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Welcoming October

“O sun and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather.”
By Helen Hunt Jackson

October generally has more sunny days (11) than any other month of the year in Boston. The grass in our backyard seems even more green, with all of the rain over last weekend. The red roses in the front yard are blooming again. Daughter Sue couldn’t even count how many were flowering. We have about eight peach roses on the side of our home. The bigger rose bush has at least six gorgeous yellow roses. Our little pink rosebush has no more roses right now. Hubby just cut off its spent blossoms. Phil and his crew, who cut the grass for us, planted yellow and orange marigolds that look so pretty and fall-like on these cool days. The impatiens plants have all lost their blossoms because of the cold temps in the early morning. We still have tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes, on the vines. They did beautifully this year. Hubby and daughter Sue were eating them like candy.

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What a nice time Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke, and I had at St. Brendan’s Pancake Breakfast on Sun., Sept. 16. Friend Eileen Collins invited us to sit with her and Marilyn Ferrara, Norma Conley, Peg McDonough, Mary Sullivan, and pals Ken and Mary Bruynell. Fr. Ray Sweeney, who is assisting Fr. John McCarthy, told us that he is from Galway. Sr. Marguerite went around to all the tables to welcome everyone.

Mary Madden also came to the breakfast and chatted with us for a few minutes. Her sister, Dottie Dunford, and her husband Bob (one of the chefs) were already there. Dottie had a few minutes to chat with me before she resumed her duties as a volunteer at the breakfast. She told me that her daughter Molly and son-in-law Pat Murphy welcomed Caleb Robert on May 6. In addition to Dottie and Bob, the other proud grandparents are Jim and Mary Ann Murphy of Dorchester. The Dunfords welcomed a granddaughter just two and one-half weeks later when their son Brian and daughter-in-law Jen presented them with Corinne. Jen and Brian also have a two-year-old son, Brendan. (How I love that name; it’s my grandson’s!) Both babies are doing well. Can you imagine having two additions to your family in just a couple of weeks! We also heard some more very good news at the breakfast from emcee Jack Ryan. He told us that our pals Ken and Mary Bruynell were going to celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary on the following day, Sept. 17.

We all took chances on the prizes at the breakfast. Everyone was thrilled that Sr. Marguerite won the Hess (gas) gift card. We were delighted that Ken Bruynell won the huge gift basket. It would take both Ken and Mary to carry the basket, whcih was filled with all kinds of fall holiday goodies. They must have spent their 63rd anniversary just unwrapping all the items in the basket. We were also delighted that emcee Jack Ryan’s wife Jan was the winner of the 50/50 drawing. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal.

I was also happy to see Mike Bradley and his wife Ann at the breakfast. I had heard that both had been seriously hurt in a car accident. On June 7, they were riding in their car in heavy rain when it hydroplaned on Rte. 18 in Weymouth and went into one of the jersey (cement) barriers. Ann suffered three broken ribs; Mike did not fare as well. He had five broken ribs, two broken vertebrae in his back, and two broken bones near his ankle, and was in intensive care for two weeks. He then spent a day and a half in a regular hospital room before he was released. Ann told me that she had just had the car serviced. I was amazed to see them getting around so well after such a serious crash. They are both sturdy stock.

There are quite a few people that must be thanked for volunteering at the Pancake Breakfast. Mary Shea and Mary Murphy (my grandmother’s name) manned the sign-in table. Kevin Monahan and Bob Dunford did a great job cooking. Sis Holmes, Dottie Dunford, Claire Monahan, Diane Byrne, Jen Shea, Nicole Monahan, and Kevin Monahan made sure that the food trays were well-filled for the guests. Mary Ann Ellis and Kathleen Tevnan manned the “bar” area where the water and juices were located. Kathleen was at the breakfast with her Dad Charlie and her sisters Caroline and MaryEllen. The breakfast is always such a pleasant time.

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On Sunday morning, Sept. 30, Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke and I were in the lower church of St. Gregory’s to have our annual flu shot. (Sue had gone to the 7 a.m. Mass at St. Greg’s and waited for us to come.) Our friends Barbie, Joey, and Timmy came in just before us, with pal Ginny. I met long-time friend Pat MacNaught as we were walking into the church. There were quite a few of us waiting by the time the nurses came in. The nurses, including Carolyn, were very experienced in giving shots because the long lines disappeared very quickly. We love going to St. Greg’s because it is the first church to offer the shots in our area. Then, if we have things to do or places to go on a Sunday, we don’t have to worry about missing our flu shot. We already have ours.

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On Tues., Sept. 18, Hubby traveled to Boston’s seaport area for a dinner cruise on The Spirit of Boston, where we would honor Fr. George Carrigg for his 41 years of service at St. Christopher’s Church in Harbor Point. It was also a fundraiser for the church. The DoubleTree Hotel at Bayside offered their van to take parishioners to the ship. But we drove and were given a discount parking ticket, thanks to the Seaport Hotel. Fr. George had called our home the previous evening to make sure that we were able to get to the ship. I asked him what he thought of the forecast for Tuesday, heavy rain and strong winds. He said, “I have faith in God that nothing will happen until after midnight.” How right he was. The heavy rain held off until we had returned to the dock.

After parking, we walked across the street to the pier. Quite a few people were already there. There was no way that you could keep your hairdo intact. The women with long hair looked like a group of “Flying Nuns!” Some of the shorter people, like Sr. Elizabeth, were jostled by the fierce winds. We were wondering how rough the ocean would be out on the water. The organizers of the cruise had made arrangements so that people could just eat from the delicious buffet and then get off the ship if they thought they would not be good sailors, with rough winds.

Hubby and I decided that we would take advantage of the cruise. We boarded the ship. We didn’t find out until later that Fr. George had picked up the cost of all the photos taken by the ship’s photographer as we got on. We found an empty table and sat down so that we could see out the window at the harbor. Our friends from church, Sharon and Chuck, sat with us. There was a program of the evening’s events, with a beautiful photo of St. Christopher’s Church on the cover at each seat. Beside our plates, we discovered a little bag of Godiva Chocolates. (I refrained from eating them.) There was even a curled-up roll of streamers at each place setting. There will be more about the lovely tranquil cruise in next week’s paper.

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As you probably know, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I are big fans of “NCIS.” We watch the reruns almost religiously. We can even recite some of the dialogue. Over this past weekend there was an “NCIS” Marathon. Between the programs, some old flashbacks of the show were shown. One scene showed Ducky’s mother, Mrs. Victoria Mallard. I got such a big kick out of her. She has not been in any of the recent programs so I assumed she must have died. Sue has a site on her computer where she can find answers to “show-biz” questions. She discovered that “Mrs. Mallard” had passed away in 2008. I asked Sue what her name was. She said, “Nina Foch.” I was shocked at her answer because I remember seeing Nina in old movies. I looked Nina up on “Google” and discovered that she was born in the Netherlands. I never realized that she was “Ducky’s” mother in the series. Her scenes with Tony DiNozzo/Michael Weatherly on “NCIS” were hilarious.

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Time to brag about the family: Hubby and I were so proud when daughter Jeanne told us that she had passed the National School Nurse Exam, which she had taken in August. Congratulations, Jeanne!

Hubby took some unused medication to Walgreen’s last Saturday. His cholesterol medicine had been changed to a different drug a few months ago so he brought the remainder of his old med to the collection site.
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Since Hubby and I both celebrated our birthdays in the past few weeks, I thought that this was a very appropriate thought: “A friend is one who remembers your birthday but not which one.”