As I typed our title this week, I thought to myself “There should be a Mail Carrier Day!” I looked it up and sure enough, we already have one on Feb. 4. They are rock stars!
I think we should celebrate them this week, too. I didn’t even leave a Christmas card, or any card for our mail carrier this year. I had lots of excuses why and COVID made for the perfect excuse for so many things. Why can’t we do this week instead?
What got me on this unexpected roll was that the two ideas I have this week are because they are delivered in our mail. Many mail carriers are even working on Sundays now just to make sure our mail makes it through. Honestly, I’m tired of the nasty comments and press they get. Dear goodness, they are not machines. Everyone makes little mistakes here and there, just like in any office. We are blessed to have each and every one of them.
This week’s story started because of a dear friend from our wonderful days at Pinkerton Academy, Sue Pugh. Sue and I were both shy back in our high school days, but we always knew each other was there, and I’d say we had a special bond. There are just some people that you don’t have to see or talk to every day, but you have an appreciation in your heart for them and that is and was Sue.
A few times a year many of us from the class of '78 receive the Pinkerton Alumnus magazine in our mailboxes. Because of devoted volunteer writers like Sue, we can look forward to an update on the people that we shared our high school lives with back in the '70s.
So very strange, but I remember getting our first copy in the mail almost 45 years ago and we were at the very end of the magazine. Class of 1978 like the class of 2021 will soon be. I used to look at the pictures in the very front and think wow, they are old! They graduated that long ago. And now it's us! Life is very funny and beautiful, in so many ways. The class news starts with the class of 1943 now and the class of 1978 comes up very quickly.
Sue and I look forward to seeing each other at the Town Hall from time to time, and last week we both decided the Poo stories were fun, but that it was time to get back to business. Time to think about the people and places that brighten our little piece of New Hampshire. Sue is one of those people for me and I’m glad I got to tell her here, and our mail carriers, too.
Another magazine we get every season is the AAA Explorer. Like so many of us, we have been members of AAA forever. Mom and Dad had a membership and made sure I did.
Years ago, a big perk was those maps they would make for you for free to plan out driving trips you were about to take. I think they were called TripTiks. They had a great plastic coil at the top so you could flip the pages over. I just loved those things. I think they still do them now if you want one.
I just love knowing they will come to your rescue if you are stuck on the road. Flat tire, dead battery, you name it — AAA to the rescue.
I also look forward to the AAA Explorer for ideas and dreams of what we can do. Saturday morning GiGi got up early and it was a beautiful sunny morning. Gi and I sat outside together and looked at our latest issue that thanks to our mailperson, the Out and About section was all about something right in our backyards that John and I had never heard of.
I love seeing our state’s great name in a national source too. It was titled “New Hampshire Rock Stars” and it was all about the Andres Institute of Art right in Brookline, about 27 miles down the street from us.
The strange thing was, on that Saturday morning I woke up realizing I had missed a very special birthday just the day before.
Our Charlie Duncan turned 9 years old, and we were ready to make that birthday call a day late and a dollar short! Charlie and I share a love of the outdoors and making cairns together whenever he comes to visit.
Remember cairns are basically rock sculptures. We have three beautiful ones around our yard from our last visit together. We make high ones on huge boulders that we had to lift Charlie up on to create and we made very low ones on smaller rocks lying on the ground.
How strange that today, thinking of our Charlie, I came across a local rock treasure.
As it turned out, the article explained that it is the largest rock (iron, too) sculpture park around. The best part is that it was created to bring artists from all over the world together, and right now 42 countries are represented there on 42 acres.
John, Gigi and I had intended to head to the beach but when I showed John this article, we changed direction and headed to Big Bear Mountain in Brookline. I had a feeling we might be the only ones there, but boy was I wrong. I wondered, did they already knew about this amazing place or did they see the story?
Over 100 rock-solid sculptures each with a name that made you pause and think and with the artist’s name and country represented on a small plaque. Romania, Spain, Cuba, Columbia, Czechoslovakia… as John just said, “They came from all over the world.” Titles like “Beginning of the World," “Love Together" and “We Are One."
Trails lead you through the woods to each of the sculptures and they even provide a map, so you don’t miss a thing. And it's all free. If you hike to the top, which is about a mile up, the view will take your breath away, which we didn’t expect. There you find the largest work of art called "The Phoenix" by Janis Karlovs of Latvia. Talk about a spot for everyone. It is right off the main road and you would never guess it is there. Bring water and lunch along.
We had no idea Parker’s Pancake House is just right around the corner, too.
If you can, a donation is greatly appreciated but not expected.
Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.