January seemed to be one long snowstorm! In mid-January, a blizzard dropped nearly two feet of snow upon the Boston area. It was a picture right out of Courier and Ives as the snow softly blanketed the ground and turned everything it touched into breath-taking work of art! But the snow didn’t stop coming and one storm after another turned mounds of snow turned into mini-mountains! And while Puxatawny Phil was predicting an early spring, we were busy digging out from yet another storm that dropped another ten inches of snow! All right, we cry “Uncle!”
Although the weather outside was frightful, it didn’t keep from combating the winter doldrums the best way we knew how, activities!
Super Bowl Sunday found our auditorium decked out in green and gold and black and gold for the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers! Miniature logos of the Steelers and Packers were hung everywhere throughout the room! So that our diehard football fans wouldn’t miss a minute of the action, we had a Super Bowl Party complete with supper in the auditorium. Our kitchen had whipped up a grand assortment of sandwiches, pasta salad, chips and dip and topped it all off with Super Bowl cakes, cakes in the shape of footballs! The clash of helmets and the thud of hard hits went on throughout the evening as they watched the Steelers fall to the Packers! It was quite an action packed night!
The next weekend we went to where the action was! We were invited to speak to a group of religious education students at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Bedford, MA. One of the teachers in the program had heard a Little Sister speak at a Church last summer and wanted to do something with his religious education class. Using the Scripture passage of St. Paul to the Corinthians, “Love is patient, love is kind….” as their theme, the class collected personal care items and small gifts to give our Residents. When several of the other teachers heard about his undertaking, they wanted to get their classes involved as well. And the project mushroomed!
So on Sunday, February 13, when the Sisters arrived at the Parish of St. Michael they had a full morning’s program ahead of them. Arriving at the Parish Center they were escorted to one of the classroom where at least ten very attractive baskets and boxes, as well as several bags filled with gifts were waiting for them. The Family Mass was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and the children’s schedules included sessions both before and after Mass. The first session began about 9:15 am and included a slide presentation explaining what religious life is then explaining the life and mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The classroom was packed with about 40 students from 8 to 10 years old. We were moved to a bigger room for the second session, which included about 100 youngsters. We then left with our van full of donated items.
Milestones are important in the life of each one of us and one milestone we all anticipate is our birthday. Our Residents are no different. So each month we celebrate all the Residents who have a birthday during that specific month with both an elegantly prepared birthday dinner and party. During the month of February we were happy to have on hand a group of young people from Immaculate Conception parish in Fayetteville, NY who did a great job of helping to animating the month’s party.
This group of young people which had travelled from upstate New York were devoting their spring break from school to making a difference in the lives of others! They were taking part in a service project entitled “Boston Plunge!” They arrived at the home attired in brilliant tie died shirts with the name of the parish on the back. You couldn’t miss them! After Mass, they enjoyed lunch on the patio then joined the Residents in an arts and crafts project. For about an hour Residents from every unit of the home mingled with these young people and together they assembled “Cocoa Cones,” which feature instant hot cocoa for the cone and miniature marshmallows forming what looks like the ice cream, topped off with sprinkles!
Later they escorted the Residents down from their rooms and joined in making the monthly birthday party a most lively one! They led everyone in an impromptu sing-along, which was heard throughout the building!
Finally, we’d like to introduce you to a new member of our care team… Toby is our new unofficial activities assistant! Toby belongs to Kim Torti, our activities director and she has been bringing Toby along to work on days when there aren’t a lot of activities scheduled for visits with the Residents! Toby has a lot of energy, but he gentle and loves the attention! Toby loves to roam the halls looking for anyone who might have a treat for him!
With the threat of yet more snow on the horizon we are eagerly looking forward to the beginning of spring! It will be a long time until the snow is finally gone but already a few warm days have made inroads into the many snow piles and they are gradually diminishing! Spring will be welcome with open arms until then we keep the winter doldrums at bay with lots to do!