Cold and Doors with Sherry

Jan 25, 2013 No Comments by

The amazing thing about being part of Visit Londonderry is that I never know exactly where a week will lead. Even though I have lived here since the 60?s, grew up at Kendalwood Condos, taught at the High School, and raised my family here, each day I learn something special about our community. One thing is for sure, Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play! Each week I will share with you some of the amazing businesses and things I have learned about Londonderry.

“Geez Louise.” I’m so sorry; I just counted the pages backwards and I think there are 7 this week! You might want to make a sandwich or least get a cup of tea or coffee if you decide to keep reading. Next week, just to see if I can do it, I’ll try for 2 pages only, promise!

Brrrrrrrrr… When Faye from Martinelli Travel sent me an email yesterday she started it off with “Brrrrrrr…”. I thought it was so darn cute, and so right. Can it get any colder out? Shea and I just came downstairs and thank goodness he headed for the door. I opened the main door no problem, but when I touched that metal handle of the screen door, I felt like I was that kid that would test their tongue on the metal poles outside for whatever reason. I reached to turn the handle as I always do, and I have never felt such cold. I thought my fingers were going to stick! Shea looked at me as though he was saying, “Please don’t make me go out,” and then, “Well, come with me like you usually do,” but this morning I couldn’t even step on the deck. Shea was on his own. I think he broke a world record for the fastest tinkle door to yard and back!

This kind of cold always gets me thinking of the homeless, closer than we like to think. Even this week in our own town we had many people, of course people that are struggling to make ends meet, become homeless, evicted from their apartments. Yes, I know landlords have rights, but it’s just so sad. Maybe on a side note if you’re a landlord that wants to just give a nice family a break, maybe a belated Christmas goodwill, let our office know. Of course it doesn’t have to be for free, but maybe for a fair price to help even one of these families out.

We (I) tend to whine often that we don’t have money for this or that. John often reminds me, “Big House, Big Bills,” and he is right. Many of us know this, but it scares the life out of me to think of this one mom I met On the Road this week, and our paths seem to cross here and there in life often, that had to take her child out of the only home, a very small apartment that he has known. She said, “Well, we are homeless.” I know they are eating and have shelter with a friend somewhere, but wow, how scary is that? Not knowing where your next permanent shelter will be and knowing that you can’t afford much. Help if you can, please.

Oh, my point was on talking about the cold, that if I have another brain freeze this week while writing I know you’ll understand. I’m really not a big coat or boot wearer, but this week if you saw me around, I ran from door to door with a big red coat and black boots on, too. My daughter always tells me that boots give you confidence; I think she might be right. Whenever I put them on I think of Nancy Sinatra, and my dad, “Brownie,” who loved to play her song “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. Well, even in the cold that’s what I did a lot of this week around our town and yes, it was so very cold.

Back to Faye; the reason she emailed me was that she wanted to let Visit Londonderry know that the Rotary Club is having an Open House at the Granite State South Board of Realtors from 6 to 8 PM this Thursday. It will be a wine and cheese social. Even if you have just a few minutes to spare, stop by and learn about our Rotary and all the good they do. Networking for your business and your heart! Visit Londonderry will be there, too. Try not to miss this event.

Now the next thing I want to just throw out there to you, and I guess it is fitting because early in the story we were talking about money, this week I went into Shaw’s to pick up a few groceries. Now one thing I do try to do because of Visit Londonderry is do a little grocery shopping at each store in town. Specials and coupons from each of our three grocery stores. We’ve always done the bulk of our grocery shopping at Market Basket; we just seem to get the most for our dollar there.

I have to tell you I was “Shocked”, yes “Shocked”, at the amount of things I picked up at our Shaw’s this week and how low the price was! There were daily specials all over and they showed up in my final bill. What a pleasant surprise. I looked for the nice Manager Steve, to tell him again what a “Shock” that was. I know they have been really trying on a corporate level to give us more and it shows. I never thought I would be typing that, but what a difference. A pleasant surprise I guess I could say. Yes my mom, Pearl, did work there for years, and it is so beautifully strange to go through what used to be her register and just remember.

Shaw’s was our first Grocery store in town way back when. Hey, wait a minute, there used to be a very small grocery store in the Crossroads Mall, back in the 70’s. I worked there briefly, that’s another story for the down the road. Does anyone remember the name of it? It was quite large too, three or four cash registers I think. How funny is that? If you have a picture send it to us; we’d love to show everyone. Wish I’d run into Kenny Lynch again, he would know all about it!

Finally on Monday, On the Road got started for me and one of my first visits was with a place in town that I had never even driven into their parking lot before. I bet many of you have never either. I stopped in to meet Pastor Dave at the Londonderry Christian Church right at 372 Mammoth Road. I’ve looked over as we passed it many times, but quickly I learned what a treasure we have been missing.

