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"Springtime Days"

“Springtime days are for weaving dreams
And taking delight in meandering streams,
For welcoming robins and, thrilling to see,
The swelling buds on each shrub and tree.”
“Springtime Days” by Johanna Ter Week

Almost all the trees in our neighborhood have leafed out. The magnolia trees are in full bloom. Check out the trees on Neponset Ave. The Murphy School has both daffodils and tulips in full bloom along the front of the school. There are some beautiful azaleas in many yards throughout Dorchester. We have bright red tulips under our vivid yellow forsythia bushes. That is such a pretty contrast of colors. Our grapevine has no leaves as yet. Just as we begin to worry, each year, that it is dead, the leaves burst forth. It’s a “slow-poke.”

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The events of the past two weeks have been horrific. Just losing Martin Richard at such a young age is so disturbing. Daughter Sue told me that Martin’s mother Denise (O’Brien) is a 1988 graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy. Sue received an e-mail through the school’s alumnae e-mail service. Denise received injuries to her brain and her vision. A special Mass for her was celebrated in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Brighton on Apr. 17. A meeting of the alumnae attending was held in the dining hall, following the Mass. The women discussed ways to help Denise.

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I was sorry to learn, from my church pal Sharon, that her Mom May (Wharton) Haverty had passed away on Apr. 16, at age 89. Sharon would often go to see her in Norwood. Sharon told us two weeks ago that her Mom was very ill. On Tuesday evening, Hubby and I drove to South Boston to attend May’s wake at the Casper Funeral Home. We first met Sharon’s husband Chuck and their son Dennis as we entered the funeral home and then we saw Sharon in the receiving line. She told us that our daughter Sue, along with Sister Elizabeth, had been at the wake in the afternoon. Sharon introduced us to her sister Marlene and some of her other relatives.

Then Father Peter Nolan, from the Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park, came into Casper’s to say prayers with the family and other guests. At the end of the prayers, Father Nolan introduced himself to all of us and told us that he was from Ireland. (We would never have guessed, with his decidedly Irish accent!) He then talked about why the family had chosen the Most Precious Blood Church to have the funeral Mass for their Mom. They told him that their Mother had grown up in Hyde Park and had made her First Communion and her Confirmation at the church. She had even been married in that parish. Father then understood why they chose his church. (I think he said he had been at Most Precious Blood for 16 years.) Father Nolan had one request before he left the funeral home. He asked if anyone could help him because one of his tires was low. One of the men in the family immediately offered to help him. After the priest left, we sat with Sharon, Chuck, and another church friend, Joan, and talked for a few minutes. I thought that May’s laminated prayer card was beautiful; it had a lovely verse on it. When we left Southie, we were amazed that there was a great deal of fog along the waterfront that evening.
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I just heard, from my longtime friend, JoAnn Leary, that her husband, Dr. Bill, has been named a professor emeritus at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. This is the first time that the title of professor emeritus has ever been awarded by Lynn. The college dean and the vice president of academic affairs recommended the appointment and the board of trustees approved it. Bill has taught at Lynn for 15 years. Vice President for Academic Affairs Gregg Cox said, “Bill has been instrumental in the development of highly skilled administrators in the local school districts and, in fact, all around the country.” Boston teachers will remember that Bill was once the superintendent of the Boston Public School system. He also was superintendent of the Rockville Centre Schools in New York state; of the North Babylon Schools in New York state; of the Broward County Schools in Florida; and of the Gloucester (MA) School System. He holds doctorates in education from Harvard and Boston University. He is the proud father of three daughters, Lorrie, Lisa, and Linda, and the proud grandfather of seven. He and JoAnn live in Boca Raton. Bravo, Bill! We are so proud.

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I must thank City Councilor Charles Yancey for sending me a copy of his “Yancey 2013” newsletter. On the back page, there is the greatest photo of Charles with five definitely Irish-looking gals at the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center, held in South Boston on Mar. 17. One gal is holding a pot of shamrocks. Charles, however, is standing behind a beautiful floral arrangement that included Bells of Ireland Flowers. (I just love seeing them.) Charles also mentioned a few of the jokes that he heard at the breakfast. Here is a sample: “Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who has been recuperating from poor health conditions, said he felt great. ‘My diabetes is under control; I’ve lost weight; I have more energy; and I’ve become more eloquent,’ he joked.” Charles was very impressed with the Celtic Woman performers and with the children from the Woods School of Irish Dance from South Boston.

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Hubby and I are great fans of M*A*S*H and now watch it on the great ME TV, Ch. 292 on Boston’s Comcast Cable. We love the cast and always smile when the psychiatrist, Dr. Sidney Freedman, is called in by the M*A*S*H staff to help a patient. I never knew Sydney’s real name, Allan Arbus, until he passed away on Apr. 19, at age 95, in Los Angeles. During World War II, he was a photographer for the US Army. He and his first wife Diane then became fashion photographers. After his photography business ended, he began acting. He appeared in such programs as Law and Order, In the Heat of the Night, L.A. Law, Matlock (Phil Carver’s favorite), Starsky and Hutch, and Judging Amy. He was in one episode of M*A*S*H on the ME TV Channel this past weekend and Hubby and I spoke about how perfect he was for the role he played.

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I always enjoy chatting with Virginia Leydon, from Savin Hill, at the end of Mass on Saturdays. Last Saturday, she came up to me in church and told me that she just became a grandmother for the fourth time. Audrey Marie White arrived, weighing in at eight pounds, four ounces, and was nineteen inches long. The proud parents are Eric and Lauren White of Rockland. They have an older daughter, Jane, who is 18 months old. Virginia’s other grandchildren are Brendan, son of Jennifer and Mike Rosencranz in Sharon, who is four months old, and Tucker, also four months old, the son of Michelle and Ronnie Stewart of Plymouth.

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With Mother’s Day just a week away, this Chinese proverb is a lovely thought: “The best gifts a mother can give her child are roots and wings.”