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Blizzard!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
By Edith Sitwell, British poet

Thank goodness we did not lose our electricity during the blizzard. We were warm and were able to cook. We didn’t do any clothes-washing until we were sure that we could see the dryer vent emerge from under the snow. Daughter Jeanne lost her power but it returned rather quickly. Son Paul lost his but it also returned quickly. Cousins Margie and Janet lost their power for almost two days. Their niece’s husband, Mike, drove up from Green Harbor and took them back to his home in Green Harbor overnight.

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It was, with interest, that I read the obit for the inventor of Etch-A-Sketch. His name was Andre Cassagnes and he died in France on Jan. 16, at age 86. I could never master Etch-A-Sketch because I always turned the knobs the wrong way. The only people I know who can write on that screen are Hubby and daughter Sue. Bravo to them!

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An addition from Community Service Officer Dennis Rorie’s talk at the Jan. Pope’s Hill Meeting: Dennis gave out his work phone number (617-343-4524) if anyone would like to call him with a problem. He also gave out the phone number if you are calling the Boston Police from a cell phone: 617-343-4524. If you call the police at 911 on a cell phone in the city of Boston, you will be connected with the State Police. The final topic of the meeting was the possibility of building three town-houses on Payne Street, which is a small street off Houghton Street.

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I must tell you about Hyatt Suites and Inns, the hotel that we stayed in while in Virginia for Hubby’s brother John’s wake and funeral. We had a lovely room. It was chilly when we were there. One morning, Hubby had to scrape the windows. We knew how to get to John’s church, the Church of the Resurrection, but we asked at the front desk if there was a Catholic church closer to our hotel, We were fortunate. The Church of St. Therese of Lisieux was three minutes down the street. When we went into the church, we sat near the back because we were both sick. We laughed when we saw a bottle of hand sanitizer at both ends of each pew. We enjoyed the pastor’s sermon. At the end of Mass, he asked the people who were at the church for the first time to raise their hands. We did, at first, but chickened out before the priest got around to speaking with us. He asked the new people where they were from and why they were there. We didn’t want to say we were there for a close relative’s funeral. The pastor, by the way, is Rev. Kevin O’Brien. We laughed because it seemed incongruous that Father Kevin, with a definite Irish name, was pastor of a church named for a definitely French saint. When we got to the Sign of Peace, Hubby and I dared not give a handshake to our neighbors. As we withheld our hands, I explained that we were both very sick. One of the parishioners thanked me very much for not shaking hands. We enjoyed the atmosphere in the church and liked the pastor and parishioners very much.

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This will be an abbreviated column because of the storm. The weekend was wild. We couldn’t see through our windows because snow was plastered all over them. We could only see what was going on through our front door. I must thank our wonderful neighbors, once again, for shoveling for us. Jim and his son, Jim Jr., manned the snowblower. Jim’s wife Maureen and our neighbor Janie had shovels in their hands most of the weekend. Hubby was able to do a little shoveling. Daughter Susan was unable to help. She had been out of school most of last week because she was sick with a fever. She was finally able to see her doctor early Friday morning before the storm began and learned that she had pneumonia. (She had bronchitis over Christmas week.) The doctor sent her right to Quincy City Hospital where she had chest x-rays and blood tests.

I wasn’t able to help, either. On Friday, just after the snow began, I went out on the porch to make sure that Louie, our outdoor cat, had the dish for his food readily available. Because Louie is a messy eater, we always put his dish on a boot tray. I caught my slipper on the corner of the boot tray and down I went, on my right side. Hubby came running and helped me up. I knew my hip was not broken because I could stand and then walk. I already had rotator cuff problems in my right upper arm. The fall made my arm and shoulder hurt even more. I knew, however, that I would never be able to get to Carney so I went for the bottle of acetaminophen tablets and took two. I was finally able to get to the Emergency Room on Monday morning. The staff at Carney, my nurse Cheryl Williams, a lovely – and very knowledgeable – med student (I didn’t get her name), and Dr. Lowenstein were great to me. So were the technicians in the x-ray room who took maybe seven or eight pictures of my shoulder. The staff members were concerned about my Coumadin level, which had gone down “.3” since Thursday. I had to go for another test on Tuesday to make sure it hadn’t gone below 2.0. I have a large hematoma (bruise) at the top of my right leg. (It’s a terrible shade of purple.) It is the hematoma that is fouling up my Coumadin level. This huge bruise can last for several weeks. I also have three smaller bruises on my upper right arm but if the sleeve of my blouse comes to my elbow, they can’t be seen.

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So we survived the Blizzard of 2013. God bless our neighbors for being so kind in shoveling for us, with the huge amounts of snow that settled on our street. I must praise the snowplow driver, who did such a great job on our little street. He was wonderful. I praise our mail personnel, like our guy Mike, who delivered mail on Monday. It must have been terrible trying to walk their routes with the huge mounds of snow. We are very fortunate because we live so close to a Stop & Shop. Even though their supply of the “staples” was depleted, Hubby was able to improvise and get some food for us. We didn’t see Sue for three days when she was very sick. Hubby would take food across the street to her home, ring the bell, and then leave the food.

I was out of work on Monday because I was in the Emergency Room. On Tuesday, Hubby took me to work early. As he shut off the car’s motor and opened the driver’s door, the driver’s window shattered as if it had been shot out. The glass went everywhere, outside the car and inside. There was no one in the parking lot. We figured that there had to have been ice on the window and as the car heated up, the heat against the icy window made the glass shatter. What a fright! Hubby went right to the Toyota dealer to get the window replaced.

Very early Tuesday morning, at 4 a.m., Hubby and I were awakened by the sound of big trucks. We knew from living so close to the Murphy School for many years that the trucks were there to remove the huge mounds of snow from in front of the school. It took them several hours to clean the street and sidewalk. They did a good job. School undoubtedly was going to be open yesterday.

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I was sorry to read of the death of Mary Burke on Jan. 25. Mary was the former executive assistant for numerous officials at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. She was also on the Senior Board of Advisors for the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association. The PHNA sends its sympathy to her nieces and nephews. Mary was a life-long resident of Neponset.
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Here is a great thought from the Family Circle Magazine: “Don’t think about the cost of doing something; think about the cost of doing nothing!”