The way we have always done it

Sherry Farrell

One of my biggest pet peeves in general is that old favorite phrase, “That’s the way we have always done it.” One good thing that has come out of all this very tough, new normal is that it is giving people that think outside of the box and even throw the box away a chance to shine.

The way we have always done things doesn’t work in many situations any more. Think about even going into a grocery store. Who would have guessed back in February that now in all of our grocery stores we would have arrows directing us to head in only one direction? Circles on the floor to make sure that we stand 6 feet apart. Quickly people had to come up with new ways to do the things we have always done.

Well, this week I want to give a huge shout out to our own Ken Senus, Chief Operating Officer of St. Mary’s Bank and a member of our Londonderry Rotary Club.

Ken knew how badly we all felt for our graduating seniors at Londonderry High School and he came up with a way to make them feel very special. Ken had the idea to create banners with all of the graduating seniors’ pictures on them.

Some of the best ideas in the world start with one person taking a chance and sharing it with a group. That’s what Ken did. He shared his dream of celebrating our seniors with his Rotary club and some other great people in town like Katie Sullivan and Kevin Smith.

Everyone loved Ken’s idea and then, like I always say, it takes a village. With an amazing group of helpers by his side, you can now see banners lining Mammoth Road honoring our senior Class of 2020! Our own Neal White of WZID talked about how great the banners were on his radio show this morning.

Bob Bean of Minuteman Press knew that he could help with printing the banners and he did. Bob is another when of those great people that always jumps in where he can to help. That speaks to all of the members of our Rotary clubs really.

Another phrase that drives me nutty is, “It’s not my job." Honestly, I feel so sad for people that live by both of those lines. The wonderful unexpected things that they miss.

Some of our best life stories come from when we go above and beyond for others whether it’s “our job” or not, like Ken and also Marie Abreu of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Ears Nose and Throat practice in Manchester.

On a pretty tough morning, Bart had a horrible unexplained nose bleed. Very scary especially in the midst of COVID-19.

Sure, the easy answer was head to the emergency room but Bart being an doctor himself knew that wasn’t necessary and honestly that was the last place he wanted to head to and wait at the start of all of this back in March.

I wasn’t sure what to do, but I did know that our family had the blessing of Dr. James Bartels when the girls needed their tonsils and adenoids out and even when John had blown out his ear drum on airplane when he had been so very sick.

It was always Dr. Bartels to the rescue, but that was years ago now. Even though Bart was not a patient of Dr. Bartels, I called his office anyway.

Well, I believe an angel, Marie Abreu, answered the phone right as they opened, and right when this virus was not permitting visits in their office.

Let’s face it, I was expecting whoever answered to listen but once they learned that Bart was not an existing patient to simply say they were so sorry. Marie went above and beyond.

I could tell that she knew what someone else’s “this is what we always do” answer would have been, but it wasn’t hers. For over 30 years, Marie had worked in Dr. Bartels’ office and she explained that he had recently retired. For most people answering a call, that alone would have ended the conversation.

Marie took Bart’s information and said she would call me back. Within minutes, not only did Marie call me back, she had called Dr. Edwards who was working in the practice. She shared our problem, and he was willing to make an appointment with Bart immediately. You know what I’m going to say. How great is that?

What I also loved about our Marie, is that after all of those years of devoted services, she had not lost her passion for helping others and going above and beyond in her job.

This week there are a few other people that I want to thank, for making my very long week better.

Robert Rice of Londonderry called the office with a couple questions he needed answered, but before he even thought of himself, he said, “I look forward to your articles every week.” Took my breath away. You know I never dreamed anyone would ever read anything I had written.

Karen Lewis of Londonderry, my friend Lana’s cousin, told her that she reads our stories every week too. Means more than Karen could know.

Jean of Crossroads Dry Cleaning was making beautiful cloth face masks and offering them to people for free as they came in her shop.

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

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