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"Summer Child"

“Her soothing breath will warm the earth;
She bids the winter flee;
She walks the skyway with the sun
And makes the summer be.
“Summer Child” by Jay Cassone

Summer is, indeed, here. I had a chance to wash the heavier-weight sweaters and jackets and hang them out on our umbrella clothes line to dry in the fresh air. They are now in plastic bags in the attic. I just kept a couple of light-weight sweaters in case there is a cool evening.

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We took advantage of our air-conditioned bedroom on one of the hot days this past week. I finished looking at my old shoes and chose some to take to Morgan Memorial. Then we brought out two clear plastic bags, one with Hubby’s summer shorts, one with his pajamas. We sorted through his shorts and decided that he didn’t need so many. I put the extra ones in a pile to take to Nancy at St. Brendan’s for the Long Island Shelter. Hubby even had too many pajamas. He had two pair of the same style. We decided to put the unused one in Hubby’s carry-on luggage for travel. By the way, I will wash those PJs after reading “Dear Abby’s” column from last week. One of her readers, who worked in the garment industry, recommended that everyone wash a (washable) garment before wearing it. We also decided to give two new pair of his flannel pajamas to Nancy later this fall for those at Long Island. We always have enough blankets on our bed so he doesn’t need flannel PJs. We also watch the ads each Sunday and buy a pack of men’s white socks at whatever store they are on sale. In St. Brendan’s Bulletin, Nancy always notes that Long Island is always in need of packs of white men’s socks. They are needed the most.

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Back to granddaughter Erin’s graduation party on the gorgeous evening of June 22: Hubby was sitting so he could see out the windows of the Rockport Country Club. As soon as it was dark, up came the most gorgeous moon of the year, the Strawberry Moon. He grabbed his camera and went outside to take photos. (The Strawberry Moon is the largest one of the year.) Everyone was gawking at it. It was a clear night so we saw it in all its glory.

The World’s Greatest Grandson, Brendan, finally came into the party. He had to work till 7 p.m. He began working just two days after he came home from college. The bosses where he has worked for the past several summers had heard that he was home and called him to come into work the following day, so he had only one day to rest. I was so proud of Brendan at the party because he went around to all the tables to speak with everyone before he sat down to eat. Hubby took advantage of his making it to all the tables to take plenty of photos.

Then it was time for us to eat. Niece Judi had made a scrumptious fruit salad that we were sampling throughout the evening. There was a steaming crockpot filled with meatballs. They and the sandwiches came from a store, Jeff’s Variety, in Rockport. I took a couple and when I got back to my chair, I discovered that they were exceptionally delicious. I had to restrain myself from going back and making a side dish of meatballs. I also ate two small rolls filled with tuna. I had taken one of the “Thanksgiving Wraps,” which are so popular at D’Angelo’s. (Hubby and daughter Sue love that wrap any time of year!) We were describing the Thanksgiving Wrap to son Paul so I gave mine to him to try. (We knew he would love it.) There was a salad with bacon bits in it. There were also roast beef sandwiches, which Hubby loved. For dessert, we had a huge sheet cake from BJ’s. It was half chocolate, half white. Erin proudly cut the graduation cake and then cut a few of the pieces. The cake was so tasty that when they had finished passing out the pieces to everyone, there was only one piece left. (Honest, I only had one piece and gave half of that to son Paul.) Daughter Sue took over driving home from Erin’s party since it was so late. We were surprised that the traffic was light on a Saturday evening.

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I must tell you what Erin is doing this week. She flew to Switzerland Friday evening, almost one week after her graduation party. My cousin Laura is currently living in Switzerland with her husband Jared and their two boys, Elliot and Calvin. She is stationed there for four years with her job. (Laura is the daughter of my late cousins, Bob and Nancy (Horgan) Cooley.) Erin works as a lifeguard both after school and during the summer. In the last two summers, she has saved the lives of four people. (Bravo, Erin!) Laura called Erin and asked if she would like to spend a month in Switzerland with her, Jared, and their boys. She especially would like Erin to teach the boys to swim. Erin asked if there was a pool. “Not really,” said Laura. “We call it Lake Geneva.” Of course, Erin accepted Laura’s invitation. We asked her to take lots of photos and send them to Sue, who will distribute them to the family.

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Daughter Sue had her birthday last week. She saw a LeSportsSac bag that she liked, so we got that for her birthday. She needed a couple of sweaters, so we also bought those for her. Then, at the beginning of May, she told me that she wanted a tiara. She had watched the entire wedding of Princess Madeleine, the fourth in line to the Swedish throne. Madeleine had married Christopher O’Neill, from the US, in Stockholm on May 8. Sue remarked to me how beautiful the women guests looked, many of them sporting tiaras. “Oh, Ma, how I wished I had a tiara,” she said, jokingly. Well, about a week later, I was walking through WalMart and saw a rhinestone tiara. Of course, I had to buy it and Sue now has a tiara and is waiting for an invitation to a royal wedding. By the way, Madeleine’s father and mother, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, took a trip to Washington right after their daughter’s wedding. Prince Harry was in Washington at the same time as the royal couple but they did not cross paths. There is a British magazine called “Majesty” that focuses on European royalty, mostly, of course, on the British royal family. I am sure that in the next few months, it will have a photo spread of the Swedish royal wedding. I will definitely show it to Sue.

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I hope that you were able to see the special “My Music: Burt Bacharach’s Best” on PBS Ch. 2 earlier this month. It was just wonderful. The program was hosted by Robert Wagner, who was dressed in a beautiful tux. Many of Burt’s most popular songs, which he co-wrote with the lyricist Hal David, have been sung by Dionne Warwick and some were shown in the special. (She has such a marvelous voice.) Dusty Springfield was shown singing her most popular recording, “The Look of Love.” (That is one of my most favorite songs.) Herb Alpert sang “This Guy’s In Love With You,” another lovely song. The Carpenters were shown singing another winner, “Close To You.” (How sad that Karen’s beautiful voice is silenced.) B.J. Thomas sang his Bacharach hit “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” from the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Marilyn McCoo, who was a member of the Fifth Dimension singing group, appeared on the program, urging the public to contribute to their PBS stations. Her voice was magnificent as was shown when the group sang one of their Bacharach hits, “One Less Bell To Answer.” I was practically in shock, reacting to all the beautiful music presented in that program. I have already found that a friend of mine weakened and pledged to PBS so that she could have the recordings. I was so tempted but I am having oral surgery right now so paying for that comes first. If this program is repeated, watch it. You will be thrilled.

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I think that the “Prayer for Our Country,” written in this week’s St. Ambrose Bulletin, was positively beautiful for the week of the Fourth of July: “Our Father, You chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, You chose her as Your mother. We put the United States into Mary Immaculate’s hand that she may present the country to You, our God. We thank You for the great resources of this land and for the freedon which has been its heritage. Through her intercession, grant us and all nations Your peace. Inspire our President and all elected officials of our government to preserve us with dignity. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Amen.”