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First rose in time for Dorchester Day

“Delight comes from plants
and springs and gardens
and gentle winds
and flowers.”
By Libanios

Hubby and I are so happy. We have our first rose of the year, right near the front stairs. It is a coral-colored rose and it looks so pretty against the dark green foliage. The rose bushes in the front of our home are filled with buds. I expect the hot weather, forecasted for this weekend, will cause them to bloom.

About six months ago, pal Eileen Collins asked if Hubby and I had any plans for a week near the end of May. We checked our schedule and, wonder of all wonders, there were no doctor, dentist, or eye doctor appointments so we would be able to go on her upcoming trip to the Irish Village on Cape Cod. We called her back and said that we would be delighted to go. (We had fun the other times we had been there with her.) We put the dates on our big calendar and in our planners.

Pretty soon it was time to get packed. It is much easier to plan for a trip where we have our own car. If we forget something, we can just buy the item. Last Monday, Hubby put our suitcases in the car, along with reading materials, cans of soda, packs of cheese/peanut butter crackers (Hubby’s favorite), two packages of popcorn, and our vitamins. Off we went after I finished working. Since we were late leaving home, we thought we had better eat at Friendly’s in Marshfield rather than wait another hour to eat at Friendly’s in Hyannis. We each had a delicious hamburger so we were happy that we stopped when we did.

As we drove along Route 3, we were happy that we were going to the Cape on a Monday rather than a Friday. As we neared the Sagamore Bridge, I spotted two of the biggest wind turbines that I have ever seen. As we drove past them, my jaw opened wide in amazement. They were taller than the three we had seen recently in Gloucester.

We were tired by the time we arrived in Hyannis so we decided we would go directly to the Irish Village and put off shopping at Kmart and the Christmas Tree Shop until Tuesday. We saw Eileen Collins’s car in front of the hotel so we knew she was inside registering. As we got out of our car, we saw an amazing sand sculpture in front of the hotel. Last year, in that spot, there had been a sprite, a fairy-type figure, that was beautiful. This year, there was a sand sculpture of a little man, probably a leprechaun, holding a crock (of gold). It was massive. Hubby took several terrific photos of this year’s sculpture.

We found our room easily. Hubby brought in the two suitcases and I started hanging up our clothes. We put the cans of soda in the fridge. Hubby then went for a walk while I examined my eyelids for about an hour. We freshened up and then walked to the dining room, where we heard familiar sounds. We were fortunate to hear music by the McTeggarts emanating from the dining hall. Almost every time we have been at the Irish Village, they have been the entertainment. Jim and Mick are so used to our group that they even know that we are from… Dorchester.

As we waited to be seated, we were greeted by another friend, Tom McCormack. (I don’t remember how to spell his name in Gaelic.) Tom is in charge of the hotel’s dining area. He greets the busloads of tourists that arrive during the afternoon and evening hours. One day, we heard that there were four busloads that had to be fed at the hotel. His wait staff is so good that they can handle any size crowd by doing much of the preparation ahead of time. For instance, several hundred water glasses, with straws, were set up earlier in the day, waiting to be filled for the crowd.

Since we were not eating dinner at the hotel that evening, Tom ushered us to sit with our friends in a separate area. Pals Gregory and Sarah Ashe sat with us. We have known them for more than 40 years when our kids were at St. Ann’s School together. (We thoroughly enjoy being with them.) We saw Eileen and asked her how many others were in our group this time. She started listing them: Kay Griffin, Ann Provost, Gregory and Sarah, Barbara and Joe Scarborough, Mary Lou Flaherty and her brother Ed, Peg Gorman, Evie Dunn, Phyllis Hartford, Marie Shallmo (who always has such lovely decorations in her pretty hair), Marilyn Ferrara, and our trio of friends from St. Gregory’s/Lower Mills: Mary, Barbara, and Pat.

That evening, one of the waitresses brought around a tray of shot glasses, some filled with Bailey’s, some with blackberry wine. I knew Bailey’s was whiskey so I took the wine. Tom had ordered the small toast in memory of our friend Mary Scarborough, who had died unexpectedly on St. Patrick’s Day. (She was such a vital part of our group.) Jim and Mick even dedicated a song in Mary’s memory as we drank our toasts to her.

After the toast, we all settled in for a evening of music. We quickly remembered the music of the McTeggarts. We sang along with many of their songs. Jim and Mick even invited our friend Gregory to sing a few songs with their accompaniment. Gregory knows many songs in Gaelic. We just listened in amazement as he sang those tunes. We cheered wildly for him when he ended each song. We knew one of the waiters. Michael used to be the bartender when we were at the Village. He was helping the wait staff serve the busloads of travelers. The McTeggarts used to get Michael out from behind the bar to sing show tunes for us almost every evening. About 10 p.m., we said “good night” to our friends and walked to our rooms. It had been a long day and we were very happy to “hit the hay.”

On Tuesday morning, we were in the dining area just about 8 a.m. and Tom seated us at a long table. Out came the menus. What a variety of meals there were: pancakes, bacon, sausages, eggs, an Irish breakfast, toast, bagels, English muffins all kinds of juices, a fruit cup, and even hash, which I decided to try. It was lovely and dry, not greasy, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ate all the hash but had no room for my scrambled eggs. I ate a piece of toast and couldn’t eat the second piece. The hash was worth it all! Tom and our waitresses made sure we had everything.

Hubby and I took off for K Mart in Hyannis where we checked the seed geraniums on sale for 99 cents. Sadly, there were no white ones. We did go inside the store but bought nothing. Across the street we went to the “new” Christmas Tree Shop. They have such nice things that we always spend some money there. The things that we really needed were toaster tongs. They are fragile and over the years, we have broken the ones we had. Hubby tried to glue the pieces together but they don’t work as well when repaired. They didn’t have the tongs. We did visit two dollar stores and then bought a couple of sandwiches for lunch in Stop & Shop.

The pool back at the Irish Village beckoned us. Within a few minutes we were back at our hotel. We watched a couple of shows on ME TV on our lovely big set; then we put on our bathing suits and walked down to the pool. Our pal Sarah and new friend Ann Provost were already in the pool so I joined them. Hubby went into the hot tub. Sarah said the water was cool so after I finally got all the way into the water. I moved close to the hot tub and enjoyed the hot water that spilled over the wall. It was so pleasant chatting with friends while enjoying the pool. Back to our room we went and showered so we would be ready for dinner and another evening with the McTeggarts.

Greg and Sarah sat with us. Jim and Mike, our musicians, invited the bartender, Bridget, to do carpet wheels for us. Out she came from behind the bar area. Within half a minute, she had performed four carpet wheels across the dance floor. We applauded! We sang along with Jim and Mick. Gregory sang three new songs when he was invited up to the microphone. The evening passed quickly and it was time for bed.

Wednesday morning we were up fairly early. Since that was the day when our meals were not provided. Hubby and I decided that we would go to Friendly’s in Hyannis. They have great breakfasts. I was a little skittish about going there. That was the restaurant where I tripped over the little concrete car barrier and fell last May. The result was a broken left wrist. I ended up visiting Cape Cod Hospital. I warned Hubby in the car on the way to Friendly’s: “I am going to hold your arm till I get inside the restaurant.” We both ordered bacon, eggs, and home fries. When Hubby saw that he could get French toast instead of regular toast, he succumbed to temptation. Out came the French toast, with lots of syrup. I had to eat a few bites “to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.” There will be lots more about our trip in next week’s paper.

Since this is still Memorial Day week, I thought that this quotation, by Pres. John F. Kennedy is just perfect to finish this column: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”