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Thanksgiving Preparations

“The carpet man was here last night
But never came indoors.
Instead he found the tree out back
And carpeted the backyard floor.”
“New Carpet” by Dean Robbins

Our back yard is strewn with leaves from our trees after last week’s fierce winds. Hubby took all the rest of the tomatoes from the bushes. He also took the jack-o-lantern electric light off the rose trellis and has the electric turkey ready to go up.

I was so sorry to read of the death of Winifred “Winnie” O’Malley on Nov. 2. I first met Winnie when we were residents of the Bostonian Nursing Home. She and her roommate Alice were in the room right across from mine. As I began to walk after knee-replacement surgery, I went into their room and laughingly told them that I knew they were terrific ladies because they made up my mother’s name, Alice Winifred. We were friends from then on. I discovered later that Winnie was the aunt of my daughter Jeanne’s favorite pal, Ann O’Malley, or “Annie O” as we affectionately called her when they were students at Mount St. Joseph Academy. I was able to keep track of Winnie over the years because she lived in the apartment next to my friend Mary Scarborough. Winnie was a wonderful lady. I learned much about her upbringing in County Galway: that upon the death of her mother, she took care of all the rest of her siblings because she was the eldest girl in the family. She was quite a woman. Those who spoke praised the care given Winnie by her Keystone fellow friends, Mary Scarborough and Carol Murphy. Our entire family, especially daughter Jeanne, sends our sympathy to her many nieces, especially “Annie O” and nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews. I must mention that Father John McCarthy, our Irish chaplain, gave a magnificent homily about Winnie. He knew her well from saying Saturday Mass at Keystone where Winnie was a resident for 15 years. We met Father John two days after Winnie’s funeral Mass and told him how much we appreciated what he said about Winnie.

I was delighted to read in the Cedar Grove Civic Association’s Bulletin that you may return any overdue BPL material (books, CDs, and DVDs) up to the day before Thanksgiving without paying any fine. I think that is positively wonderful. In the St. Ambrose Bulletin, I was very interested to read that St. Martin of Tours’ feast day is November 11. He is, appropriately, the patron saint of soldiers.

I slept a little later on Veterans Day because it was a holiday. I thought I heard someone near the end of Morgan White Jr.’s overnight radio show on WBZ mention that Generosa, a frequent caller to the station whose illness I mentioned last week, had passed away. I checked back in the Globe and discovered that Generosa Aiello had, indeed, passed away on Nov. 5, at age 100. I Googled the funeral home (Conway, Cahill-Brodeur in Peabody) and read her obit. On the funeral home’s website, there was a lovely photo of Generosa, appropriately wearing a tiara, since she was known as the “Princess of Peabody.” I can still hear her voice, saying, “Friday, Friday” when she came on the radio in her early Friday morning stints with whichever talk show host was broadcasting at the time. I send my sympathy to her children, son Laurence Aiello, daughter Frances Stuart, her grandchildren, and to her great grandchildren. It is the end of an era.

Back to our five-day vacation to the Irish Village: On Tuesday, our breakfast at the Irish Village was part of our package. While many ordered pancakes, particularly blueberry pancakes, I decided that I would order hash with scrambled eggs. I had eaten hash at the Irish Village last year and, because it was not greasy, I thought it was terrific. (If we have canned hash for dinner at home, I pat the hash with quite a few paper towels to get the grease off as it cooks.) The hash was just as tasty as I had remembered it so I began with that. By the time I finished the hash, I couldn’t even touch the eggs. Of course I did manage to get down the home fries along with the hash. What kind of an Irish “man” would I be if I didn’t eat the potatoes? With a little help from Hubby to get me on my feet after such a filling breakfast, we were off to go shopping once again.

I knew that I would need postage stamps with Christmas coming. I also have to send a mailing to my high school classmates, reporting on our recent Girls’ Latin business meeting sometime before the holiday season. (I am class agent.) What nicer post office could I visit to get my stamps than the one in Dennisport. I asked the pleasant clerk if he had 200 stamps, preferably the ones showing Old Ironsides. He moved heaven and earth and finally was able to give me all 200. I thanked him very much. I am so proud of the USS Constitution and the fact that she is docked practically in our backyard. I want to show off that stamp on my mail.

