It’s hard to believe that I recently turned 60. Grateful is all I can say.
I remember when I thought 60 seemed old, but now it seems like 40 to me. I bet 80 feels like 60 and if you’re like the amazing Rene Belanger, who came into register his car this week at the young age of 97, that might be the new 75.
When he comes in, I always say something like “How old are you again?” He just laughs, gets his paperwork done and then always leaves us with a joke. He never complains. He’s just happy to see us, or as our friend Bart would say at 86, “I’m just happy to be seen.”
When Bart says that, it always makes us smile, too. Bart had a couple of tough bumps in his journey, but he always picks himself up and brushes himself off. Bob Russo, too.
I hope John and I are like that. Our newest amazing assistant clerk Cherie Fuller said it best to me a few weeks back, “We all have a different journey.” Boy, did that touch my heart and mind, too.
That is something we must remember when we are around other people — family, friends and even those we don’t know but encounter throughout the day.
When someone is acting a little tart, or mean even, maybe they just got bad news or sad news. Maybe they are very much alone. They could be struggling in so many ways we are completely unaware of.
I guess we just need to give people a break sometimes, when they cut in front of us driving or even in line at a store. Remember, we all have a different journey. We’ve all been there.
For my birthday this year, and it really had nothing to do with COVID-19, I just wanted to stay put around the area I love with people I love, my family and all of you. Why would I need to go anywhere else? Whether it’s a drive around town or to the mountains or the beach, home here is where I want to be.
Our chosen family from upstate New York came to visit with 5-year-old godchild Annalyse and her 8-year-old brother Charlie.
There is nothing like little ones to make you feel and stay younger and forget your worries. A weekend with Annalyse and Charlie set my mind free. The first thing Charlie and I did early on my birthday morning was head outside for a walk around our yard. I’ve always wanted to make one of those balanced rock markers we see in many places around the state. I love the ones I find and add a rock to it at the beach.
The Londonderry Methodist Church has a beautiful one right by the side of the Pillsbury Road. I call them Henry David Thoreau markers. So, we did.
Charlie and I found some great flat rocks that we had everyone add a stone to throughout the weekend. It worked! Charlie then had the idea to make one on a huge boulder in our yard. Something free, fun and outside to do with family and friends.
The real name for these stone structures is cairns. Originally, they were used for land markers or to mark trails around the world. They can be traced back to prehistoric times.
If you ever had a chance to visit Walden Pond in Massachusetts, you can walk to Thoreau’s home site where he spent two years, two months and two days of his life, living just about at one with nature as you can.
That is when he wrote his book “A Life in the Woods,” better known as Walden. Back in the late 1800s, visitors to the site started leaving rocks, cairns and other pieces of nature there in tribute. You can start, too. They seem to bring tranquility and peace. They make me want to stop and take a deep breath when I see them.
From making our cairns, we headed out to pick peaches and cut our flowers at Sunnycrest Farm. Cutting your own flowers is one beautiful thing but cutting a 10-foot high sunflower is something I’ve never done! I can’t believe they only charge $1 per sunflower head for such an amazing experience. Small treasures from our own backyard, really.
From Sunnycrest to Mack’s for ice cream. A kiddie junior hot fudge sundae for John and I to share. John told us Mack’s was originally called Moose Hill Orchards and that is why they have the huge moose head high above as you enter the store. They are the oldest orchard in the state, starting in 1732.
I am so grateful for my birthday journey and turning 60 this year. I’m not sure how to even type this, but we can never forget that when our journey is making us smile, someone’s journey has turned bumpy or hard. Whenever we get a call with good news, we can never lose sight that someone else, at that exact same time received bad news.
We lost a beautiful soul recently, Ginnette Boutot. Ginette and I met at South Range Elementary School in Derry in fourth grade. She was always so kind and caring to others. My friend Lana remembers that Ginette had the most beautiful singing voice. I always remember her being breathtakingly beautiful, inside and out, but she was so very humble. I don’t think she knew it herself. I admired her and her kind heart.
Later, we reconnected while Ginnette was working with Joe and Robin at Sabatino’s. Ginnette’s journey was much too short, but she made a difference in so many lives while she was here. God bless her and her family.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.