My husband, John, has always had a saying that goes something like this: “If you’re going to bring someone a problem, then the least you can do is bring them a possible solution, too.”

Those are words he lives by and hopes others do, too. It really does give everyone the feeling that we are all in this together.

Of course, the phrase doesn’t fit in every situation, but in many daily situations it does. If nothing else, even if it’s not a great or viable fix, at least it starts the creative juices flowing and if nothing else, the person you're complaining too doesn’t feel alone. They know you are trying to be helpful and simply put, that you care.

I’m smiling as I’m typing to you: You’re not just that "wah wah" Charlie Brown cartoon attitude that we see way to much of today.

This week my hat goes off to some great people who always come up with solutions to problems and in most cases they are successful.

Every time I pass the Londonderry Town Common, I see signs for the Ovation Theatre Company's performances that will be held outside on our newly renovated property. Meg and her family have been bringing the gift of theater and the arts to our area for many years. They started by volunteering at local schools. You might remember "The Wizard of Oz" a few years back. Amazing! Oh, I loved "A Chorus Line," too, during COVID. Talk about solving a problem. How does the show still go on? Well it did! They created an outside stage in a parking lot with social distancing.

I can’t wait for their next performance this week, July 30 through Aug. 1 —  "Mamma Mia!" Tickets are available by going to Ovationtc.com. Please show your support and remember you can also make a donation.

Next, we have our own Concerts on the Commons and Arts Council getting ready to kick this season’s series off on Aug. 4 with Martin and Kelly. They are well known in Nashville and across New England. John’s favorite is the Chicago Revival Band and so many other great performers brought in for all of us to enjoy.

With all the obstacles they have encountered over the last couple years, they are coming back bigger and better than ever. How did they ever come up with the idea for online concerts last year? Their problem solving not only gave us the gift of music in our own homes, but we also had a chance to get to know performers and even interact with them. 

Dr. Harp, or Dennis Martin, is a veteran who experienced homelessness and PTSD after returning from service and realized our veterans needed more help and support. Dr. Harp, who can sing the blues and plays a mean harmonica, established the Blues Festival seven years ago. Great music from local jazz and blues bands, food trucks and an opportunity to celebrate our veterans, see old friends and listen to professional music. Donations are appreciated for our veteran services. Mark your calendar now: Blues Festival is Aug. 28, noon to 4 p.m.

I have to give a shout out to John Sherman. He has been helping us build a “shanty” in our backyard. I kept bringing John problems with few solutions or funds to fix them and somehow John did not give up on the project. He created a shanty like no other on a shoestring for us. Somehow, with only our thoughts of what we “thought” we wanted, John met and exceeded our expectations. Grace under pressure for sure. John builds beautiful decks, stairways, paints and, yes, shanties, too.  You can reach John at 603-490-8230.

Next, I want to recognize our local Chamber of Commerce. Did you know that our chamber serves all of the surrounding communities? They are there to help our local businesses, networking and to help our new residents learn more about our area in a fun way. A few years back Kirby and I tried to put together "Welcome To Londonderry" bags for our new residents. We quickly realized we just didn’t have the bandwidth to keep it going. Chamber of Commerce to the rescue. We had a great idea and problem all wrapped into one. Next thing Kirby and I knew they solved our problem and they made it bigger and better than ever.

Just last week Elizabeth Altvater, who started with the Chamber last September, dropped off over 40 new welcome bags. New residents light up and are so grateful when we surprise them with their gift. So much great information about our area and little gifts from local shops.

Problem solvers with solutions — and often behind the scenes our local rotaries. It is hard to imagine how much good they do. Remember their motto is “Service Above Self” and they live it every day. A group of volunteers that take lemons and make lemonade.

My Star of the Week is John Antonellis, who just had his birthday. A couple weeks ago, John reached out to me and said he had noticed on the Mom’s Page that there was a lot of garbage and debris in an area of town where children play. He wasn’t calling to just let me know and asking us to take care of it, which is important, too. John wanted to know if it was okay for him to head there with a broom and garbage bag to clean it up.

We were grateful and he did. 

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

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