Their slogan is one of the most welcoming and “real” messages I have heard in a long time. It is “Real people loving and honoring the real God in real relationships”. Everyone is truly welcomed. Pastor Dave is friendly, loving and kind. On their site it says, basically, come as you are and you will find a home there. Wear sandals, “Boots” or pumps, be comfortable, be yourself, come alone or bring your family.

They have a wonderful children’s worship on Sundays, and I had no idea they are the group in town that brought us the Trunk Halloween Fun that so many families enjoy each October. We have an amazing mom’s group in town now called Mom’s group North and South. I think that’s it. Well I know many of these great mom’s and they love this event with their families. Well now we know where it all started.

It’s so sad today that many families are forgetting about the support and family that is waiting for them in each of the churches we have right here in town. Even if you question your own beliefs, that’s ok. Good people like Pastor Dave are offering all of us a haven, a place to not only pray, but to think, to walk in a door with our family, all together even if just for that hour and to find peace. Stop by and remember, come as you are. Well again I had to stop typing and take a break to make my daughter’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Toast. Then we like to walk her down as she starts her day and we say goodbye.

Here I go another tangent but this one is about doors. I’ve always had a thing about when someone leaves our home. I have always felt it is necessary to stand in the door, wave and wait until they drive off. I really think it is because I have such a deep fear (I’ve never admitted this before, but I do) that, God forbid, what if we never see each other again. I really think I’m trying to get every possible minute before they drive off into the world that I can’t control. I want them to know I’m there and I care, I guess. Now, this is not just with those I love, I even do this for a service call!

Well, my future-at-the-time-in-laws, again shocked me the first time when we visited NJ. We had a great time; load the car to leave, hug at the door, we’d walk out and they would say all I love you and all, but as soon as your car door closed, they closed the door and went back to their lives. As much as I loved them both, this drove me crazy for years. In my mind, I’d think “How rude?” No waves, no waits, nothing. Kind of that “Don’t let the door hit you as you leave” saying.

Well, like so many things in life, the older we get and, hopefully wiser, our views change. For the last few weeks I’ve noticed that now, I too, have started the “Hey, it’s been great, thanks for coming, be safe,” and then close the door as they step outside. I wonder if anyone is now thinking, “Wow, that’s rude” with me. Anyway even with Mere, I used to wait freezing until she drove around the corner. Now, once she’s down the driveway, I close the door. Life is so funny and so unpredictable. John just said, “Maybe it’s just that you’re too darn cold.” Who knows? But anyway.

Somehow that leads me to Tuesday. Many pop-in and walk-in’s this week, but I had a chance to learn more about Ameriprise Financial, also known as Terence McCormick and Associates. If I have any words of advice for anyone out there, whether you are just starting out with your family or now getting closer to retiring, call Terry and don’t wait any longer on planning your financial future. I kick myself so often because I used to teach basic savings; that good old rule of thumb, “Just save 10% of whatever you make,” in my Independent Living classes at our High School. Sadly I didn’t even take my own advice! I always thought I would, that I will, but it never came. Terry can help you and “now!”; if you’re young, it’s a blessing. Call ASAP. If you’re older, Terry and his practice will be a blessing to you and your future security. Again, call ASAP, too! He is a good, honest man who has done so much for our community. He raised his family here and is vested here. Don’t wait! And don’t be shy.

After meeting with Terry, as I was leaving the Clock Tower building, I had to stop by a place that offers a different type of healthcare option for us. I still don’t know a lot about it, but I plan to go back in. A dear friend of mine credits them with helping a family member through a very scary illness. I hope to learn more about them and tell you more down the road. I think it is just called Whole Health.

Tuesday evening the Londonderry CVC held our first Member/Guest Event of 2013. I think I mentioned it last week, but one of our first members, Ron who owns Super Wok, welcomed all of us. What a great time we had. It was relaxed in a beautiful setting. We were happy so many members stopped by with friends or alone on such a cold blistery night.

Ron prepared his own creation, salt and pepper chicken wings for us. This is one of my family favorites, but I didn’t know until Susie, who took care of us, told us this is a recipe they created at Super Wok. I wish I had taken a picture to show you, but just go in and order them; you will be addicted too. Of course there was lots of other delicious food, but it was so nice to see everyone sharing information, ideas and getting to know each other.

One of the toughest things about this beautiful area we live in is that so many businesses feel isolated or alone. Now they have a voice together. That’s why Kathy and Steve founded our Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center, because of this need. Their vision was to find a way to bring everyone together, businesses, schools, churches, farms, non-profits, just everyone, to Live, Work and Play right here in our area.

