On June 14th we were happy to welcome the staff of the Boston Sheraton Hotel to our home once again. They have adopted our home and have been making nearly quarterly visits where they share their culinary talents with carefully crafted and delicious meals from all parts of the globe.
This visit took us “down under” to the Outback of Australia! The auditorium had been transformed with signs and other decorations. Each table took on the name of an Australian city and the staff themselves sported bright orange T-shirts and bush hats as they served the meal. The Residents were treated to lemon chicken accompanied by rice and green beans and topped off with a dessert of Pavlova. Named after the famous Russian ballerina who was visiting New Zealand, this dish originated in New Zealand. There are various dates given for when this creation came to Australia but it is widely accepted as an Australian dessert.
In a very touching moment, one of the staff noticed that one of our Residents was alone and she knew he had been at the other meals with his wife. She inquired about her, and when she learned that she had recently died after a rather brief illness, she went over immediately to offer her condolences to the gentleman, tears in her eyes.
We are deeply grateful to the staff of the Sheraton for allowing us to enjoy such a variety of cuisines. We’re so and happy to have them as part of our extended family here at Jeanne Jugan Residence!
We then brought the month of June to a close with a double celebration. Many of our employees originally hail from Portugal, for many of them the Azores Islands was their home. Now the greater Boston area has become their second home and while far from their native land, their traditions and customs are still very important to them.
One of these traditions is rooted in the sacred and each year the celebration of Pentecost has a special importance for them. The Cult of Holy Spirit has it roots in the Azores and a special crown travels from home to home within the Portuguese community. Any household that welcomes the Crown considers it a special privilege and prayers in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit are offered by the host family. The feast of Pentecost culminates with a special feast day meal and procession. Part of this tradition is the sharing of food and each year our home, thanks to the kindness of our Housekeeping Supervisor, Maria Silva is recipient of a large donation of food that is then used to celebrate Portuguese Day in our Home. Maria herself hails from the Azores and takes a very active part in the preparations for this feast.
So on June 30th we were happy to celebrate Portuguese Day here at Jeanne Jugan Residence. The auditorium tables were festively decorated in the Portuguese colors of green and red. At the front of the auditorium several tables had been prepared and on display for everyone to admire were many heirlooms that our employees brought from home.
As meal time approached the auditorium was packed. Additional tables had been set up to accommodate the crowd and we were happy to see that many of the Residents from the apartments had swelled the crowd. In addition, we had several of the Residents’ families who have been visiting from out of town and they also came to join our ranks! So our feast began with the serving of the traditional kale soup. Red wine was then offered to accompany the roast beef, roasted potatoes, green beans as well as an assortment of Portuguese bread and rolls that followed and comprised the main course. The meal was served by the employees, some who came in on their day off to give our Residents this joy.
To top it all off, many of the employees brought in their favorite homemade desserts, which were greatly enjoyed by the Residents. Portuguese Day has become a time honored tradition here at our home and
We weren’t finished yet in fact we were only getting started! Just a few hours later as early evening rolled around, a hardy and intrepid group set out to attend Somerville’s Firework Display!
Attending this event has become another tradition that is eagerly looked forward to by our Residents. Shortly after 5:00 p.m., our bus rolled out of the driveway. Although the fireworks would not actually begin until dark fell there was a full evening ahead of us. Our bus dropped us off directly at the stage area. As we do each year, we had seats directly in front of the stage which afforded us a spectacular view of the evening’s performances! The entertainment was a mirror performance of last year’s but shows these groups are certainly crowd pleasers!
But before the show got underway our group as well as the members of several other local senior centers, nursing homes and senior programs were treated to a boxed lunch which was topped off with a cup of cool, refreshing Italian Ice. Unlike last year, which was rather on the cool side and overcast, this evening was quite comfortable and early on we were basking in a warm sun. The entertainment began with a performance by the Sunsetters, a group of youngsters in their teens who put their talents together and perform at local events throughout the summer. Shortly before they were to take to the stage, the ever popular trio, The USO of New York came down to greet and mingle with a group of veterans from the Veteran’s Home in Chelsea. Their blend of old time favorites and more modern music had everyone’s toes tapping. The evening was capped off with a performance of a variety of jazz music performed by the Navy Band Northeast. Throughout the evening the crowd had swelled to a record number with over 10,000 people filling the streets around Trum Field.
The entertainment had gone on longer than anticipated and it was already 9:45 p.m. when the first bursts of color lit up the night sky above us!To the accompaniment of patriotic music, shells of every color exploded over head. The shrieks of delight from the children in the crowd filled the night air. Their magical influence held everyone spell bound for nearly half and hour before ending with a resounding burst of color and sound, their report echoing in the still night air and trails of smoke wafting around us! Finally we were able to re-board our bus and begin the trip homeward. It was a tired but happy group that made their way off the bus. June had ended with a bang but its echoes will reverberate for a long time to come!