting tribute to a terrific school administrator and a great lady. Hubby and I were so happy that we attended. By the way, we each received a small packet of rosemary seeds that evening. Why rosemary seeds? Rosemary stands for remembrance. We were asked to “plant these seeds to have a perennial reminder of our beloved Eleanor.”

Massachusetts offers free admission to residents and visitors each Friday during the summer at designated attractions. On Fri., Aug. 10, admission is free at Battleship Cove, Berkshire Museum, Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Fruitlands Museum, and the Sports Museum. On Fri., Aug. 17, free admission is offered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Edward Gorey House, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Garden in the Woods, and the Concord Museum. On Fri., Aug, 24, admission will be at no cost at Boston Harbor Alliance, USS Constitution Museum, American Textile History Museum, Old Sturbridge Village, and the Basketball Hall of Fame. On Fri., Aug. 31, there will be free entry at the JFK Library & Museum, Plimoth Plantation, the Discovery Museums, Mass Moca, and the Ecotarium.

For those of you who love Irish author Maeve Binchy, you will be sad to hear that she passed away in Dublin on July 30, at age 72. Maeve was perhaps best known for her book “Circle of Friends,” which was made into a popular movie. Her books have sold more than forty million copies. … Hubby and I were sorry to read of the death of Ann Donnelly on July 22, at age 88. We would meet Ann and her husband, William “Bill” Donnelly Esq., at various functions throughout Dorchester. I believe that they knew Hubby when he worked at Purity-Supreme Market in Fields Corner. For years, Bill and Ann sold raffle tickets for the annual Irish-American Dance, held yearly at Florian Hall. Ann even brought trays of her baked goods for the refreshment table. Some years ago, Bill and Ann moved back to Manchester, NH, where Ann was born. Bill died several years ago. Hubby and I send our sympathy to their children, Margaret, Ruth Ann, Bernadette, Kathleen, and Madeleine.

On June 1, Hubby, daughter Sue, niece Terri, and I drove to Rockport for grandson Brendan’s graduation from Rockport High. We had left Boston early, thank goodness, because traffic was a horror show. We finally arrived in Rockport about 6:15 p.m. We hadn’t eaten so Sue suggested that we try “Five Guys,” which is in Gloucester. Hubby and I had never been to a “Five Guys” restaurant. It was an experience. We saw signs telling us where today’s potatoes were grown. We also saw a big barrel of peanuts in their shells. Terri and Sue told us that we could eat the peanuts while we were waiting for our burgers. Not only were the peanuts delicious, the burgers were even better. I must warn you, however: Go easy when you order the french fries. One order is more than enough for two people.

Because we had been delayed with traffic, we cut short our visit to the restaurant. The graduation was scheduled for 7 p.m. We arrived at Rockport High just about 6:45 p.m. and walked into the gym where we spotted daughter Jeanne, son-in-law David, and granddaughter Erin sitting in the first row in the back section of seats, just the perfect place to take photos of the graduates as they filed into the gym. We got a couple of great ones of Brendan. Also sitting with us were son Paul, daughter-in-law Alex, David’s brother Leo, and David’s best friend Steve.

When the evening’s program began, we sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and said the “Pledge of Allegiance.” The orchestra was quite good, although I am prejudiced. I could see Brendan, in his cap and gown, playing the xylophone. There were quite a few awards. Brendan received one in history. He also received the “Four Year Honor Average.” (We are so proud!) The graduating students received so many honors, awards, and scholarships. Then the diplomas were awarded to approximately 75 graduates.

At the end of the graduation, we all filed right outside the school into a big field, as is the tradition, weather-permitting. We finally found Brendan in the huge crowd. We took a few photos. Then members of our group started to wander off to see friends and/or fellow classmates. It was difficult to keep us all together. Well, it was a wonderful evening. Hubby, daughter Sue (the proud “Auntie”), niece Terri, and I drove home with big smiles on our faces. Jeanne and David did not have Brendan’s graduation party that weekend. They decided that they would hold the party on June 16, which is also Brendan’s birthday.

Thanks to a heads-up from librarian Elisa at the Adams Street Library, I learned that the library will be able to obtain an eight-week pilot arts program for older adults (55 and up). The program would be free and would offer seniors the chance to learn to draw or paint, to sing in a chorus or individually, to sculpt, dance, or to write poetry, stories, or memoirs. Come by the library and speak with Elisa by Aug. 15. She also may be reached by calling 617-436-6900, Ext. 1008, with your suggestions. Everyone is welcome.

I hope that you saw the video of lightning hitting the St. Louis Gateway Arch over this past weekend. The arch is such an awesome sight as is. (Hubby and our pals Gregory and Sarah Ashe were thrilled to see the arch as part of a vacation trip, led by our friend Eileen Collins.) To see the arch with the lightning show provided by Mother Nature that evening gave me goose bumps. I wished I had taped it.
This is a slightly shortened column. I was in Florida for four days last week. I’ll tell you why next week.

Be sure you watch for the meteor showers this weekend!

I loved this Thought to Remember: “Be thankful for the weariness at the end of a day; it means that you have been productive.” I wonder what it means when you are also tired at the beginning of the day as I often am. I guess I have to go to bed earlier.