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"The summer month of June"

“It’s beautiful, the Summer month of June
When all of God’s own wildflowers are in bloom.”
— “June” by Francis Duggan

Hubby and I are just thrilled with our yard. The biggest rose bush, in front of our home, is filled with masses of red blossoms. Down the side of the house, we have lovely yellow roses. Out by the back fence, our little azaleas are covered in hot-pink blossoms. We have put some of our pansies in huge pots, near the front of the house. It is a joy to look out our windows.

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Back to our five-day visit to the Irish Village: I last mentioned that we were in the dining hall and ready for another pleasant evening with the McTeggarts. There was a group of golfers who were having a great time at the bar. They chatted with some of us and sang along with us. Jim, from the musical duo, asked our friend Tom McCormack, who was working in the dining hall very late, to come to the microphone to sing. Tom has a wonderful voice and sang a song for us in Gaelic. Our people cheered him loudly.

When I see Tom, I can’t help but think of our late friend Mary. Tom used to have more laughs with her at the Irish Village. One time, Mary asked Tom if she could have a glass of water to take an aspirin. He brought out a shot glass of water. We all roared. Another time, Mary needed a spoon. Out from the kitchen came Tom with a large cooking spoon, which he presented to her with a flourish. Again we laughed. Eileen, the organizer of our Irish Village trips, and Mary discovered that Tom really likes fudge, so each time we were at the Irish Village, we would chip in so that Mary could buy about two pounds of (scrumptious) fudge at the Stage Stop Candy House. Usually Mary would make a big deal about the fudge, which she would present to Tom on the final day of our stay. We have some lovely photos of them with big smiles on their faces as they bantered back and forth. There is one photo where Mary and Tom are facing Hubby’s camera with big grins of their faces. It is priceless.

The following day, we ate at the Irish Village. Of course, being a victim of habit, I ordered the hash again. It was just as good as it was the previous time I ordered it. After we finished breakfast, we set out for Dennis and the Agway Store. We had seen that canned cat food was on sale at that store. We had to get supplies for Louie, our outdoor cat. There were 20 different flavors of Friskies Cat Food so Hubby had a ball choosing 20 for Louie. Before we got back in the car on that drizzly morning, we walked among the flowers that were on display in a huge outdoor area of the parking lot. I fell in love with a magnificent scented pink rose that was on display. It was breathtaking! I showed it to Hubby but we knew right away that all the places along the fences were already filled with thriving roses. There was no space for it. We did, however, find some white geraniums.

An added note: Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, Louie has finally decided it is warm enough to come out from under our porch. He has taken up residence in a huge flower basket, filled with dirt, that is on a shelf on our porch. The dirt is cool on warm days and warm on cool days. We laugh every time we see him in the basket. It looks like we are growing cats. By the way, the basket is all that is left of the lovely flower arrangement that our friend Loretta gave us when Hubby and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary three years ago. Louie loves his latest resting place.

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There is something I learned at Agway that you should know. At that store there were postings telling customers that there is a disease that is damaging impatiens. It is called “Downey Mildew.” The impatiens that we bought there seemed fine. I must look into that disease. I did look it up on Google. It says that the disease might not show up for several weeks. We will have to wait and see.

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On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we were in our car, driving toward the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton for the annual Mass of Boston’s County Mayo Association, We were early on that cool morning. There was hardly any traffic so we loved looking at the scenery along the way. We got a great parking spot. The birds were singing beautifully as we walked across the bridge to the main building.

As we entered the second-floor meeting room, the cutest trio of kids, from the Heneghan clan, greeted us: Gavin, aged 6, Grace, almost 4, and Grady, just 5 months. We took our seats and saw that the altar was on the opposite side of the room from its usual spot. At each side of the altar there was a vase filled with red, white, and blue flowers – very patriotic. A friend whom I knew when I was growing up in Jamaica Plain, Fred Tarpey, was seated behind me. We chatted about our former “homeland.” Fred is going to Ireland for a wedding. He will be spending some time in Westport, Co. Mayo, during the wedding festivities. Peggy O’Malley, my “almost cousin,” came over to see me. So did her husband Paddy. Peggy’s maiden name is Navin and that is the name of the branch of my family in the next town to hers. We also spoke with Austin and Mary O’Malley, with whom we sat at the 100th Anniversary Dinner of Boston’s County Mayo Association a few years ago. (Austin O’Malley and Paddy O’Malley are first cousins.)

My friend Maureen Boyle also sat in the row behind Hubby and me. She was with two of her cousins, Joseph O’Malley and Carolyn Cafarelli. I told her how much I loved her Mom Norah. Norah, Hubby, and I were very close in age and developed a kinship. I also mentioned that I loved her aunts Mary Norton and Grace Beath. Mary was the first person to welcome me into the Mayo Association years ago. All three gals were so pleasant that it was a joy to attend the yearly Masses and dances, knowing that we could chat with them.

We knew that Father Peter Nolan, from the Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park, was going to be the celebrant of the Mass. We had met him at our church friend Sharon’s mother’s wake a few weeks ago. Father told us then that he was a Holy Ghost Father. In addition to being pastor of the Most Precious Blood Church, he is also in charge of St. Pius the Tenth Parish in Milton. When Mass began, I was delighted to see that our long-time friend John McGuire was the first lector. John, I thought, was the tallest man at the Mass. I was wrong. His friend Brian O’Malley was taller, probably 6 feet, 4 inches. Another friend, Evelyn Fennessy, the president of Boston’s Mayo Association, was the second lector.

Father Nolan told us that he was a missionary and had been stationed in Africa for 17 years. He was delighted that that day, May 26, was the wonderful Feast of the Holy Trinity. He mentioned that he was Irish. (We never would have guessed.) He told us that Patrick was sent by Pope Celestine to pagan Ireland. He spoke about Patrick’s use of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, three persons in God. Father also mentioned that the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock is quite beautiful. He also told us what generous person the late Tom Flatley was and about some of the ways he showed it.

Father Nolan thanked Association President Evelyn for inviting him, once again, to celebrate the Mayo Mass. He thanked John Heneghan for being the altar server and Jerry and Maureen McNally for providing the music. He also mentioned that he will be leaving Boston for his home in Ireland on July 3 and will arrive across “the great pond,” on July 4. Father, now 80 years old, also told us that Boston clergy who are over 75 years of age must submit their ministry resignations to the cardinal. He said that Cardinal Sean O’Malley just keeps postponing his retirement for one more year.

After the Mass was over, ladies from the association brought out lovely sandwiches and an assortment of sweets. Hubby brought back – what else? – Irish bread. He was thrilled. Before we left, we had a chance to chat with both John McGuire and Austin O’Malley. Such nice people. We were sorry that we could not stay too long at the Irish reception because we had to be in Attleboro by 2 p.m. for Hubby’s family’s annual Memorial Day cookout.

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About two weeks ago, my friend Ann Pearce told me that her son-in-law, Kevin Meehan, was going to be on the Katie Couric Show that afternoon. I set the timer to be sure I saw the show. Kevin, a Boston firefighter, was one of the first responders on the scene of the Marathon bombings. Katie had invited some of the Boston police, Bostons EMTs, and Boston firefighters to New York to appear. Kevin looked terrific in his uniform as the cameras panned the audience. The show itself was wonderful, a true testament to the heroic actions of these people on that horrific day. Kevin’s wife Jacqui, their twin daughters Emily and Joyce, and Kevin’s min-law Ann, plus his Dad Jack and his wife Maire were so proud of Kevin and all of the first responders on Katie’s show.

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Here is “A Thought To Remember” – “The great reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.”