After we left the post office, we drove by our friends’ former cottage to check it out and then went down by the ocean. We drove down by the Red Jacket and admired the fall flowers lining the parking lot. We found our “Nessie” statue, the molded-cement Scottish Loch Ness monster that sits in the front yard of a home very near the Red Jacket. Hubby got out of the car and took at least three photos of that adorable sculpture. Being one-eighth Scottish, I get a thrill just seeing it. We then went to the Ocean State Job Lot store in Dennis. We like that one because it is neater and much less cluttered than the other two stores down on Route 28. After that, we weaved our way through the construction on Rte. 28 and arrived at Cuffy’s. It has the prettiest t-shirts and sweatshirts in so many different colors that I bought some items for the family for Christmas.

Back we went to the Irish Village. I must mention the sand sculpture that was under a small tent in front of hotel. It looked to me like a fairy spirit, complete with wings. It was beautiful and Hubby took several photos of it. Back we went to our room after making sure that none of our group was in the pool. Hubby watched “NCIS” on our large TV while I “examined my eyelids.”

On Wed. evening, Eileen Collins invited us to join five others at the Asian Buffet on Route 28. We followed their cars and arrived in a short time. As we walked into the restaurant, there was a lovely young girl manning a jewelry table half way up the stairs. I told her that we would look at her jewelry on the way out because we were hungry and wanted to eat. The buffet was very good. It was not all Chinese but had a wide variety of foods. We all ate very well. There were all kinds of ice cream for dessert. I succumbed to a tiny dish of ice cream.

Just before we left the restaurant, a lady and gentleman who were sitting across from us came over to chat. The woman, Gemma Behan, now a Cape resident, was so delighted to hear from people from her old neighborhood of Dorchester that she was all set to sit down with us. We loved speaking with her although we felt bad for her friend, who was patiently waiting. She gave us her e-mail address so I will send her a copy of this paper. Gemma was delightful. She would have made a nice friend if she were still living in Dorchester.

On the way out, I did stop at the little girl’s jewelry stand, near the door, and bought an apple pendant at a very reasonable price. The girl was so pleased that we did stop as we had promised. When we arrived back at the Irish Village, I thought about the chat that Marie Fronk and I had the previous day about rotator-cuff problems. She mentioned that she used to take a little Matchbox car and run it up and down a wall to keep her shoulder fairly supple. I must get myself a little car. (I am sorry that my son Paul’s cars are long gone to “Morgie.”) I did think that the pool and the lovely, warm water escaping from the hot tub did some good on my right shoulder. There will be a little more about the Cape next week, including our stop at the new Market Basket Food Store near the Sagamore Bridge.

TV alerts: The day after Halloween, I turned on Ch. 533, the “Sounds of the Season” channel on Boston’s Comcast Cable. It was playing Christmas music. The first voice I heard was Perry Como. How nice! If you love Christmas music, as Hubby and daughter Sue do, listen to the terrific music on 533. Also, I heard from my new friend Lillian Keenan, that Channel 16, on Boston’s Comcast System, was playing PBS programs. When I mentioned this to Hubby, he told me that Ch. 16 is really the programming from the old Ch. 44. That change happened a few weeks ago when the company took Ch. 11 (New Hampshire) away from us. Another alert: Sully’s, at Castle Island, will be closing for the season on Sun., Nov. 25. Hot dogs are half price until then.

I hope that you are all pretty well set for Thanksgiving. I bought a set of ceramic pumpkin salt and pepper shakers. We have the pie crusts for Sue’s chocolate pudding pies. We already have the containers of sour cream and the Knorr’s brand of leek soup mix, which makes such delicious dip. By the way, if you have a small family, Stop & Shop, once again, is offering a small turkey dinner with all the fixings, for $25. It makes dinner so easy. Good luck with your preparations!