Maybe you have heard of this word before but I know that I hadn’t until the other night. John and I were sitting around with Bart and somewhere in the conversation, Bart said something like, "Well, he is plucky!”

I said, “Plucky,” now that’s a funny word." Being a “not-so-old” but “old” home economics teacher of years ago, I immediately thought the word had something to do with plucking the feathers off chickens.

Bart said something like, "No plucky means spunky." 

You know I love to look up words and I learned one definition of “plucky” is having courage under difficult circumstances — being courageous, unafraid, unflinching, and even bold. One definition said as an example it could refer to a short person playing basketball with a lot of spirit. Spirited is another word used as a definition.

When I think of my daughter Meredith playing basketball in high school, I guess I could say she was definitely “plucky.” She had the heart and courage of a lion, but she was always one of the smallest on the team.

This last week required me to be “plucky” at times. We finally decided it is time to find a replacement car for me. My 2007 used Lexus that I bought years ago now has over 215,000 miles on it and has served us well. Not having a car payment with all the other bills we all have has been a blessing, but now we are getting to that point that we will need to start putting a lot of money into my old cherished white car.

You know the one — she always has reindeer antlers on the back windows and a red nose on the front rim at Christmas time. We have been together a long time. The reality is, though, anything could go at any time.

She, like me, has many new rattles. Honestly, the headlights are very dull even though Steve at Route 102 Automotive Repair has taken great care of her. I also know that he could charge all of his customers a lot more than he does. He’s another great guy that helps so many people.

My tires keep losing air and I don’t mind putting air in, but I guess she’s just getting older like me. I have more rattles and aches now, too, getting, going, or at least getting up from sitting on the floor positions that use to be a piece of cake are tricky. I would hate to think of me being traded in for a newer, flashier model! It’s definitely hitting home.

We spent this weekend talking to car dealerships, which in many ways requires everyone to be a little more “plucky” than they might normally be. We started by calling around for more information on what was available.

My friends Lisa and Todd always go to our own local Chevrolet dealer right up the road from Pinkerton Academy. Betley Chevrolet has been there since I bought my first used car at 16.

They were there when I spun out for the very first time in the middle of Bypass 28, right in front of them, ending up stuck in a snowbank. I was giving my friend Marion Sabella a ride home from school. We were both juniors at Pinkerton. I will never forget that car spinning around out of control in what seemed like slow motion. No one was hurt and some great guys pulled over and lifted my little red AMC Gremlin out of the snowbank.

Back to our story. Brian Fitzpatrick answered the phone. Here, I was worried about needing to be “plucky,” not necessary with Betley at all. Brian answered my questions and was very helpful.

We actually met on Saturday, too. Another nice man by the name of Steve jumped into help, which is such a great sign of teamwork and going above and beyond for the customer. Lisa and Todd really enjoy working with David Nelson. I have a feeling you just can’t go wrong at Betley.

It's just such a very hard decision to make. To go from no payments to payments. What’s a girl to do? I won’t even bore you with all of the other calls and visits to other dealerships that John and I wasted away our weekend on. I know, it’s one of those times when you have to do your due-diligence and do your homework.

Here it is Sunday night, John is away and I’m sure he is grateful he had to travel for work, and I kept getting more bold and plucky by the minute. I think I will owe an apology to a very kind Toyota dealership in Salem.

Picture this: it’s the last day of the month for auto sales, always a big rush for every sales job. I call and a wonderful young car salesperson Jeremy, who is still somewhat new to the position, answers. God bless Jeremy. Somehow he convinced us to come in and take a look at what his dealership had to offer.

He listened, was not “plucky” at all with us, even though I was trying to be “plucky” for sure. Here it is, Sunday evening, and he is still waiting for an answer. I can tell Jeremy will go far in whatever business direction his future holds. John and I were so very impressed and he is the only reason we are considering his dealership.

How would you make up your mind? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The only thing that saved me from all of this was the 6 p.m. Sunday evening Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas. I know it sounds nutty, but I actually left the dealership where I was just about to do paperwork, and the best part was they completely understood, because I told them I “needed” to make the Mass. They were so busy and everything kept being delayed, so finally I just left and headed to my safe haven at St. Thomas.

I wasn’t 100 percent sure I did the right thing leaving until I walked up those beautiful steps in the pouring rain a few minutes early, which never happens with me. I was greeted by the warmest smile and words.

Mike Nelson had no idea how much his welcoming, “Hey, I see you every week in the newspaper” words meant.

I’m still not sure what this week of car shopping will bring, but if you have any ideas, please send me an email at

Sherry Farrell is Londonderry town clerk and a lifelong resident of New Hampshire.

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