One of my favorite things or characters in people will always be a willingness to simply volunteer. It worries me that volunteering is slowly going by the wayside, but then maybe it’s not.
Each summer we have a paid intern in our Town Hall to help our various departments as needed. This year because of a spending freeze that most towns and cities are experiencing, we just could not afford to hire one. Anna, a senior at Londonderry High School, said she would volunteer.
How great is that? Anna is spending three mornings a week in our department helping us with so many things. The work is not exciting, but she knew we needed help. There are lots of other things Anna could be doing this summer, but she made the decision to volunteer. You know, I call that going “above and beyond,” another one of my favorite attributes in people. We can’t thank Anna enough.
Another show of great support for the community came from Ashley Dumont from the Assessing Department. Our office was having such a difficult time answering more than 100 calls an hour and Ashley volunteered to help. We didn't even have to ask her!
Allison Guthrie, one of our amazing assistant clerks, volunteered to help a senior citizen after hours who thought our office closed at 5:30 p.m. We close at 5 p.m. each day. I just happened to walk out the locked door and there she was. Talk about making someone’s day. What I love is when we raise our hand to go that extra mile. It helps our heart, too. It’s a gift to us as well.
Someone near and dear to my heart saw a woman in our own Market Basket parking lot asking people as they were going into the store for money to buy food. He watched as three people turned away from her, one thinking of their money and two fearful of COVID-19. Instead of walking past, he stopped, talked to her, and reached as deep in his pocket as he could. He then watched as she went, in grabbed a shopping cart and bought a little food. He didn’t have much to give, but it gave her hope and left him knowing that he had made a difference in at least one life that day.
Not my job, not my problem is a sad way to live. We all need each other, and we all need to have those little feel-good moments, too. Not for pay, but because it is the right thing to do, and also, because most of us know that we have been in that situation before ourselves. You're right, usually the door stays closed, but not always. Our Katie Sullivan would call it paying it forward.
Let’s talk about some of favorite places in our towns. Hugs to all these business owners who have been building patios, outdoor seating and new ways to serve Us. The Long Blue
Thanks to Cat Brewery and all of our local breweries. Justin and Shane opened their doors and are up and running. You can enjoy fire pits, their amazing huge warm pretzel sticks and their beer and wine, too. It felt like heading back to one of our “Cheers” places.
Lucciano’s Ristorante! Somehow Lou and Tina came up with amazing patio seating that makes us feel like we are in Florida. The last two Friday nights in a row, we have relaxed there. Of course, social distancing has been figured out and respected at all these great places.
When I was little, my mom and I would spend hours playing badminton in the front grassy area of the apartment building we lived in. Remember, it was right on the Derry/ Londonderry town line, Linwood Avenue. We didn’t have a net or space for one really, but we had a birdie, and two racquets. We would play for hours. Great fun.
My new favorite pastime is cornhole. Mom and I never dreamed of something called cornhole back then. Actually, it looks like it was created back in the late 1800s and it kept evolving to where we are today. Our new Game Changers opened also right in our Shaw’s Plaza. Bob, Rodney and their families came up with the idea of bringing people of all ages together, which I love: great food, drink and cornhole we can play inside anytime we want. They even have teams and tournaments that you can get involved with. They just added the basketball arcade games which is another one of my favorite things.
Wicked Good Ice Cream and Coffee has become another of my favorite things. The wonderful Charette Family travels all around bringing their delicious ice cream and fresh brewed coffee to us. They are also available for corporate events, birthday parties, graduation celebrations, or other gatherings. They surprised us at Town Hall last week. Everyone raved about the ice cream treats, but I enjoyed a much needed cup of fresh brewed “hot” coffee and it was perfect. I especially like that Don adds in your cream and sugar. As John always says, "It 'just taste better when someone else makes it.'”
Backyard Brewery, which used to be our beloved Yard Restaurant for years, was our family pick for our Father’s Day dinner tonight. As we sat around the table outside Matt was the first to say, every time we order from Backyard Brewery it is always the same. We are never disappointed. Something else nice is that Ron and his son Malcolm are their just about every day and night saying thank you.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.