Here it is, 9:56 p.m. on a Sunday evening and I'm just getting started on our story. I knew what we were going to talk about earlier in the week but I always wonder why sometimes I wait to get started. Usually it means something else is going to happen on the weekend, or somehow the story might take a different turn.
The reason I'm starting so late is that Meredith and I just got back from a 24-hour turnaround drive to upstate New York. Just this week I was talking to someone who reminded me I should say "western" New York when talking about the Rochester area, but to me it will always be upstate and I'm not sure why.
When John and I were first married, we lived in a beautiful town right on the Erie Canal called Fairport. Both our girls were born there, too. Remember how I told you I left our area here just kicking and screaming? Well, low and behold, as we all know, the things we are dreading can bring wonderful new adventures and results. Even though we were there only a short time, we met our chosen family of the heart there. We made the recent quick turnaround trip for a bridal shower for Kalina, soon to be Mrs. Carl Picone.
Remember where our last story left off — I had decided it was finally time for safety and a bundle of other reasons to get rid of my greatly loved 2007, bought used, white Lexus with 250,000 miles on it. I even asked at the end of that story "What would you do?" I can't thank you enough for sending in emails with your thoughts.
Now back to our seven-hour drive. For the last few months Meredith has been using the word "meh." I thought she had come up with it on her own and would use it to describe something kind of blah that she saw, a piece of clothing she decided not to wear, a movie or show she had watched, even a person from time to time. Each time she would say it, I would get a kick out of it, "meh" this or that.
As we were walking out of one of the rest areas on Route 90, a young man came walking toward us with a shirt on that just said "Meh!" I said to Meredith, "Hey, honey, he has your word on his shirt." She told me she didn't make up the word, it was in the dictionary. She looked it up and read me the definition. Here are some of the meanings of the word — lacking interest or enthusiasm, uninspiring, unexceptional, indifferent, or even a mild disappointment. Meh!
I think this word describes me last weekend with my entire car experience and having to get rid of my old car. Meh! I almost made a quick panicked decision but I wasn't excited about anything anymore. I was considering. I still loved my trusted and true car more. If I'm going to take on another monthly bill, higher insurance and registration costs, I need to feel a little more than "meh" about it.
So this is how it all turned out. I was planning on leasing a car last week on Wednesday. On Monday I left work at 6 p.m. and I knew no one else would be home. Something told me to take a relaxed drive up to Automobile Alley off South Willow in Manchester and see if anything caught my eye and, more importantly, price. I drove past them all and stopped in the lot of Ira Toyota. The crazy last day of the month had passed and I walked into a peaceful, relaxed showroom.
Dan Levesque, a sales and leasing consultant, asked how he could help. I didn't hold back on my leasing a car experience at all. I told him up front I really liked the style of the old RAV4, but not the new one. I told him about my positive thoughts on American-made cars and I event told him how much I loved my old car. A weaker man would have shown me the door.
He went above and beyond to assist someone like me who wanted more than a "meh" reason to lease any car.
He listened, asked questions about my existing car and gave me great counsel regarding my decision. He didn't rush me or try to pressure me. Dan looked at my car and said I shouldn't let 215,000 miles scare me into a quick "meh" decision. I told him my mechanic Steve said my car still had, most likely, another good 25,000 to 50,000 miles to go. Now I may not be sure what I will do about a car, but you can be sure I will tell everyone looking for a car to talk to Dan first!
Earlier this week we had a staff meeting that acknowledged this exactly, going above and beyond for everyone who enters our town hall doors. Also, Ralph Langone stopped by to tell me about two other businesses that always go above and beyond, Brenna of Richter's Jewelers, and Peter of Auto Stop Services, always there to help and they are local.
The only drawback to my "gumption," a new word Bart sent me in a text earlier this morning, is that as a result of my strong, even a little shrewd common sense, is that we didn't have a safe car to drive the seven hours to New York, so we rented a car to be safe.
When we finally arrived back in New Hampshire, John met us at the Irving station by the airport to fill up the gas tank. He knew we were very tired and said, "Sherry, you take your car and I'll drive the car back to the airport and return it for you."
I replied that was great and we would just head back to the house then. John said, "Hey, wait a minute, I need a ride back home from the rental car area." What can you do?
Something I can promise that won't be "meh" is the St. Gianna's Place banquet on May 1, with the mission of supporting mothers in need. James Wahlberg, yes Mark's brother, is the keynote speaker! Visit stgiannasplace.org/upcoming-events-and-fundraisers/ for information. Sponsors are also needed.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry town clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.