Fields of tall corn

I haven’t seen fields of wheat but Hubby and I certainly saw fields of tall corn when we rode through Virginia recently. Our corn around Boston is maturing at a much slower rate because of the cold and rainy weather conditions in May and June. Hubby, however, has already begun harvesting tomatoes from the five-gallon pots on the side porch. The tomatoes on the plants in the ground behind the grape vine are still green. Our own tomatoes taste so much better than those that we buy in the stores.

Back to our trip to Virginia to celebrate my brother-in-law John’s big birthday: Hubby and I went back to our hotel following the wonderful cookout. Thanks to our digital camera, we could look at all the photos that Hubby had taken that day. We had a great one of Jan Randall, who worked in the hospital with John’s wife Joe Ann for 20 years. Jan was shown reading a poem that she had written for John’s birthday. There were several photos of John as he opened his presents. There was one showing him with a big grin on his face as he checked out a LARGE-PRINT puzzle book. After the meal was over, there were some wonderful photos of John and Joe Ann with all the kids sitting on the swing. What terrific photos we have of the party.

Because we were not able to attend Mass on Sat., John and Joe invited us to their home early Sunday morning so that we could attend Mass at noon with them in the chapel at Maryview Hospital. Joe Ann worked there for many years as a nurse and still does occasionally when the hospital needs her. We had coffee at the house and then about 11:30 a.m., we drove to Maryview. Joe Ann’s brother Donald came with us and was our guide to the hospital.

It was quiet as we walked. Of course, it was Sunday morning. Donald knew the way to the chapel so we followed him in. All together there were 12 of us McDonoughs at the Mass. When Fr. Leo came out of a side room, he grabbed John and Joe’s hands and shook them. He looked, with amazement, at the extra dozen people at Mass. During his homily, he mentioned that, as a young boy in his native Philippines during World War II, he saw the Japanese soldiers kill a native man in front of his house. Following the Mass, we had a short session of photo-taking with Fr. Leo and also with niece Beth’s high school coach, who just happened to be at the hospital that morning. As we left the hospital, Hubby and I admired the beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother and Child near the front door. We have a gorgeous photo of it.

Back to John and Joe’s home we went. Joe Ann always has a pan or two of her home-made lasagna in the freezer just in case any of the kids or grandkids comes by for a meal. She brought the pans out and put them in the oven. We thought the lasagna was wonderful, along with a salad. We sat and chatted with John, Joe, the kids, and grandkids at the house for a while. Then Hubby and I had to get ready to leave. We needed time to gas up our rent-a-car and then turn it in at Norfolk Airport. We wished everybody well before we left and told all of them what a great time we had at the party. Traffic was light as we headed toward the airport. The only problem was the congestion when we went to turn in the car. There were quite a few people leaving from Norfolk Airport that Sunday afternoon and most of them had rent-a-cars.

We checked our suitcase and proceeded upstairs. I didn’t mention that my new knee gave me trouble both leaving Boston and leaving Norfolk. The metal detector went off when I went through the detector. I was told to stand over in a separate section. A woman TSA agent was called to check me over at both security areas. Each woman explained how she would check me out. I had to stand with my legs apart and with my arms outstretched. The only time that she would feel me personally with her fingers was if the detector went off. Otherwise she would use the back of her fingers and hand. In each case, the exam took about five minutes. The agents even checked out my metal eyeglasses. It was a very thorough exam in both cases. In Boston, I began to pull up my pant leg to show the scar on my knee. The agent told me, “Don’t do that. You do not have to undress in any way. The detector will do the job.” I wear a tiny gold sand-dollar pendant. The detector even beeped at that. The new security is really amazing.

Hubby and I finally made it to the gate where the plane would take us to Philadelphia where we would catch a connecting flight to Boston. The plane was filled as people tried to cram luggage in the overhead bins. Our carry-ons fit under the seats in front of us. The flight was relatively short to Philly. When we came near Philly, the pilot came on the intercom and told us that our plane would have to circle the airport because there were thunderstorms in the area. I think we circled the airport three times before we were allowed to land.
We finally arrived on the ground with only a short time to make it to the next gate to connect with our plane to Boston. There was an airport golf cart at the door of the gate so we piled into it and were taken to the bus that would transport us to our distant gate. We didn’t have to hurry. Because of the thunderstorms, our plane was delayed. We finally were called to board our Boston-bound plane. The plane was filled as we pulled away from the gate. Then we went no farther. The pilot first told us that we would be delayed. As we waited on the tarmac, the pilot announced that the lights on our side of the plane would not go on because just the motor on the other side of the plane was turned on while we waited to take off. About three-quarters of an hour later, the pilot announced that, because of the thunderstorms, there were 25 planes ahead of us waiting to depart. Everyone groaned. The flight attendants passed out water. Finally the pilot announced that there were only seven planes ahead of us and that we would be taking off soon. He also said that we had fortunately been given a straight route to Boston. We finally arrived in Boston about two hours later than we should have.

We touched down in Boston about 12:30 a.m. Daughter Sue had been monitoring our progress on the internet so she knew when we landed. Because we were two hours late, there weren’t as many workers to unload the luggage so it took a while for us to get our suitcase. Sue was waiting for us right outside the terminal. We threw the suitcase in the back of the car and off we went toward home. Sue said that there had been terrible weather all up and down the Atlantic Coast so flights were delayed everywhere. When we arrived home, we gave Sue the memory card from our camera so she could check out the photos from the birthday party. I heard the news at 2 a.m. as I took a shower before I flopped into bed. Hubby followed me in short order. What a busy but wonderful weekend!

I often have a chance to take a peek at the Jamaica Plain Gazette newspaper. Being originally from “J.P.” I still take an interest in what is going on there. I read, in the latest issue, that Capt. John Greland is now assigned to District E-13 in Jamaica Plain. Capt. Greland was the commander in District C-11 for almost three years. We residents of District C-11 wish him well in his new command.

Thanks to an e-mail from daughter Sue, I learned some interesting info on Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who won the “Britain’s Got Talent” TV program. The e-mail mentions that Susan will be coming to the United States. It also mentions that Susan is recording her first CD at a secret London location. One of the songs that she has already recorded is Moon River and, according to reports, her rendition is spectacular. By the way, Susan Boyle has received 270 million hits on “You Tube.”

I was sorry to read of the death of Paul “Archie” Conlan on Aug. 11. I fondly remember, years ago, seeing Paul as he drove his little train around his neighborhood just before Christmas. The train was filled with excited little children. He even had real smoke coming out of the smokestack. The kids were thrilled. I sent my sympathy to Paul’s wife Alice, to his children Greg and Elizabeth, and to his sisters Joan Jaehnig and my friend Mary “Sis” Feeley.

Here is an upbeat thought by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”


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