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Cold nights and a wedding anniversary party

There are some warm throws in both the bedroom and in the living room, where Hubby and I watch TV. We also seem to be drinking more coffee than usual to keep warm. Hubby turned up the temp in the back cellar room where we have a heat-blower. We realize that the heat from the blower not only keeps the temp in that room in the high 50s but it also keeps the floor of the kitchen warmer than usual. Hubby is happy that I am usually in bed before he is. I warm up the foot of the bed where he puts his cold feet. Those nights, when the temp was in the single digits, he wore cotton socks to bed. I fear the gas (heating) bill when it comes. We were so afraid of frozen pipes that we kept the heat at daytime levels throughout the nights on the first floor.

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When Hubby and I received our invitation to Gregory and Sarah Ashe’s 50th wedding anniversary party, I couldn’t believe it. It seems like only yesterday that it was their 40th anniversary. It was just about 7 p.m. as we drove into the parking lot of Florian Hall. Hubby dropped me off and went to find a parking spot. I went inside and scanned the names on the place cards that were on the table. I know I had left a message on their daughter’s answering machine, but our names weren’t there. My heart sank. Then a woman to the side of me asked, ”Are you here for the wedding or the anniversary party?” “The anniversary party,” said I. “Just go right into the restaurant area.”

As Hubby and I went into the room, we saw Karen (Ashe) Doherty, Greg and Sarah’s daughter, in the middle of a large group of people. Our friend Eileen Collins was already there, so we sat with her. Our pal Loretta Philbrick, a close neighbor of Karen’s, came in a little later and sat with us. When Greg and Sarah entered the hall, there was a great deal of hubbub. We were all so happy to be there for the party. Sarah saw us and brought two of her friends to meet us. Cheryl Bellamy and Denise worked with Sarah at the Dot House. Eddie Roche and his wife Susan were also there. I also met Laura Brodbeck, Karen’s neighbor. I finally got a chance to see Greg and Sarah’s new daughter-in-law Amy, son Jim’s wife.

Two of Sarah’s sisters from Ireland were at the party: Helen and her husband, Neil Gibbons, and Bridget McCarron. Father Dan Finn, from St. Mark’s, came in for a while. Almost everyone was up dancing to the wonderful music of Margaret Dalton and Erin’s Melody. Margaret even had a chance to dance (beautifully, I might add), with her husband, Michael McCarron. Another person who danced beautifully was Sarah Doherty. Sarah’s birthday was that day so she was presented with a cake early in the proceedings. (Sarah, by the way, was a bridesmaid for Greg and Sarah 50 years ago.) I understand that all 12 of Gregory’s nieces and nephews from the Daly Family were present that evening. Their son-in-law Kevin did a great job in singing several songs with the orchestra. Their grandson, Kevin Jr., played his violin during some of the music. (He is so good!) And Gregory himself got up and sang a few songs. I had a chance to greet Sarah’s brother John Doherty and his lovely wife Lois. We had had a pleasant lunch with John and Lois on one of our trips.

To say that the food was terrific at Florian is almost not necessary; the food there is always excellent. At the party, we had stuffed chicken breast, sliced roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots and turnip julienne, a tossed salad, assorted rolls and butter, and a gorgeous cake, made by a woman named Maureen in Weymouth. (One of the waitresses even got a cup of decaf coffee for me to have with my cake.) The lovely white centerpieces, which included white roses, were arranged by Kelly Mahoney from the Port. Everything that Karen and Jim had planned for their 50th anniversary was terrific. I am sure that the rest of the approximately 150 guests joined us in being sorry that the party had to end. It was wonderful!

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Hubby and I were upset to learn that D’Angelo’s, on Morrissey Blvd. next to Dunkin’ Donuts, had gone out of business on Dec. 31. Every once in a while Hubby, daughter Sue, and I would treat ourselves to a delicious sandwich from there. The closest D’Angelo’s now is in North Quincy, just over the bridge, on Hancock Street. There is another in Southie. Another closing that shocked us was that of the A.C. Moore store at the Westgate Mall area. I went in the other day to get a gift card for a friend. On the door was a sign that stated: “Lost Our Lease-Store Closing-40% Off Everything! Needless to say, I went in and did a little shopping. I bought two Irish rubber stamps, plus a green inkpad. (Sadly, all the bottles of stamp-pad ink were gone.) I also bought a white scarf, with green shamrocks all over it. It is ready for St. Patrick’s Day! Then I found the sewing/needlework area. Sometime, in the last few years, someone has come into my home and has shrunk the size of all the eyes in my group of needles. I saw some packages of embroidery needles that have bigger eyes than my present sewing needles. Into my carriage went two packages of embroidery needles. I even bought some thread, at 40 percent off. Such good buys!

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I hope that you heard the Irish Hit Parade on Radio Station WROL last Saturday morning. Host Matt O’Donnell announced that host Paul Sullivan would not be working the first shift because he had just become a grandfather. Paul and his wife Clare were visiting Paul Jr. and his wife Sarah, the proud parents of their first child, son Zachary, born on Jan. 30. I understand that Paul and Clare could hardly wait to board the plane for Washington D.C. to see Zach.

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I was sorry to learn of the death of Claire (McAuliffe) Leary on Jan. 30. Claire and her husband, Gerald “Rip,” were residents of Pope’s Hill soon after we moved here 50 years ago. (They lived next door to our senior friend Etta Russell, who, at the time was the second president of the K Club.) Claire served for years as the president of the Murphy School’s Community Council. Claire was the grandmother of fourteen and the great grandmother of three. Our whole neighborhood sends its sympathy to the Leary children: William “Biff,” Patricia Gosnell, Joseph, and Daniel. Claire and Gerald were also the parents of the late Gerald “Judgie” Leary.”

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Since Valentine’s Day is just over a week from today, here is a pretty little poem from Garnett Ann Schultz for that special day:

“Within the arms of winter
When winds blow firm and bold.
So oft a world decked out in white,
No warmth of sunshine gold.
The holidays now long since gone,
The spring, a future time,
‘Tis then hearts share the warmth of love
Within a Valentine.”

“To My Valentine”