Of New Year resolutions

"A bright New Year, a promised dawn,
Ring New Year bells, ring on, ring on!
A bright New Year, a bright new dawn,
The old year fades, the old year gone.
A new beginning, another chance
Of nobler living to enhance.
A bright New Year, a bright new day,
A gladsome promise of work and play."
"New Year Bells…Ring On…Ring On"
By Mamie Ozburn Odum

Hubby and I are still focusing on cleaning the house for our New Year's resolution. We have thrown out a great many newspapers, which seem to be the major contributor to our clutter. We cut out articles or tear out pages and then never look at them again. Out they are going. Hubby still hasn't gone down cellar as yet to begin cleaning that area. Now that the holidays are over, our fancier clothes are either being washed or cleaned and put away for the 2008 holiday season. I am still writing New Year's cards because I never finished writing my Christmas cards. As Hubby says, I always write too much on our cards, especially when I haven't seen the people during the year. One year, I wrote and printed a Christmas letter to include with our Christmas card but, this year, I didn't even have time to do that. I am blaming my new knee for being late with everything this year. I lost a month this summer while in the hospital and in rehab and haven't caught up yet.

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Hubby, Daughter Sue, and I drove to Attleboro for our Christmas get-together with Hubby's side of the family. His nephew Steve and wife Judi hosted the party. Attending were their children Steve and Ashley, Hubby's sister Peg, her daughter Terri, her son David, his wife Mary, and their daughter Renee. Judi's Mom Sheila and her sister Pam and her family were also there. Judi, who loves to cook, always has wonderful food. Sue was delighted to see eggplant parmegian, her favorite. There were also cold cuts. Terri had brought meatballs. Ashley was proud to tell us that she had made the stuffed shells. Sue had brought "our" potato salad. (I say "our" because I peel and cook the potatoes and Sue makes the salad.) Terri outdid herself by making chocolate trifle, which was positively scrumptious. Daughter Sue also made a chocolate pudding pie. Host Steve made vanilla fudge with crushed peppermint candy. I shared a piece with Hubby and it was good, although I still prefer chocolate walnut fudge. There were also cupcakes.

I love going to Steve and Judi's home. Judi loves snowmen so they are all over the house. She and Steve also have some unique ornaments on their Christmas tree. One was a revolving ornament, similar to a snow globe, which played music when it was wound. There were also male and female "snowman" ornaments from Dedham Pottery. Sue and Terri loved a navy blue ornament with glittery snowflakes. Big Steve was very proud that he still had his ornament with "STEVIE" written in glitter on it, which Hubby and I had given him about 45 years ago. As we left Steve and Judi's home, we love looking at the beautiful outside decorations on the homes in their area. Speaking of decorated homes, Daughter Sue saw the brightly-lit home on the Jamaicaway in Jamaica Plain. She urged us to go over to see it.

Steve and Judi wisely moved up the time for their Christmas celebration because of the weather reports for that evening so we were not able to go to a Saturday Mass. Snow began falling during the night after we arrived home. Hubby, Daughter Sue, and I decided to go to an early Mass on Sunday. We figured we could attend Mass and get home before the snow was too bad. St. Gregory's has a 7 a.m. Mass so we drove along Morrissey and Gallivan Boulevards as the snow became heavier. We were pleased to see that our friend, Fr. Larner, was the celebrant. After the Mass was over, I asked Fr. Larner if he would like us to walk him back to the rectory because the snow had really piled up while we were at Mass. Father said that a parishioner had already offered to accompany him back to the rectory.

We like to get the Sunday newspapers on the South Shore because they seem to have more ads than the Boston papers. We thought we could easily make it to the CVS at the Milton Market Place after we left church. We finally made it over Milton Hill and arrived at the Market Place. We had to wait a few minutes for the store to open. As we waited, we saw one of the maintenance men operating a snowblower. His hands were bright red with the cold. I took off my stretchy black gloves and gave them to the man. He gladly accepted the gloves. We bought the newspapers quickly and started for home. We stayed on the main roads and got home safely by driving fairly slowly. We were relieved to be home for the rest of that snowy day.

The Greater Boston Irish-American Community will hold its 19th annual benefit dance and raffle for the St. Francis House Shelter at Florian Hall on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Noel Henry's Show Band will provide the music. Donation is $10 per person. Raffle prizes include two round trip air tickets to Ireland, $400 in cash, and more. For further info, call Jim at 617-471-3388.

Mark your calendar now: the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Brendan's will sponsor a Blood Drive in the parish hall on Wed., Jan. 23, from 2 to 7 p.m. Contact Bob at 781-843-5532 to set up and appointment.

Hubby showed me an article in his union newsletter that lists the most popular surnames in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Smith is the most common one. The rest of the names are: 2. Johnson; 3. Williams; 4. Brown; 5. Jones; 6. Miller; 7. Davis; 8. Garcia; 9. Rodriguez; and 10. Wilson.

I was so sorry to read of the death of Michael Leahy on Dec. 21, at age 53. I first met Mike when he was president of the Port Norfolk Civic Association. He remained active in civic affairs even after retiring from the presidency. I was positively overwhelmed by the number of people who attended Mike's wake at O'Connor's on Thursday, Dec. 27. Well over 100 people stood out in the rain waiting to go into O'Connor's that evening. I am sure that Mike's family was impressed by the number of people who came to the wake. I am sure that the residents of Neponset join with me in sending sympathy to his wife Patricia, his sons Dennis and Conor, and his brothers Jim, Brian, and Gerard.

Hubby was also sorry to read of the sudden death of Rosaria "Sarah" Tuttle on Dec. 26. Hubby knew Sarah through her son Chuck, with whom Hubby worked in Purity-Supreme Market in Fields Corner. Many in our neighborhood knew Sarah because, in recent years, she was a cashier at the CVS on Morrissey Blvd. (She often had her oxygen tank with her.) Hubby and I send our sympathy to her children, Carol Donovan and Chuck.

As I write this column in work, I am listening to the Patriots - Giants game on the radio. I love listening to Gil Santos and Gino Cappalletti as they describe the game. They are wonderful. When we are home, we often turn off the sound on the TV set and listen to Gil and Gino describe the plays. The Patriots have certainly been an exciting team to watch.

Now that the team has finished the regular season at 16 wins and no losses, I hope they will go on to win the Super Bowl.


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