The older I get the more I feel like Dorothy and I seem to be constantly clicking my sparkling pink running shoes together while I say, “There’s no place like home.”
Home for me is our little corner of the world, which includes the three original nuts. Remember, Derry, Windham, and Londonderry were known as Nutfield, and all the towns that surround us and the cities, too.
I’m happy just driving locally, or if we’re looking for a big adventure, our White Mountains with so many possible stops along the way, or to our 18.57 miles of New Hampshire seacoast. Our little corner of the world.
One of my favorite places in the world is Concord. When I see that gold dome and think about the history and sacrifice it represents, I salute every time. I think at first my family thought I was kidding around, but they realized I salute to honor, and show reverence to the state I love and am grateful for. That gold dome is a source of great pride. It also reminds us that New Hampshire is a strong, united, for the people state.
My friend Steve Hurley, part of the first graduating class of Londonderry High School, always salutes when he sees a post office. Steve is a veteran, his son Zachary, a member of the Pinkerton Academy class of 2019 now serves our country in the U.S. Marines.
After leaving the service, Steve took a position with the United States Post Office, which in my book is serving his country in another way. Steve has always been one of those humble heroes behind the scenes, wanting no recognition, and that’s why I’m sneaking it in here.
Helping neighbors not just once to be nice, I mean things like mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn every week, asking nothing in return. It’s precious that I remember as I’m typing to you now, one set of seniors, insisted that he take a six-pack of Pepsi, as a thank you.
With the season of giving right around the corner, I wish it was every season, maybe we can make a pact to look carefully around our little corner of the world and help more, in a bigger way than we might be doing already.
Thanks to Ashley Dumont in our assessing office, this week as I learned of a charity I didn’t know existed, the Good Shepherd’s Foundation in Derry.
Maybe we could all do a little something to help them blow it out of the water this year. As Ashley and I just talked about yesterday, one person really can make a difference with the smallest gesture. It melted my heart to hear Ashley say, “Even just one can of vegetables makes a difference in someone’s life.”
Learning more about this nonprofit through their website goodshepherdsfoundation.org, the Baird Family saw a need to help more people in our little corner of the world, but also to open up more specific ways for young people to begin volunteering at an early age.
Their mission statement is “To help build up lives of those needing assistance to reach their full potential.” Oh, my I know, I shouldn’t keep going on and on, but their vision statement makes me teary, “To grow our volunteer base and create opportunities in order to assure families have the essentials to lead healthy lives.”
The basic things, that I know I often take for granted. Please, if you can, go to this site and make a donation, big or small. “We Are One Empowering Through Kindness, United by Love.”
Another nonprofit you know has my heart, is our own Mimi & Bumpa’s Workshop right around the corner from all of us, in our little corner of the world. Their website is mimibumpaworkshop.com and an opening statement, “We are retired grandparents (Mimi & Bumpa) who love renovating and creating home décor. We build unique, hand crafted pieces and donate all our profits to charity.”
They are the humblest couple who asks nothing in return. New this year are charcuterie boards. What a great gift idea. Precious earrings, too. In 2021, they donated $8,500 to 17 different charities all helping our little corner of the world.
Our story got its start this week by a dear friend Martha reaching out and asking me for ideas of a local business that she could support as the holiday season and present giving draws near.
When she did suddenly ask, the light went off for me and I remembered this Saturday is a very special day across the country. November 26 is Small Business Saturday. We all have to get on out there and go to our local shops and businesses. Supporting local, helps all of us. It gives us a way to keep our money in our own local economy; support local jobs; welcome a sense of community; help our local business owners who trusted us when they picked our area to take a risk in; and so many other things.
Just a few other ways we can show our support and get in the Christmas/holiday spirit together.
Derry has so much going on this Saturday, and it’s a real celebration. Check out the Derry/Londonderry Chamber website for more information. The Nutfield Holiday Parade starts at 1 p.m. and I hope to see you there.
Nashua’s winter Holiday Stroll is also this Saturday. It starts at 5 p.m. and it’s been a favorite of ours for years. You don’t have to spend a penny but there is a tree lighting, food vendors, all the shops are open, and it reminds me of a smaller version of the first night in Boston.
Londonderry Rotary Club’s Christmas On The Common is Sunday, December 4. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be riding through neighborhoods on a fire truck and will arrive at the Londonderry Town Common at 4 p.m.. As Kirby Brown said it best, “Jolly walks through the Town Forest, pictures with Santa, chili, hot cocoa, cookies and so much more!”
Let’s end today’s story with a quote on the Good Shepherd’s site from Mother Teresa.
“Never worry about the numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”
Happy Thanksgiving and please know how grateful I am for you.
And another way to give is to support the Londonderry Rotary Club’s “Rotary Saves Christmas” effort by purchasing raffle tickets. Tickets are one for $10, three for $25 with proceeds going to support those in need and other Rotary charitable efforts. Winners will be drawn on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Coach Stop Restaurant. First prize is $2,000; second prize is $1,000 and there will be two third prize awards for $500 each.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry’s town clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.