I have mentioned here and there in our stories that my precious Town Hall office got a face lift over the past month. Remember, it was beautiful the way it was, just a little small. If you were trying to sit and discuss something and your chair wasn't in exactly the right spot and you might get hit with the door if someone were to walk in. Oh, and I did have two doors, which I loved.
It would also get very tight when a couple would decide to get married at Town Hall and they were hoping to be able to do it privately where they had completed their marriage license. That's when it would get tricky.
Sometimes couples come in with their beautiful children and other family members, too. If that happened, we were really tight and usually we would have to leave my office and find another area where they could get married.
Well it became one of those "many hands and hearts really, make little work" situations.
Rick Brideau, the head of our assessing department, had an area in his office that he gave up just to help us out in the clerk's office. How many people would be willing to do that?
A wall had to come down between our offices which would normally cost lots of money, but Steve Cotton jumped in and took it down himself.
Our IT department, Josh and Tom, did their best to figure out how to reattach everything computer-wise, so it would work again in a different space.
Really, most importantly, our Town Manager Kevin Smith was really listening and noticing through the last year what was taking place in our town clerk's area.
I was so surprised when Kevin said let's do this — and forged ahead!
Let's face it: this is far from the big issues that he deals with every day for our town. It's pretty great when you don't lose sight of the little things that matter for our town and residents, too.
I often think of the three bears during this process. Remember when Goldilocks ends up in the bears' house? One chair was too small, one was too big and one was just right.
Well, that's what happened with my office. I have loved it, but it really was too small for everything that needs to be accomplished in there.
When the wall came down, I knew how Goldilocks felt. I was so happy to have the space, but dear goodness, now it was too large! How do I make it warm and cozy again?
With a little patience and many people stopping in with ideas, now it is just right. Little by little it is coming together. Again, with many hands, hearts and ideas, it is just about perfect.
It also became one of those "Be careful what you wish for" times in our lives, too.
When the wall first came down, honestly, I thought why didn't I just leave well enough alone? Now what do I do?
I started hunting everywhere for a wedding arch, but boy they can be huge and very expensive. Craigslist had nothing and so many other places fell through, too. Then it happened. John headed to our local Benson's and noticed in the garden area a very simple, a little weather worn, silver tall, thin metal arch that even had hearts on the side.
He didn't think it was the right one, but he mentioned it. I kept looking and striking out.
About a week later I called Benson's to ask about it anyway and Jeannie answered the phone. Well, talk about going above and beyond. Jeannie went out and looked for the arch, told me the price had been reduced, and even sent pictures to my phone to save me from driving down. Long story short, I knew it would be perfect.
Of course, I told Rick about it and he mentioned it to Scott Benson at a meeting. The next thing I know, Scott is donating it to our town so it could be used for future weddings — good people trying to make a difference where they can.
Again, when things are meant to be, they just fall into place. Rick and I drove to Benson's. Scott and Ricky put it in the truck, and we placed the slightly weathered arch in my office. We thought with a little paint it would be all set. Then Rick said, maybe white lights, too! I wish I had thought of that. Oddly enough, I had white lights and some flowers saved from doing other weddings through the years and within minutes my beautiful new arch was decorated.
This was about 12:15 p.m. on a Friday afternoon — a couple was coming in at 1 p.m. to be married. I thought the arch made my week but as it turned out, they did.
Steven and Nancy came into my office, shared a little of their love story with me. They did not expect a beautiful arch when we had made plans earlier in the week, but they loved it and I honestly loved them for making it all so special for me, too — our first Town Hall wedding in a very special new addition to our Town Hall.
Steven and Nancy, and this gift of wedding arch, will be locked in my heart forever.
On a side note, the only little funny thing about my office now that people notice is that I honest to goodness have four doors. I have always had an open door policy when I was teaching or even just in our home with neighbors and friends. Now have four big, beautiful doors and they are always open if you need me.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry town clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.