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Spring Blooming

“Springtime days are for weaving dreams
And taking delight in meandering streams,
For welcoming robins and, thrilling to see,
The swelling buds on each shrub and tree.”
“Springtime Days” by Johanna Ter Wee

If you look around our neighborhood, you will see some of the prettiest magnolia trees. I remember taking photos of our kids on their First Communion days in front of one of the magnolia trees on Neponset Avenue. Fr. George Carrigg, of St. Christopher’s Church in Harbor Point, can look out from his rectory onto the loveliest Star Magnolia on the lawn to the side of the church. The tree was given to him by the children in the Notre Dame Montessori School, which is located in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church. Sr. Elizabeth, director of the school, told me that this type of magnolia is the first to flower in the spring.

Around our home, we have all kinds of flowering bulbs. There are six red tulips in front of one of our forsythia bushes. By the way, our forsythia bushes look pretty puny, with very few flowers on each of them. Last fall, we asked our yard crew to cut them back to the top of the fence. One bush was almost to our second floor windows. The other two were to the top of the first floor. Within a year or two, they will be full of flowers because Hubby has been watering the bushes with Neptune’s Harvest Liquid Fertilizer. We have about six small hyacinths next to the house. They are mixed in with yellow tulips and yellow pansies. I did get a chance to plant the flats of pansies into a big green flowerpot. They look beautiful. Of course, the cold, rainy weather over the weekend was ideal for pansies.

Hubby was out in the yard late last week, except for the very windy day. He went around the yard taking the dead branches off the rosebushes. The tiny branches he put in a barrel for the yard waste collection, which began on Monday, Apr. 28. He will put the barrel out this Friday. The longer rosebush branches he tied with string and will place them on top of the yard-waste barrel, as the instructions stated. He also took down the pink electric bunny from the rose trellis and the tiny pink lights, which were fastened to the porch railing over Easter. The next thing that will go up on our rose trellis will be our electric flag, which we will put out in May for Memorial Day.

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I am so proud of Team Hoyt (Dick and Rick). They have run the Boston Marathon 31 times so far, but did not finish last year’s race, like many other runners, after they were halted because of the bombings. Dad Dick had told the media that this year’s would be the last marathon he will run. He is 74, so I can understand that. He said that Rick may be in the race next year, with someone else pushing the wheelchair. Rick was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth when the umbilical cord was wound around his neck, causing a blockage of his oxygen supply. Team Hoyt’s time this year was just about seven hours. Dick said he would stop and speak to the crowds along the course on this, his last run from Hopkinton to Boston. God bless both of the Hoyts. I believed that they have raised a great deal of money for charities. The only other person I know who ran the Marathon was former Patriot Tedy Bruschi. Daughter Sue checked on his time. He ran the 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 47 minutes, and 45 seconds. Considering Tedy’s previous serious health problems, I think that was a terrific time. Bravo, Tedy. I heard that he also ran for a charity, but I did not hear which one. By the way, this was Tedy’s second Boston run. He ran before in 2012 when it took him 5 hours and 26 minutes.

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My friend Eileen Collins called me the other day, asking me to warn our senior citizens to be careful when they are dealing with their Social Security checks. One of her friends accidentally discarded her check along with unwanted mail. (Her friend had never asked for the direct deposit option for her checks.) It took almost two and one-half weeks to get the check reissued. Please ask for direct-deposit if you get a monthly check. Nothing can happen to it if it goes directly to the bank.

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I must mention that our rainbow gas tank was sporting Marathon colors last weekend. We noticed that the lights on the staircase running up the side of gas tank were blue and yellow, Marathon colors.

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I was sorry to read of the death of Rosemarie (Gildea) Corcoran on Apr. 26. Rosemarie was the wife of Joseph E. Corcoran and the mother of Joseph J., Suzanne Early, Michael, Patricia Chapple, Kathryn Dean, Sean, and Patrick Corcoran. She was also the sister of our friends Mary Nolan and Sheila Fullam, and Margaret Maloney, and the late Sally Carroll. I send my sympathy to the entire family.

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I was happy to catch up with Sheila Fahey over the weekend. She filled me in on some of her show that we saw at the Common Market on Feb. 15. Eileen Collins had heard about the show and thought that we would enjoy it. Eileen and Sheila lived next door to each other when they were kids. I knew Sheila from attending many of the New Neponset Players’ Shows years ago. Jack Morris was the wonderful director of the NNP shows, which were held in St. Ann’s School’s hall. When Sheila came to the microphone, she pointed out that it was close to St. Patrick’s Day so she worked something Irish into many of her songs: “Blue Moon…of Killarney” and “Where the Lads Are.” Then she sang very Irish songs: “Danny Boy,” “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Black Velvet Band,” “McNamara’s Band,” “Wild Rover,” “Too Rah Loo Rah Loo Rah,” and the beautiful “Golden Rose.”

Sheila had the audience laughing with stories about living downstairs in the same house as her Grandma and Grandpa McDonough (no relation) on Ashmont Street. Grandma always had on a house dress that was much too big for her. That way she could hide her pregnancy. The kids were sure she bought the new baby at the Bargain Center. She wore old shoes with the backs pressed down so she could easily slip the shoes on and off her feet. She said the shoes were men’s shoes. It didn’t matter whether they were size 8½ or size 10. Grandpa had two pair of pants. One had a belt on it; the other one had a rope.

Sheila had a trio of girls as her wonderful back-up singers. They included her daughter, Jennifer, her niece, Patty Lee, and Kathy (Teevans) Fitzpatrick. Sheila mentioned that she has been in St. Ann’s Church Choir for at least 20 years. The choir, which includes my friend Ann Connell, sings each Saturday at the 4 o’clock Mass. There were quite a few people from St. Ann’s at the Common Market that evening, including my pal Ginny Aveni. By the way, one of the people sitting with us, Marie Donovan, almost fell off her chair when she looked at the keyboardist who was accompanying the four singers that evening. It was her next-door neighbor, Mark Donahue. She didn’t even know he played an instrument. What a great evening of entertainment we had that evening at the Common Market.

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Last Saturday I had a chance to speak with Sr. Elizabeth Calcagni, who is the director of the Notre Dame Montessori School in the basement of St. Christopher’s Church. She told me to keep the evening of Sat., June 7, open because there will be an Irish Show at Florian Hall on that date. It will be a fundraiser for her school, which has 24 children ranging in age from 2.9 years to 7 years. The evening will include the (Peggy) Woods School of Irish Dance and music by John Connors and the Irish Express Orchestra. As an added plus, it’s hoped that the author Dennis Lehane will be a guest at the fundraiser. The person who bids the highest amount in the silent auction at the party will have his or her name used as one of the characters in Lehane’s upcoming book. There will be other items in the auction segment. By the way, Sr. Elizabeth will be doing the Walk for Hunger again this year. Please call her if you would like to sponsor her. (She welcomes sponsors.) She may be reached at the school at 617-282-0101.

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With Mother’s Day only two weeks away, this Chinese proverb is a lovely thought: “The best gifts a mother can give her child are roots and wings.”