â€œOh, hush, my heart, and take thine ease,
For here is April weather!
The daffodils beneath the trees
Are all a-row together.â€
by Lizette Woodworth Reese
We donâ€™t have daffodils underneath our trees but there are lovely orangey-red tulips under our forsythia. The contrast between the color of the tulips and the bright yellow forsythia is spectacular. Hubby checked our new azaleas along the back fence. We think that all three have survived the winter, thank goodness. Sister-in-law Peg and niece Terri gave me two of them in memory of my brother Jackie. The third one was given to me by Fr. George, our pastor, when I had knee-replacement surgery.
What a nice time we had on Easter weekend. Daughter Jeanne had asked if she and her husband David could host Easter on Saturday rather that Sunday. (It would be easier for them to relax on Sunday before they had to go back to work on Monday.) We started to Rockport on a very cold afternoon (in the 30s), with light rain in Boston. There were very few cars until we hit the North Shore Mall. Even then, we made it to Rockport in just about one hour.
Jeanne came to the door when we pulled in the driveway. The Worldâ€™s Greatest Grandchildren, Brendan and Erin, came out to help us into the house. Sue had brought the potato salad and two chocolate pudding pies. We brought meatballs, rolls for the meatballs, and all kinds of soda. We took, with us, a few bottles of Welchâ€™s Sparkling Grape Juice, left from Christmas. I had even made a bag of Easter candy for everyone. While we were taking everything inside, the wind and rain were pushing us around. I almost lost the open door of our car in a big gust of wind. Jeanne and Davidâ€™s home is in the Pigeon Cove area so the wind come right across the water. It is great in the summer but terrible in the winter.
The house was nice and warm when we went in because Jeanne had all kinds of food cooking on and in the stove. She even had hot coffee ready for us. The kids opened the bottle of Sparkling Grape Juice while Hubby and I had coffee. Erin took out the chip and dip bowl and put out the potato chips and dip. Sue had made the dip with Knorr Leek Soup Mix, which seems to us to be less salty than onion soup mix.
Brendan had the Discovery Channel on the TV. It was all about harvesting Alaskan King Crabs. I never knew it was so difficult to harvest them. The fishermen make very good money but they certainly work hard for it. One crewman had a diabetic seizure. His blood sugar level was almost 500, possibly putting him in a coma. The captain called for a Coast Guard helicopter to take the man to the closest hospital. The helicopter itself had troubles. It was so cold that ice built up on the outside of the copter and almost clogged the vents. If that had happened, the helicopter would have gone down in the ocean and all would have been lost.
Son Paul called Jeanne and said that he and wife Alex would be a little late. â€œIf the buffet is ready, please donâ€™t wait for us.â€ We didnâ€™t need any more encouragement. Out we went to the kitchen. Jeanne had Swedish meatballs, eggplant parmigiana (Sueâ€™s favorite), drumsticks, Italian meatballs, cole slaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad, plus rolls to make subs. There was plenty of coffee, soda, and Sparkling Grape still left. As soon as we had taken our food, Jeanne and Davidâ€™s friends, Eileen and Tim, came in to eat. (They were talking about their plans to go to Florida for the school vacation week.) They no sooner came in than son Paul and daughter-in-law Alex arrived. I asked Paul to show me the scars he had from falling against a desk. One was just above the eyebrow; one, inside the eyebrow. I am glad that I didnâ€™t see them when he just had the accident. Paul told me that facial accidents bleed profusely. It was not a pretty sight at the time of the accident.
After everybody had eaten, Jeanne brought out the desserts. Brendan took a piece of both the pineapple upside down cake and the chocolate pudding pie. (He is just a growing boy, now about five feet, eight inches, with a size 14 shoe.) Erin, I think chose chocolate pudding pie. Hubby gave me a piece of pineapple from the upside down cake, plus I had a tiny piece of chocolate pudding pieâ€”to make sure it wasnâ€™t poisoned. After we had eaten, I gave out the bags of Easter candy that I had brought with me. Hubby and Paul like dark chocolate so they got dark chocolate bunnies. Jeanne got a white chocolate bunny. Everyone else got milk chocolate bunnies.
