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Memorial Day Recap

“The summer comes with flowers…”
by Felicity Hemans

It is such a joy to sit on the front stairs and look down our walk to the backyard. On the left side, going down, we have a bush with many gorgeous coral-colored roses. The next bush is covered with magnificent yellow roses. The one after that, before the lilacs, is a beautiful bush with magnificent red roses. Across the walkway is a rose bush covered with white blossoms. All are tea roses, which we planted years ago when we lost about a dozen rose bushes because of a severely cold winter. We are amazed that our roses survived the prolonged cold weather this year. Hubby feeds them dry rose food around the first of each month and then helps them along with Nepune’s Harvest liquid fertilizer. (We buy the fish/seaweed blend.)

On the front porch, our pansies are doing beautifully. They love the cool, rainy weather that we have had and they will do well until the very hot weather. I must get out in the yard to plant our geraniums and impatiens. One whiskey barrel will have white geraniums, surrounded by orchid impatiens; the other barrel will have red geraniums, surrounded by red impatiens.

I must mention that Hubby and I attended the County Mayo Memorial Mass out at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. We were greeted by Evelyn Fennessy, the president of the association, and welcomed by our friends Paddy and Peggy O’Malley. Peggy’s people live close to my people in Mayo. Father Peter Nolan, the pastor of the Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park, was to say the Mass for our deceased members. As it came close to 11 a.m., we were surprised that he had not yet appeared. President Evelyn announced that Father Nolan had been delayed, and when he arrived, he told us that the priest who was to fill in for him had not shown up at his church, so he had to return and say the 10:30 Mass. Some of our association members were afraid that he would not come and they would miss Sunday Mass, so they left to find a church where they could attend one.

We decided to stay and wait, and we were happy that we did because we had a chance to chat with our friends Austin and Mary O’Malley. We were sad to learn that they have moved from their home in Neponset. “Our home was too big for just the two of us,” said Mary. We told them we were sorry to lose them. They are such nice people. We hope that we will continue to see them at Irish functions.

When Father Nolan began the Mass, he told us that at the end of this upcoming week, he would be officially retired. We all congratulated him. By the way, he Nolan is a Holy Ghost Father (CSSp) and a good speaker. He is from the “ould country,” and he has a great “gift of gab.” I hope he will continue to say our yearly Mass. The only thing that I regret is that Hubby and I were unable to attend Mass that day in the chapel at Cedar Grove Cemetery. But Hubby always makes me feel good when I attend the Mayo Mass. He says, as we drive away from the Cultural Centre, “Your grandmother would be proud of you.”

Once the Mass was over, some of the women from the association served sandwiches and Irish bread, homemade, of course. We had a sandwich and coffee. That was to sustain us until we arrived at Hubby’s nephew and niece Steve and Judi’s home in Attleboro. That is the day when Hubby’s family comes together. His sister Peg was already there. Most of the rest of the family had flown in for the occasion. Jim and Roberta had come from Washington State. Ed and Walter had come from warm California. David and Mary, with daughter Renee, from Whitman. Finally, niece Terri had come, unannounced, from Colorado. We were so surprised to see her. Daughter Sue knew she was coming because Sue was going to pick up Terri and drive her to the places that Terri has missed since she moved to Colorado last July. They would have four days after the Sunday cookout to roam around Boston.

Host Steve is wonderful on the grill. He cooks the hamburgers just right. There were hot dogs also. Judi is quite a cook. There were peppers and onions (scrumptious). There were two types of pasta salads, one with shrimp and the other with tuna. Daughter Sue thinks that she ate something good called Chinese Sausage. A friend named Nancy made trifle with pineapple. (I had to taste that to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.) Daughter Jeanne and the World’s Greatest Granddaughter Erin came in a little later. Jeanne had made brownies with M&M’s. Niece Roberta had made potato salad with hard-cooked eggs and brownie balls. We had brought two trays of assorted cheesecakes. If you left hungry from this cookout, it was your own fault.

Hubby and I spent most of the afternoon in the living room with Peg, who loves to watch auto races and the Indy 500. Once we came into the living room, the volume on the TV went down and we chatted up a storm. Terri came in often to sit with us. So did Eddie and Walter. Hubby had a grand time taking photos. Erin left and picked up her friend from college named Tyler, who lives in North Attleborough. Tyler was introduced to all of us but he couldn’t stay because his family was also having a big cookout. We stayed in Attleboro until about 7:30 p.m., timing it so that we would be driving home with sunlight. What a great day we had, starting with the County Mayo Mass and ending with a big family cookout.

By the way, I must mention something unique. When we arrived at Steve and Judi’s home for the cookout, we were surprised to see a motor home among the cars around the house. We discovered that Jim and Roberta, when they arrived in Boston from Washington State, hired a motor home so they wouldn’t inconvenience Steve and Judi as they made preparations for the crowd that was coming on Sunday. What a great idea!

On Memorial Day, I had to work in the morning. Hubby’s family had decided that they would keep alive what was getting to be a tradition. On Monday, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I would meet the family down at Wollaston Beach at the Clam Box. Members of the family claim that no seafood is so good as New England seafood. They had to have their “fix” before they went back to the West Coast. The family was already eating when we arrived. Hubby, Sue, and I sat with niece Terri. She told us that her grandkids were missing her in Colorado. She even had photos on her phone to show us. It was such a terrible day that there were very few people at Wollaston and even fewer in the restaurants. Our burgers were done quickly and we joined the family in filling our tummies.

All of a sudden, the heavens opened up and there was even thunder and lightning. That didn’t last long, thank goodness. Sue told the story that had happened when she was a lifeguard at Wollaston. She and another lifeguard were in Sue’s car waiting for a storm to cease. All of a sudden, there was a loud bang and the car shook. After the storm was over, Sue examined her car. There was a circle on the roof of the car where the paint had melted. She figured that a bolt of lightning had hit that spot. The girls were not hurt inside the car.

When the storm ended, we were able to leave the restaurant. We wished everyone a safe trip home except Terri. We knew that we were going to see her once more. One of the things that Terri wanted to do was to have lunch at Sully’s at Castle Island. On the cool Thursday that Sue was taking Terri to Logan for her flight back to Colorado, the girls met us a few hours early so that we could have lunch at Castle Island. We had the usual hot dogs and fries, but we had to have an order of onion rings for Terri’s last meal in Boston. It was a sunny day so many people were walking around the area. We admired all the different dogs that passed by us. We were careful that we didn’t entice the seagulls with food. We know of stories where the birds fly down quickly and steal part of a person’s food. After we finished our lunch, we wished Terri a safe flight back home and she and Sue drove off to Logan Airport. Hubby and I sat for a few minutes and watched the beautiful harbor. What a busy but fun week we had with all the family activities.

Hubby is a little perturbed. During the last six months, he has lost three hubcaps. For the 60 plus years that he had driven before this year, he never lost one. Either the streets are in terrible shape, which they are, or the hubcaps have not been put on properly. The first one he lost may have not been put on properly after he had his tires rotated at the dealership. The dealer replaced it. The second one fell off about six weeks later. It cost $40 to replace. When the third one fell off about three month after that, he bought a set of four wheel covers at Kmart at much less cost.

I loved this little rhyme that I saw in a very recent St. Ann’s Church bulletin, at the end of the Saint of the Week article about St. Anthony of Padua: “Dear Saint Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and cannot be found.”