Go outside and play for goodness sake

 COURTESY PHOTOLocal artisans contributed to an art project at an old barn at 2 Litchfield Road, creating colorful farm animal images to fill the barn's windows. An event to honor the artwork and the artists is Saturday, Oct. 12, at 2 Litchfield Road.

When I was growing up that was all we ever heard.

Actually, our parents didn’t have to say it a whole lot because that’s what we did. You woke up, got dressed and either you were heading out to play or you were heading to school.

Seldom did you stay or play in the house. Poor weather might keep you in, but in most cases even a little rain couldn’t stop us.

It was great for parents, too! They didn’t really worry at all and remember, there were no cellphones. 

Talk about a great sense of freedom for everyone really. Much less stress.

Well, this weekend, everyone should  go outside and play. There is so much to do in our area and as I’m typing to you on this Sunday afternoon. I’m just hoping that the weather report changes by then. It looks like lots of rain.

Even if it rains, just grab a fun umbrella, your slicker, rain boots and head to this great event.

As I type that word, slicker, I wondered if it's even a word anymore. Well, thanks to Google, here’s the definition: it’s a raincoat made of smooth material. I guess to repel the rain like boots. Get this though, it also says it can refer to a “person who is smooth and persuasive but untrustworthy.”

Remember the movie with Michael J. Fox when he was a city doctor that went to work in the country? It was called "Doc Hollywood." They called him a city slicker. As I always say in New Hampshire, that can be pretty tough to break in, you know I have my three-year theory on that. I wonder if my week ahead is going to be a series of unexpected turns in the road?

A first of its kind local event — the only thing I really wanted to tell you about this week — happens this Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2 Litchfield Road. You will be able to enjoy an outdoors art and music event. Local artists will be sharing their work, live acoustic music for us all to enjoy, lots of food, and special activities for the children. too. They will have a chance to paint their own barnyard art.

A fun, free day outside surrounded by so many autumn colors and changing leaves. What could be better? Our Canadian family is coming to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend with us and we can’t wait to bring them to this very special celebration. Soon to be 2-year-old Julia will love it and just maybe paint her first barnyard animal art. Julia loves goats!

Now if you have driven pass 2 Litchfield Road and noticed the beautiful paintings all over the historic barn that is right on the side of the property, that’s what it is all about! I can’t thank Stephanie Miville, the vice chairperson of our Arts Council enough, for filling me in on this great once in a lifetime event.

This is what I call having vision! We all know the very old historic barn that has been on the side of this property long before any of us were here. Beautiful, but old. It always looked to me like it had been left behind, as life and building went on around it. I really thought someday it would be just torn down which would be such a loss for all of us.

Well, as Larry Casey, chairperson for the Arts Council, explained to me, a great man with a greater vision saw that barn a different way. That old phrase again of not thinking outside the box but throwing the box away!

Richard Flier, saw a work of art and history when he looked at that old barn on his property and he did something about it. He met with our own Londonderry Arts Council and shared his vision. He offered local artists a completely different canvas to paint on — the barn itself.

Flier had it well thought out, too, and he wanted to provide all the plywood and materials that the artists who were willing to donate their time might need. Everyone had the summer to paint their barnyard animal at home and once completed, they were brought to Richard. He took each painting and carefully applied polyurethane so that they could withstand our often unpredictable weather. Next, he had them attached to even the highest points on the outside of our local barn.

Stephanie invited me over last Wednesday to meet many of the artists and to take a close-up look. Talk about taking my breath away! I had intended to use our entire story this week to tell you about it, but it is so beautiful you have to see it for yourself!

I promise you will thank me and more importantly Richard Flier and the artists who gave their time to take something old and bring it back to life again. I had to walk around the barn twice, when honestly, I hardly took the time to notice it before.

Wait until you see it! There are paintings of chickens, fresh farm eggs, mice, roosters, the sweetest cow, a horse and cat, a pig and spider, of course, Charlotte’s Web, a sheep and a donkey, too! Oh I almost forgot the wise owl! I wish you could see my notepad — I was so excited and writing so fast, I can barely read it now to tell you more about it!

Stop by on Saturday, meet our local artists and maybe say thank you. I can’t wait to see you there!

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.

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