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Reflecting on the end of 2012

“Another fresh new year is here… Another year to love! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, To love and laugh and give.” By William Arthur Ward

I certainly hope that 2013 improves. We had our share of sickness at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. On the Friday before Christmas, daughter Sue came home from school with a terrible cold. She saw her cousin Terri at daughter Jeanne’s home on that Sunday and gave it to her. Then she shared it with Hubby, her Dad, who came down with pneumonia. Then her cold passed to me and I got asthmatic bronchitis. (Hubby and I always bragged that we seldom caught a cold. We will no longer brag.) The last time I had a cold was at least several years ago when I was unable to attend a friend’s open house.

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On Christmas Eve, Hubby and I attended a Christmas Eve open house at cousins Margie and Janet’s home in Quincy. Their home was filled with people: their brother Bobby, most of his kids and their spouses, and their kids. They were even able to “skype” Bobby’s son David and his wife Courtney, who are currently stationed in Korea with their daughter Olivia. Cousin Danny was home on furlough after joining the Army several months ago. Also there were Margie and Janet’s friends, most of the McDonaghs (spelled the correct Irish way). Some of us McDonoughs were there, too, although daughter Susan was too sick to go. She spent the evening in bed.

To say that there was plenty of food at Margie’s and Janet’s home was an understatement. I headed for the meatballs and ziti. There were cold cuts, deviled eggs, chicken salad, a variety of pickles (Short Family favorites), and even fudge. There were pigs in a blanket on top of the stove, hot from the oven. There were all kinds of desserts. On top of the ones that Margie and Janet had bought, their pal Jean McDonagh had visited Lyndell’s Bakery in Somerville earlier that day and had purchased at least two dozen of the bakery’s cream puffs, everybody’s favorite. (I think Hubby stood in line a second time when there were still a few left.) Most of us were given a bag full of the leftover food when we went home that evening. The food certainly came in handy the next couple of days.

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On Christmas Day, we traveled to cousins Carolyn and Rock’s home in Norwell. Traffic was wonderful both ways. When we arrived, their daughter Katie was already there. A little later, cousin Richard joined us with his daughters Julianna and Emily. Cousin Diane came in a little later. Son Paul and daughter-in-law Alex also joined us for the day. Most of us played with Carolyn and Rock’s two beautiful cats. It is a riot to see them sit in one of the windows on the sun porch and chatter at the birds at the birdfeeder. Susan sat in the corner of the sofa, away from everyone so she wouldn’t give her cold to anyone. She was able to make three batches of potato salad for Christmas but we made sure that she wore plastic gloves when she touched food items. I will tell you about the food that Carolyn and Rock had at their home for us in next week’s column.

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When we were at cousins Steve and Judy’s home in Attleboro for Hubby’s family’s Christmas, we made plans with Hubby’s sister Peg and her daughter Terri for the day after Christmas. We would meet at the Ikea Cafeteria in Avon about 11 a.m. Hubby and I had had coffee at the cafeteria several years ago but had never really eaten there. Hubby, Sue, and I chose a table on that busy day. In came Peg and Terri. Then our daughter Jeanne and grandkids Brendan and Erin joined us. What a great group of people!

We all got up to order our food. I had chicken strips. These were the biggest chicken strips I had ever seen—and there were five of them, with fries. I couldn’t finish the chicken—and I usually have no problem finishing a meal because I am a member of “The Clean-Your-Plate Club.” Then Peg and I sat, chatting over coffee, while everyone else went shopping throughout the Ikea Store. Brendan was looking for things for his dorm room; Erin was checking out things that she will use in her dorm room when she goes to college in the fall. Daughter Jeanne bought some household items.

