Home / View from Pope's Hill /

August Reflections

"August is a lazy girl, Lazy and yet sweet,
Fingers stained with raspberries.
Slippers off her feet.”     
— “August Smiles” by Elizabeth Coatsworth  


Years ago, we did have raspberry bushes in our yard. We stayed away from them because their thorns were vicious.  By the time the fruit had ripened, the birds had beaten us to the berries and there were only a few left for us. 

We did buy some strawberries. I ate them plain but Hubby cut them up, put them in the blender, added a little sweetener, and then put in lots of milk. I had to drink some of his concoction “to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.” We also bought some sliced pineapple in BJ’s, labeled “Del Monte,” which was positively scrumptious. It made a delicious dessert more than one evening.

Our cherry tomatoes are coming in quite regularly. We had one large tomato so far but the bottom was diseased with blossom end rot. I read, years ago, that blossom end rot is caused by irregular watering.

I must mention why my column was so short last week. Saturday night into Sunday, I woke up in the middle of that cool night with my eye hurting and my thumb close to my eye.  I figured I would be O.K. in the morning. That morning when I awoke, it felt like there was a small boulder under my eyelid. Hubby and I figured that I would get the best “ER” care at Mass. Eye and Ear. We had taken our son Paul there more than 40 years ago. He had been riding his bike and a small gnat or fly had smashed against his eyeball. It caused a white opaque substance to coat his cornea, a frightening experience. The doctors cleaned his eye and he was fine.  He was allergic to the gnat.

We found our way in town very easily because of the lack of traffic early Sunday morning. Others came in. One man couldn’t stop his nosebleed. A little baby came in with her parents. As the morning went on, the ER became busier.

Finally, my name was called. A woman doctor came to treat me. (I think she might have been an intern.) She gave me an extremely thorough eye exam. I read eye charts. I looked up; I looked down; I looked to either side. I had drops put in my eye.

The conclusion was that I had an abrasion of the cornea. I couldn’t believe that I could have caused that while sleeping. All I can think of is that I had adjusted my pillow and my thumb got in the way. 
Another woman doctor agreed with the first diagnosis. Hubby and I were off with a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. I was also told to get a bottle of gel eye drops. I had never heard of gel eye drops but Hubby went into CVS and found them with the help of a pharmacist.

The first thing I did when I arrived home was to cut back my fingernails so I couldn’t do any more damage to my eye. My eye continued to tear and my nose continued to run for approximately 24 hours. As soon as the eye drops took effect, both stopped.

I was able to get an appointment with my opthalmologist, Dr. Oates, on the following Thursday, just for a checkup. Everything looked fine to him. The abrasion was healing nicely. I usually see Dr. Oates only near Christmas for my yearly appointment. I kiddingly wished him a “Merry Christmas.” He wished me “A Happy New Year” back and we both laughed.

On Thurs., July 24, Hubby and I were invited to the end of the summer session for the Notre Dame Montessori School’s children. The children were preparing a pageant for their “Creation/Art Session.” We were a little early so we were able to chat with the school’s director, Sr. Elizabeth. There was music playing, with the Irish singer Dana. I believe that she even sang for Pope John Paul II.

When the children came to the stage, Sr. Elizabeth read about God creating the world. The children had cutouts of some of the things that God created in “Seven Days”. At the end of each “day,” Sr. Elizabeth and the children told us what God had said, “This is good!” Then the children sang several songs: “Amen,” Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “This Little Light of Mine.” The children added another verse to that song, “Right Here in Dor-ches-ter, I’m  gonna let it shine.” The concert ended with “God Bless America.”

Some of the children even showed us their athletic prowess: three jumping rope, and several using hula hoops. The audience gave them a big round of applause.  Then we were all invited up for a lovely assortment of fruits, cake, and even small pieces of pizza. It was a great ending for the children.

This column is short, also, because of the death of two friends: Pat Foley, from Foley’s Florist Shop on Gallivan Blvd, and Doris Asci, the mother of my longtime friend and former co-worker, Sue Asci. I will write about both of these women next week.

Here is a great thought, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”