“Lo, sifted through the winds that blow,
Down comes the soft and silent snow.”
By George W. Bungay
The snow that fell Saturday overnight was quite a surprise. We figure that we received at least four inches. Daughter Jeanne called to say that her area received at least seven inches. I checked out our daffodils. I could just see the tips of their leaves over the snow.
I mentioned in last week’s column what a great time Hubby, pal Eileen Burke, and I had at the Heart Health Tea and Fashion Show, at Carney Hospital, on Sun., Feb. 13. Almost everyone wore red. It was quite pretty as I looked across the room. Renie Smith looked great when she came in the room. I already mentioned that Nancy Lafoe, director of Community Partnerships and Mission at Carney, introduced each of the models during the fashion show portion of the tea. We first saw Hudson Carmody, and then Susan (McGahan) Lentini, Martha Robertson, Ruth Villard, Janice Ahearn, Claire Hughes, and cousin Julianna Horgan.
The next model was Peggy Anne Canty, a friend from Keystone. Peg is a retired RN from the Carney, a 15-year survivor of breast cancer, and co-chair of the Carney’s Breast Cancer Support Group. She closely monitors her medication, keeps to a low-salt diet, and has lost weight. She avoided surgery, “allowing her to be here today to model her nurse’s cape.” Peg showed us her cape from1951, when she became a member of the first class at Laboure. She also wore it at graduation in 1954. The next model was Chaun Renaud, from Dorchester, who works in the Department of Psychiatry. Chaun was one of 12 women chosen to represent the Go Red for Women campaign for Massachusetts in 2009. She has lost over 90 pounds due to healthy lifestyle changes. She says that she was inspired by the other women she met who also shared their heart-healthy stories.
The next model was Judy Tuttle, a 14-year breast cancer survivor who co-chairs the Breast Cancer Support Group with Peg Canty. A retired realtor, Judy volunteers for RSVP and at Carney. She has been married for 36 years to husband Charles. She has a daughter, Cara, a new son-in-law, Matt, and a son, Chuck She is active in the community and serves as treasurer for the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association, She has significantly lowered her blood pressure, blood sugars, and cholesterol, with the added benefit of weight loss. Her daughter and son-in-law Matt were both heart patients at the age of four. They did not, however, meet until they were in college and discovered that they had the same cardiologist when they were little. They even incorporated a heart theme into their wedding.
The next model I know well: Christina Keefe, who worked with me at this newspaper. Christina is currently vice president of the Ashmont Hill Chamber Music Association, an organization that brings fine classical music to the homes and lives of the local community. She grew up in Winthrop and moved to Dorchester as a young bride. She and her husband Jim have lived on Ashmont Hill for more than 30 years where they raised four sons and restored their wonderful 1892 Colonial-Revival home to its former glory. Their family loves Dorchester and all it has to offer. At the fashion show, Christina wore a red cocktail dress with matching red silk shoes. She wore the outfit to a New Year’s Eve Party at the new Ashmont Grill. “Needless to say, my dance card was full. I can attest to the rumor that men really do love a woman in a red dress.”
The final two models, Jack Stabinsky and Penny Rhoades, both with multiple sclerosis, sat with us at our table. Both are residents at the Boston Home on Dorchester Ave. and are engaged to be married at the home later this year. I told them that I was a good friend of Sister Bridget Haase, who works at the home. Jack has been at the Boston Home for four years and is on the Residents’ Council. Last summer he began riding his wheelchair down Dorchester Ave. to Carney Hospital, where he would buy Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee for his fellow residents. He would ask customers who had just paid for their coffee for their receipts, then go online and fill out a customer-survey form so that he could get one free donut for each survey for his fellow residents. He praises Ricardo and his staff at Carney’s Dunkin’ Donuts for being so kind to him. Jack is trying to get Dunkin’ Donuts to donate a coffee machine to the Boston Home. Gay Vernon and Candy O’Terry, from radio station 106.7 FM, are trying to get Dunkie’s to provide the home with free coffee for the year or free coffee during the winter months.