Seeing everyone standing around, sharing, smiling even laughing together, said to me “It’s Working!” What a great night! I wish I could mention everyone that was there, but I did meet some new people. One was Susan Hanna, a local artist. I have been admiring Susan’s work for years at our local art shows, but had never met her before. She does some of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever seen. As soon as she said her name, I recognized her as that artist I had known from a distance. Susan and I plan to meet so that I can learn more about her art. You might know her as SHE Studios. Visit her site, Just looking at her work, I promise somehow you’ll feel warmer!

I want to tell you about Bonnie of Home Helpers right here in town. What a great service she has brought to our town. I don’t know how she does it, but she has created a gift of compassion and care to so many families in Londonderry who just need a helping hand and loving heart to help with aging parents and others we love that have special needs. Bonnie stopped by to share with everyone that the Relay for Life is right around the corner. A couple years ago, when Bonnie and I first met on the Elderly Affairs Committee in town, she explained to me that The Relay for Life is the largest charity fundraiser in the world! It is one of most amazing things I have ever heard of and, can you imagine, that on June 21st it will be happening here.

With everything else Bonnie has going, she doesn’t just encourage others to become part of this event that will touch your life and heart forever, but she is the Event Chairperson, to top of it! She’s the reason it happens here at all! Again, so many great people behind the scenes in town, never bragging or boasting, but doing all this to try and make a difference. Another, I’m embarrassed to say Sherry moment, but for the last couple years I have been telling Bonnie we would be there and we haven’t made it yet, but this year we will make it a priority to not only donate but to stop by and show support. You should too.

Oh Dear God. My On The Roads are getting longer instead of shorter. I am so sorry, but I have just one more person that I need to tell about and it all ties into the Elderly Affairs Committee that I mentioned above. This week I had the honor of meeting a lovely women in town named Gladys. Now, I wouldn’t say too much right now, because she did tell me she had so much more to share about our Senior Center and the work that is being done there. Still, we all should know that Gladys was one of the founders of our Senior Center in town. She wasn’t even from Londonderry but moved to the area to be near family. Gladys saw a need for our older population and got to work on making a difference. How great is that? Now, I am going to honor her wishes and wait patiently to tell you more. Somewhere down the Road.

Another name that came up when Gladys and I were talking was someone we both think the world of, Barbara Kacos. When I mentioned my good friend Barbara to Gladys, she said with a smile Bone Builders! A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would tell you about those unsung heroes in or town. The ones who ask nothing in return but give so much. This is Barbara Kacos. I kind of knew that Barbara spent a lot of time at the senior center helping out, but I had no idea that she just celebrated her 5 years anniversary of conducting Bone Builders classes and other health information forums for our Senior Center in town. Barbara is a certified Personal Trainer and she was so inspired working with our seniors that she attained another certification in Senior Health & Fitness. What Barbara has brought to so many of our seniors in town each week is a chance to gain strength and confidence in their daily life and activities.

Barbara always told me that the Senior Center is her extended family and how much she loves volunteering and seeing everyone grow and feel stronger. This made me teary to think of but, through Barbara’s efforts, there have been people that used to just sit in a chair that now, because of these classes, and Barbara’s patience and love, can stand strong, even walk and participate. There are no words or price that can be put on that kind of giving. How does she do all of this and still juggles her family life and so many other things?

A couple things that people have said about Barbara and I think I should share them. More quotes I guess; “Barbara gets what is important in life and shares herself;” she is “unselfish.” Oh I should tell you too that Barbara also teaches classes and does personal training at Training Effects right here in town. Good people seem to draw each other. Barbara started taking a few classes at Training Effects herself, and then was so impressed with Mike and Billy’s passion for health and training people the right way she began working with them too. She now teaches kettle bell classes there on Thursday nights. If you see her say, “Hey, thanks for all you do.” She’ll be surprised!

Dear God, I better end. But I did want to tell you about my visit at – you’ll never believe it- our own TV Channel right in Derry, it’s WBINTV. Watch and see. I walked in completely cold, uninvited, and met Steve Pomeroy, the Office Manager. I rambled, he listened and he shared with me what WBINTV was all about. They offer news and they run many of our favorite shows of the past and present. Just for fun, after I told John about my road yesterday he turned on the channel, it’s 50. Guess what was on. The Rockford Files! What an impressive place, and we are so lucky to have them right here. I plan to learn more about them over the next couple weeks, but check them out. You never know what might be on!

I started with Doors, so I’ll end with one I guess. Steve, thanks for welcoming me through the WBIN-TV door and taking the time.

With A Grateful Heart

On the Road with Sherry

About the author

Sherry has lived in Londonderry since the 1960's. Her mother was one of the first employees at Mr. Steer Meats. Sherry taught at the Londonderry High School for a number of years and spearheaded the first Career Education Class at the school. She has two daughters of her own with her husband John.
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