For some reason, the word "innovation" kept coming up during the last couple weeks. It must be a huge sign that we should talk about it together.
You know I love looking up the new or unusual definition of words, even when we know the meaning. We always learn something new. According to the very astute (another great word) Oxford Dictionary, “innovation” simply means a “new method, approach, idea or even product.” It also states, “Innovation is crucial to the success of any organization" and I would add town or state too. We have to keep growing and learning in so many ways for our future generations.
Some of our most innovative people, ideas and changes happen continuously right under our noses through our scouting organizations. My hat will always go off to the great “volunteer” leaders like our own Liz O’Neil and so many other humble people who serve our children through scouting. Talk about understanding and encouraging innovation in our youth: our future leaders.
Last week we had the honor of attending a Girl Scout Silver Award project ceremony. Vanessa MacDonald of Londonderry achieved this honor through her never-give-up attitude and innovative mind. They called this huge undertaking “Pandemic Picnic Pause.”
Being a Matthew Thornton alum, she wanted to make something special for the teachers there: a place to take off their masks and breath a little fresh air. The Cadette Troop 51150 girls collaborated on unique picnic table designs. They held many zoom meetings during the pandemic, and decided that each participant working toward a Silver Award would present a newly crafted picnic table to each of the Londonderry schools. These Silver Award Girl Scout projects are equal to a Boy Scout Eagle Scout project.
Vanessa started Girl Scouting when she was just 5 years old as a Daisy. That’s when the girls complete small tasks to receive individual pedals that go on their blue Daisy vests. I still have Meredith’s vest, now 26 years old, hanging in a closet with pride.
Vanessa spent over 54 hours in the production of this picnic table that she presented to Matthew Thorton School. Honestly, I have never seen such a beautiful handcrafted picnic table in all my years. State Sen. Sharon Carson attended, along with Bob Slater of the School Board, John Farrell and Kevin Smith representing our town, and me because I am so honored to attend these events and celebrate great accomplishments. Sen. Carson noticed that the unique design of this table will welcome handicapped teachers and students as well. This week my hat goes off to all of our Girl Scouts and their leaders who always go above and beyond the call of duty.
Well, as often happens the word innovation kept coming up throughout the week. John and I have been on a quest for some fun, gently used stools that we will use outside. As my dad would say, “We don’t want to pay an arm and leg for them.” I’ve been keeping an eye on Facebook Marketplace and on Saturday we had fun driving around to all of the great yard sales happening in and around our towns. No luck, but many great bargains to be found.
John had the idea that we should try a place like Deja Vu and I thought of Revived, thanks to Mimi & Bumpa’s Workshop. They have some of their beautiful New Hampshire handcrafted items there. We started with Revived and their new location at 3 Rockingham Road is beautiful. I love their slogan, "Breathing New Life into Old Things, Mixing the Old with the New." So many lovely things. Not our stools but things change weekly. We also noticed a sign that said Mimi & Bumpa’s Workshop had raised over $1,500 already that will go to locale nonprofits. Every penny of profit they make is donated.
Next, we headed to Déjà Vu Furniture. Tim and Martha, the owners, have made Deja Vu a fun adventure. You never know what you will see or find. A few possible stools, but not quite the ones yet. John just loves the huge Blues Brothers and Superman figures and always threatens to put them in our front yard. While we were there, we ran into one of the most caring, sincere, loving people we know, Dr. Joan Romboli, the heart behind Landmark Family Health Care. We have been with Landmark since the day that Joan opened the doors. Her love and passion for patient care and TLC has never waned. Joan gives 120% every day to her patients.
We shared a little catch-up time and then Joan asked if we had tried a newer store called Innovation Liquidation. Joan said it was right up by Tupelo Music Hall. As it turned out, John and I had just driven right by it at 6A Street in Derry and didn’t know what it was. Thanks to Joan, we headed right back and talk about an innovative idea. We were greeted by Mollie and she gave us the lay of the land. What a wonderful way to be welcomed into a store. Mollie explained to us that all of their products are brand new. Everything is fresh and new, but the prices are reduced by up to 80% in some cases. New items come in all the time. Couches, tables, bedspreads, small appliances and some large.
Just to test it out, we found a great toaster oven. The price, I think, $104. We almost grabbed it, but thought let’s investigate a little maybe; we can find it, of course, on Amazon for less. Well, we found it all right, for close to $200 for the exact same one.
There were only two left. You can bet we are heading back! I hope you don’t beat us to it.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.