Penny, Jack’s fiancée, was born in Ontario. When she was six, she suffered third degree burns when her nightgown caught on fire while she was watching popcorn pop. (Her father picked her up and smothered the flames.) She went to Union Hospital where she received her degree in nursing and worked in the ICU. She was living in Marblehead when she was diagnosed with MS. She tried to live independently with the help of home aides, but they stole everything from her and even wrecked her van. She has been at the Boston Home for about two years. Jack proposed to her on New Year’s Day. Last April, she became critically ill and went to Carney where she was placed in the ICU with kidney problems. Jack was awakened one night by a nurse telling him that Penny might die. He rode his wheelchair, in the dark, with the help of a CNA (certified nursing assistant), to Carney, where she was kept for 14 days. Both Jack and Penny rode their wheelchairs around the room to show that they, in their red shirts, were part of the Heart Health Tea. They were given a big round of applause.
Nancy Lafoe also asked a young woman named Alexandra to speak. Alex belongs to B.O.L.D., which stands for Breath of Life Dorchester. This group of teens, ages 14 to 18, addresses the health concerns of the neighborhood. Alex gave us pink stickers, which listed some of the active ingredients in cigarettes: acetone (nail polish remover), ammonia (a cleaning product), arsenic (a rat poison), butane (a lighter fluid), cadmium (found in batteries), formaldehyde (a substance to preserve bodily tissues, naphthalene (moth balls), and nitrobenzene (gasoline), among other ingredients. She urged people to stop smoking. If smokers saw this partial list of ingredients, I am sure they would stop smoking
Then Nancy invited Dr. Paul Boinay to the microphone. He is well known in our area for he is a respected cardiologist. (Hubby and I both know him because he is our cardiologist.) The doctor asked for questions and people were slow to respond. But when they heard how easy it was to ask a question of Dr. Boinay, they began asking more and more. Nancy’s Mom, Carol Coleman, sang the praises of Dr. Boinay and Hubby and I heartily agreed with her. The doctor told us to take either eight ounces of water with an aspirin or at least some food with an aspirin. He urged people to walk 20 to 30 minutes, At the end of the tea, Nancy handed large plastic glasses from the Steward Health Care System to each of us. The insulated glass had a cover and even a small hole in the cover to insert a straw.
Every other month, I receive, in the mail, a beautiful magazine called (Bliss) Victoria. It has lovely articles and even great ads. The March/April issue is particularly interesting since there is a huge article on Ireland. The first few pages are on Northern Ireland and Crom Castle. The next page shows the Belle Isle Estate in Fermanagh. There is a little piece on Colebrooke Park. Then we see the beautiful Muckross House. Kerry and Kenmare show a lovely Irish cottage with a peek at the sea in the distance. The article urges people to visit the Kenmare Lace and Design Centre. The facing page shows the inside of the elegant Park Hotel Kenmare, The next page shows a lovely view of Kinsale, photographed from a boat in the harbor. The article mentions that the last port of call for the Titanic was the village of Cobh, built on the largest island in Cork Harbour, The facing page shows the beautiful Castlemartyr Resort near the city of Cork. The final four pages focus on Dublin. The Merrion Hotel, in the heart of Dublin City features a world-class art collection.
Following that wonderful article on the sights of Ireland is another one with an Irish theme. The following six pages focus on “Making Every Meal a Celebration,” written by Betty Terry and featuring Darina Allen, Ireland’s best known chef. Darina opened the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork. She uses mostly locally-grown products in her cooking. In the article there are recipes for White Soda Bread, White Soda Scones, and Spotted Dog-Railway Cake. Darina learned, after visiting the U.S., that the way to make American Soda Bread is to put two teaspoons of caraway seeds in the Spotted Dog recipe. Pick up Victoria Magazine. It is worth the $5 cost of the magazine just to see the beautiful photos of Ireland. There are even additional photos of Ireland; go to: victoriamag,com. I checked this out and saw some lovely photos.
I loved this saying by Harriet Beecher Stowe: “Never give up for that is just the time and place that the tide will turn.”