As it became dark, Eileen and her husband went to their home nearby. Paul and Alex also got ready to leave. Jeanne had so much food left that she gave some to Paul and Alex to take home. She tried to give us food but we already had a small ham for Easter. We started to watch The Sound of Music but realized it would be at least another hour before we got home. On the way home, we moved along nicely. Traffic was light. We were home in just about one hour. When we arrived home, of course we turned on The Sound of Music, everybodyâ€™s favorite. It had been a long but fun day. We couldnâ€™t stay awake till the end of the movie. We watched a little bit of the news and then went to bed. We had plans to be up very early to attend the 7 a.m. Mass on Easter at St. Gregoryâ€™s. I was the first one up and heard a car go down our street about 5:45 a.m. I knew that one or two of our neighbors were on their way to the Easter Sunrise Mass at 6:08 a.m. at Castle Island. With the temp about 33 degrees, there was no way that we were brave enough to endure the cold and wind over at the island.
I woke up Hubby and daughter Sue and off we went about 6:45 a.m. toward St. Gregoryâ€™s. As we drove up Richmond Street, we could see all the pretty daffodils in bloom. When we went into church, we were amazed that there were so many people already inside the church. The altar looked beautiful. The decorations on each of the granite pillars looked so pretty with their long ribbons hanging down. We smiled when we saw that our friend Fr. James Larner was to be the celebrant of the Mass. After Mass was over, we had a chance to wish Fr. Larner a Happy Easter at the back of the church. We also exchanged Easter greetings with Peter Woloschuk.
As we were driving home from Mass, daughter Sue said, â€œIâ€™ll treat you to breakfast at Gerardâ€™s.â€ We didnâ€™t need any urging. We love Gerardâ€™s breakfasts. I think Hubby sped up a little because he was so anxious to get to Gerardâ€™s. Our friendly waitresses Theresa and Beth greeted us as we came in from the cold. Our usual table in the corner was available so we sat there. We didnâ€™t even have to look at the menu. We knew what we wanted. Hubby and Sue ordered bacon and eggs, with two pieces of French toast. I just ordered bacon and eggs, with dark toast. Of course I had to have a couple of bites of Hubbyâ€™s French toast to make sure that wasnâ€™t poisoned. As we looked around the restaurant, we saw Joe Gaffney sitting at the bar area but he left before I could say â€œHiâ€ to him.
When we arrived home, we read the Sunday newspapers for a little while. I had to go to work for a few hours in the afternoon. On the way to work, we stopped for coffee at our local Dunkieâ€™s and have never had to wait so long. People were buying lots of donuts to take to their Easter dinner, more likely Easter Brunch. When I got back home after work, Hubby brought up a small canned ham from the cellar fridge. I could not get the canned ham completely opened no matter how hard I tried. I was all set to get a pair of pliers to open it but Hubby rescued me. The dinner was easy, with a quick clean-up. We started to watch Ten Commandments but never made it to the end. It was a long but lovely Easter weekend.
God bless Miguel Rosales, the co-architect of the Leonard Zakim Bridge, for sending $15,000 to the Mass. Turnpike Authority to help relight the bridge. Last Saturday, coming home from our Easter celebration in Rockport, we commented on how terrible it was to see the bridge with no lighting. We always loved seeing the blue lights reflecting off the cables as we drove across the bridge.
If you enjoy gardening, listen to WBZ radio on Saturday evenings from 10 to 11 p.m. There is a wonderful new gardening show called â€œGarden Sense.â€ Hubby has been taping it for me to listen to when I am more wide awake. I will tell you about it next week.
Here is the perfect quote, by Robert Orben, for this time of year: â€œSpring is Godâ€™s way of saying, â€˜One more time!â€™â€