We had another reason to go to Avon that day. Some of our group had never seen “The Enchanted Village”; the rest of us hadn’t seen it in many years. The “Village” was over at the Jordan’s Furniture store, right near Ikea. Because it was after Christmas, the crowd was not very large. We got right into the exhibit. The figurines were just beautiful. In the Jordan’s ad on TV, it says that Jordan’s artists worked on the exhibit. They did a magnificent job! The faces of the figurines were just beautiful. Throughout the exhibit we took photos of our group, with the “Village” displays in the background. The photos came out great! To top off that wonderful afternoon, we succumbed to temptation and bought some Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins just before we left Jordan’s. They were positively scrumptious the next few days. We were so glad that we met the family and enjoyed both Ikea and “The Enchanted Village.” What a lovely holiday afternoon for us all.
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I was sorry to read of the death of James Wyse, retired BPD, on Jan. 19. James was on the Boston Police for over 38 years, after serving as a Marine during World War II. He was a member of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association. I send my sympathy to Catherine, his wife of 62 years, and to their children: Kathleen Cole and her husband David; Clare and her husband, Ret. Capt. Robert Flaherty, BPD; my friends Sgt. Det. Jim and his wife Ellen (ret., BPD); Mary and Charles McCarthy; Patricia and her husband, Sgt. Peter Morris, BPD; Peggy and her husband, Michael McLaughlin; and Tracy, BPD, and her husband Sgt. Gary Ryan, B.P.D. James must have been so proud to have so many family members serving as Boston Police officers.

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I was also sorry to read of the death of Fr. Paul Clougherty on Jan. 6, at age 80. Father Clougherty had served as pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in Fields Corner. He was waked in Randolph, with a funeral Mass at St. Theresa’s Church in West Roxbury.

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Hubby always checks the obituaries in The Boston Globe each day. I usually check the Patriot Ledger’s obits because they have obituaries with much more information. I usually cut out the ones that say that the deceased went to either Girls’ Latin School or State Teachers College at Boston/Boston State College/UMass/Boston. I try not to recycle old Ledgers until I have checked them. While Hubby and I were in Virginia, daughter Sue bought the Ledgers for us. Last week, while I was home from work with bronchitis, I had a chance to read the newspapers. I was sorry to see that longtime friend Frances McDonald had passed away on Jan. 1, at age 82. Fran served as treasurer of the K Club for many years. She lived in Dorchester for years before moving to 1000 Southern Artery. Every once in a while, I would meet her and she told me how much she enjoyed her life at the Southern Artery. She was a 45-year employee of the New England Telephone Company. I send my sympathy to her children: Richard and his wife Kathleen, Patricia Harding, Janet, and Carol Fitzgibbon. She was the sister of Helena Burrows, Claire Bigelow, Leona Starr, and the late Marie Ford.

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Last Saturday, Fr. George Carrigg told his parishioners that Sat., Feb. 2, would be the 56th anniversary of his Ordination. He said, however, that he would not be at St. Christopher’s on that day to celebrate. He would be attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the ordination of his friend, Father James Rafferty, who lived at St. Christopher’s in the 70’s when he was chaplain at UMass/Boston. On the way out of church, I asked Father George to remember us long-time parishioners to Father Jim. He smiled when I said that. He told us that when he was a young priest, Father Jim was his altar boy. We all laughed. Father George will celebrate his 56th anniversary on the following Sat., Feb. 9, starting with a bi-lingual Mass at 6 p.m. on that evening, followed by a potluck supper, with music and entertainment.

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While Hubby and I were sick, we spent a great deal of time just sitting, watching TV. We saw so many wonderful old movies on the Turner Classic Movies’ Channel (Ch. 213 on Boston’s Comcast Cable System).

We did make an amazing discovery that week. We found Ch. 292 (ME TV) on Boston’s Comcast Cable. ME stands for Memorable Entertainment and it certainly lives up to its name. (t seems to be affiliated with WCVB-TV, Ch. 5.) It has wonderful old TV shows like “Wild, Wild West” (our favorite), “M*A*S*H,” “Emergency,” “The Rifleman,” “Bewitched,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Rockford Files” (another of our favorites), and “I Dream of Jeannie.” Later in the evening, there are apt to be more sophisticated/adult shows like “The Twilight Zone.” These old TV shows may seem to be a little hokey now but they are wonderful fun and great for preteens.

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This is a perfect thought with Boston’s bitter cold weather: “One kind word can warm three months.”