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Warm September

“It was a warm September morning,
aglow with mellow sunlight…
with leaves fluttering in the wind.”
“Still Waters” by W. Phillip Keller

By the middle of August, we had begun to see some yellow leaves on maple trees. Now that we are into September, there are even more patches of yellow leaves. When we were in New Hampshire, in among the mountains, we saw more and more color each morning. I can only imagine how beautiful the color will be two weeks from now.

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About two months ago, Hubby and I received a letter from Marty Allen, telling us of her trip to Indian Head, in New Hampshire, in September. We had a great time two years ago at the resort so we sent in our acceptance quickly. Just before we were scheduled to go, we received another letter from Marty, with our itinerary and our luggage tags.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, daughter Sue, on her way to school, drove us to Florian Hall, where we would be getting the bus. It was only 7:45 a.m. so Hubby and I grabbed a seat on one of the steps leading into the hall. It was supposed to be in the 90s in Boston that day and we could already feel the heat. Just about 8:30 a.m., in came the Cavalier Bus. Who was the bus driver but our expert driver, Joanne, who had taken us to the resort in Lincoln, NH, two years ago. She was lots of fun so we were delighted. Joanne took pity on us sitting on the step and after she stored our luggage she invited us to sit in the bus.

Pretty soon, more and more fellow travelers came onboard. Our longtime friends and former neighbors, Gregory and Sarah Ashe, arrived and sat one row in front of us, on the left side of the bus. We were delighted to see that our longtime friend Bill Shaughnessy was on board. So was our friend from our Irish luncheons, Peg O’Connor.

Marty, the group organizer, told us that several people were not able to come on the trip because of a death in the family. Pretty soon, it was 9:15 a.m., and we were off on our journey.

I know that I fell asleep for a little while so the trip into New Hampshire seemed quite fast. Joanne stopped the bus in the parking lot of the Red Blazer Restaurant in Concord. We sat with Gregory and Sarah at this lovely establishment. We all decided that we would get the chicken salad sandwich, a lighter lunch, because we would be eating too well at dinner at Indian Head. The sandwich was great. Before we left the restaurant, we all had to wash our hands because of the mayonnaise in the sandwich. Gregory came back from the men’s room and said, “Wait until you see the hand dryer.” Sarah and I left for the ladies’ room. When we went inside, we saw what Gregory was explaining. It was a hand dryer where you could put two hands in at the same time – a “two-fer.” The sign said that our hands would be dry in 12 seconds. They were! The dryer was amazing.

Back on the road we went, finally to Lincoln, NH, where Indian Head is located. We drove in about 2 p.m. Marty went in and got our keys while Joanne unloaded the luggage. As we walked along the corridor, we looked at Indian Head. If I remember correctly from two years ago, a man and his son take it upon themselves to keep manicuring the site by taking off the trees and bushes, which can grow on the face, which is almost as well defined as the Old Man of the Mountain was before it broke off the mountain.

A member of the staff brought our luggage. We hung up our clothes and rested for a little while before we went down to the Thunderbird Lounge for a reception. There will be more about our trip next week.

***
Hubby, daughter Sue, and I always have a great time at St. Brendan’s Pancake Breakfast in Fr. Lane Hall. This year it was held last Sunday, Sept. 15, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. As we drove to St. Brendan’s, we saw Eileen Collins and Norma Conley driving down Rita Road and ended up parking behind them. As we entered the hall, we were greeted by our pal Mary Shea and Mary Jo Murphy. We were sure to get chances on the 50/50 drawing from Mary Jo before we even sat down. Jack and Jan Ryan had come into the hall and Jack, as emcee, welcomed us to the breakfast. He announced that Gerard had kindly donated the coffee as he has in other years. (Jack added, “And it is darned good coffee, too.”) He also said that there were two Stop & Shop Gift Cards. There was also a gift certificate to Blasi’s, plus a gift card to Gerard’s.

We no sooner sat down than Melanie Warren and Mary Coughlin, Confirmation candidates, asked us if we wanted either orange or apple juice. I noticed a blue patch (for pain) on Melanie’s upper arm but I didn’t say anything. (We found out later that she had a rotator-cuff tinnitus problem in her right shoulder.) Caroline Innello, Gwen Adams, and Linda Flaherty then joined us. We all grabbed a cup of coffee, except for Caroline, who took tea, and Sue, who chose another cup of apple juice. We went up to the food table and saw all kinds of goodies. There were quite a few pancakes, syrup, butter, several types of muffins, raisin bread, coffee cake, mini bagels with cream cheese, and cereals in little boxes. The fruit bowl was so delicious. Elaine (Collyer) Monahan was staffing that part of the table. Cis and Chris Holmes were also helping out in many capacities. I also had a chance to see Ann Bradley and asked how her husband Mike was feeling. Both of them had been injured in a serious car accident. Hubby and I miss seeing Mike down at Adams Corner. While we were waiting for the prizes to be called, we went up to the food again and took another treat. (If you went away hungry, it was your own fault.) Former neighbor Elaine even gave out some pancakes to take home. I discovered who made the pancakes: Kevin Monahan Sr. and Jr., and Chris Holmes.

While we were eating, I happened to see my friend and former neighbor Ellie Spring, whom I hadn’t seen in years. I kidded her about her yard. I figured that she had all types of lovely flowers because she had such a green thumb when she lived across the street from us. She told me that her flowers were doing fine and her vegetables were, for
the most part, coming in almost too well. (She takes the mini
tomatoes into work and pops them in her mouth.) It was so good to see her. Pals Loretta and Ginny came in after Mass, as did Irene Duff and Ann Marshall. (We had just been on a trip with Irene and Ann.) I saw Peg Canty at a distance. Father Rick Putnam came in after celebrating Mass and greeted all of us. Before he even sat down, he ended up going around to greet the people at all the tables.

Jack Ryan called the numbers for some of the door prizes. Pal Ellie won one of them. How thrilled we were that Ginny Biagiotti won the most beautiful fall basket, which was created by Mary Ellis. Norma Stewart was selling chances on the basket and had no trouble selling the tickets once people saw the gorgeous basket. It was so funny when it was time for Jack to pull the ticket for the 50/50 drawing. He said, “ I am going to choose someone with lots of money to pull the ticket. Father Rick, please come up and select the ticket.” (We all laughed.) Father pulled the ticket of Mary McFadden. We were delighted. Sitting with pals Eileen, Norma, Caroline, and Gwen at the Pancake Breakfast was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

***
After Hubby, Sue, and I arrived home from the breakfast, Cousins Margie and Janet called to tell me that we had lost one of our first cousin, Bob Short, on Sept. 12. (This Bob is not Margie and Janet’s brother Bob but our cousin Bob Short from Bellingham.) I had sat with Bob’s wife Dorothea at our cousin John’s 90th birthday cruise just two weeks ago. Dorothea had told me that Bob wasn’t well. Margie just happened to see his obituary in this past Sunday’s Globe. Bob was born in Boston and grew up in Jamaica Plain as did Margie, Janet, and I. He was the son of Anastasia and George Short, my father’s twin brother. A postal worker assigned to the Jamaica Plain Post Office, he was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He received the Korean Service Medal, the UN Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was married to Dorothea (who is also a twin) for 53 years. All we cousins send our sympathy to Dorothea and to their children: Debra Goodwin, Sandra Thomas, and Caroline Getz. We also send our sympathy to his surviving sister, our cousin Mary Padgett.

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I liked this saying: “The road to success is always under construction.”