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Happy New Year!

“No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left.”
“New Year’s Eve”
by Charles Lamb

Of course, Hubby and I stayed up till midnight to welcome in 2014. Daughter Sue came in about 11:45 p.m. She went to the fridge and got out the Welch’s Sparkling Grape Juice (made from white grapes), plus the ready-made onion dip and the low-salt potato chips. I went into the kitchen and helped Hubby get down the little wine glasses from the high cabinet. We didn’t want to wait till midnight to sample the chips and dip. We did wait till just after midnight to toast the New Year. We watched Ch. 4 because they were doing a great job showing Boston’s New Year’s Eve celebration. The fireworks were spectacular. We were happy that we were in our nice warm home. Years ago, Sue and niece Terri went into First Night and they could barely stand outside. Sue said it was just as bitterly cold as it was last week.

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What a nice time Hubby and I had at the annual Christmas Party for the Dorchester Board of Trade. As we got out of our car and walked toward Phillips Old Colony House, we were greeted by DBOT President Andrew Wilbur, who welcomed us with open arms. When we went inside, we were greeted by Nancy Lafoe, the executive secretary of the board. Dianne McBride, the board’s treasurer, was standing behind Nancy and gave us a big hug. There were quite a few members already in the room. Jim Cawley, vice president of the DBOT, and Elisa Birdseye, a librarian at the Adams Street Library, invited us to sit with them. I heard someone congratulate them so I asked what was going on. They told me that they were recently engaged and would be married in the early spring. They will be honeymooning in Jamaica. (After the terribly cold temps of this past weekend, I may be on a plane to Jamaica in the next few days before Jim and Elisa get there. Don’t I wish!)

Lidsa Courtney, the former executive secretary of the DBOT, came over and told me about the new baby that she and husband Aonghus O’Nia recently welcomed: a girl, named Lena O’Nia. Congratulations are sent to Courtney and Aonghus. Tablemates Jim and Elisa asked Jim Cassetta to sit with us. He is the president of Work, Inc., which provides services to individuals with disabilities and Jim Cawley is the community relations/development coordinator for the Work Inc. organization. Our friend Phil Carver, chairman of the board of directors of the Board of Trade, then came to the microphone and told us that Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh would be unable to join the gathering. Phil then invited Neponset’s Dan Hunt to come and speak. Dan told us that he is running for the new mayor’s old legislative seat. In a stage whisper, I asked Dan to mention that he is a member of the Pope’s Hill Neighborhood Association.

Our pals Loretta Philbrick, Mary Shea, Ginny Biagiotti, and Gina McLaughlin came in and sat at the next table to us. Bill Puddister, from the Members Plus Credit Union, came in late from work and sat with them. Hairdresser Mary Salas, from Hair Image, came over to greet us. I had spoken with her earlier in the week and she said she would see me at the Christmas Party. Cassandra Desroches, outreach and enrollment representative for the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center, sat with us for a few hours. John O’Toole, former president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association and one of the owners of the Olde Towne Real Estate Company, was also introduced. He was sitting at the next table to us. .

Andrew Wilbur began giving out the prizes, which were available on fundraising chances. There were so many prizes, thanks to all the contributions, that those who had bought chances received at least one prize, and many got two prizes. We watched as people began bagging all the toys that the Board of Trade members had brought to Phillips that evening. Many needy children must have benefited from their generosity.
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I was sorry to read of the death of the death of Claire (McGrail) Gregor. We knew Claire because she and her husband Bill went to the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Christopher Church for years. We heard that she had moved to the Keystone Senior Apartments. She was, in recent years, a resident of Marina Bay. I send my sympathy to her daughter Marie Duff.
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My column is short this week. Hubby and I were invited to Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh’s brunch for the senior citizens of Boston on Sunday so I ran short of time. I will tell you about the brunch next week.
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After the hectic pace during Christmas, this seemed to be a wonderful thought: “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I’m so far behind, I will never die.”