Serendipity On the Road With Sherry

Sep 07, 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.

This week here it is Friday morning and I have so many things to tell you, but for the first time I’m at a lost as to where to start. I think I will just begin and see where we end up together. I might even have to add a midweek on the Road to cover everything that I have to tell you!

Maybe I should spread out all my notes and scribbles of this week on the floor, cover my eyes and just drop a pencil onto the place I should start with. Here is a picture so you can see my dilemma! I just spent 5 minutes trying to find a good old fashioned pencil in the house! Eyes closed, standing above pile, pencil dropped! Not at all where I intended to start but, Thank Goodness it’s coming to me. Pencil fell on the Gold colored sheet with a zillion scribbles on it. The title just came to me and our word of day too:

“Serendipity” On the Road With Sherry

Serendipity means a “a great mistake” a “happy accident” or by complete chance finding something good or beautiful that you did not expect. Serendipity is really how On The Road With Sherry got started too I guess. Some people have to plan every detail of their lives. I’ve always tended to lean more toward the Serendipity way of looking at things. I even hate to make reservations at restaurants, but that’s another story down the road.

My week started with an unexpected text from a friend the night before saying something like “how are you doing” let’s get together. My friend Donna, doesn’t even realize it, but she will always be one of the people I admire most. 10 years ago, she had a horrible accident in her home that changed her life forever. One of those one minute you are fine and getting dinner ready and the next thing you know everyone is in a panic around you, the ambulance comes, your young child has to stay at a neighbor’s home and you are in surgery. Surgery not once, but again and again.

I know you are thinking, oh but everything turned out fine, yes it did but. For months, years, still even though she would never admit it, she endured pain and changes that a weaker person would have crumbled under. Donna never did, and on top of it, through it all she remained one of the most giving, grateful, and loving people I know. With all this going on Donna and her family would still be worried about making meals for other families and helping others in need. Unsung Hero Yes!

Now just on a side note, Donna recently became a vendor for this great new party line call “Thirty-One”. If you are a “bag lady” like me (no I don’t mean Coach, Micheal K this or that), give Donna a call. It’s a great way to get your friends together and to find beautiful, made to last totes, purses, and even bags to help get you organized. I have only two so far, but I love them. I bought one that has I think 7 outside pockets to keep in my car; I keep all the little extra things I might need along the “Road” in it. Hey I’ll take a picture of that too for you! Here’s Donna’s site. Just for the Heck of it I was curious as to why the name is “Thirty-One”. I Googled the brand and this is really neat, not what I was expecting. 31 was taken from Proverbs 31. Take a second and look it up, it’s in the Old Testament.

Well as my dad “Brownie” always said “to make a long story short”, Donna and I caught up about many things, but we both agreed that the next time we get together it needed to be at our own Coffeeberries right here in town. We both wondered why we just didn’t meet there in the first place. Donna, reminded me of how much I love Coffeeberries, but that I just haven’t been in for a while. Now to boot, I just asked John about an art display we saw at Coffeeberries awhile back and he just said “You know I haven’t been in there in a long time”.

For goodness sakes get back into Coffeeberries! Our small businesses need us all. Where else in town can you spend $2.00 or less if you want, sit and linger in a leather chair, meet with a friend for hours, or bring your laptop in and do your work for as long as you want. Christine is working long hours for us, hiring from within our community and asking little in return! Get back in there! Let her know we are grateful she is there!

Well I plan to do just that, once a week while I’m on the Road, I plan to stop in and relax maybe even start typing my story to you there. You never know who you are going to see or meet and I just love that! Here’s an example.

Yesterday I stopped in to put my money where my mouth was. Funny thing, I never did get to buy my cup of coffee and muffin I was planning on. This was Serendipity at its best! I talked to Christine for a little while and then as I turned to get my coffee I saw one of my favorite people in town, that I don’t even know well but from the first time we met, I just liked her, Elaine Farmer! She is responsible for so much of the Artist community we have here in town. Did you know she just finished her first book and it will be available on e-books very soon. It’s related to the Color wheel. Also one of her landscapes will be displayed in a TV Series this fall, too. How Great is that! I’ll keep you posted as I get more information on both.

Now this is the “Serendipity” part. Elaine was meeting a friend there named Michael Toomy. She introduced us and I kept seeing his name in my head. I knew I had heard it or seen before. Michael Toomy is a renowned artist that lives right here in Londonderry. I have admired his paintings at our Library and at Coffeeberries. Michael’s work is powerful, telling, it makes you pause, stop in your steps, think and reflect. The first piece I remember was of a soldier at war for us and his family waiting back here for him. Other pieces have brought people to tears depicting the holocaust. Some are of relationships, places, people that you can relate too.

I remember standing in Coffeeberries and “stopping in my tracks” to feel this art, think about it. Michaels’ art stirs emotions. I remember saying to John, I so wish we could afford just one piece of this artist’s work. I never thought I would meet him. Go to his site and experience his art or his Facebook.

He also does paintings of celebrities too. The second painting that I can still picture so clearly is one that he did of Marilyn Monroe. We have all seen many paintings and pictures of her, but again this one was different. His celebrity pieces make you pause and really look too. John Lennon might be a favorite of yours.

Michael’s art has been sold to people throughout America, England, France and other countries. I love knowing that a part of our Londonderry, something created right here in Michael’s “Cave” as he calls the place he paints is shared near and far. How great is that! He even has admirers that fly in just to pick up their pieces in person! Michael is unassuming, personable, and grateful, he and Elaine both agree that so much of art is an expression of what others are or have gone through. A narrative, a story.

The three of us discussed that so often we assume someone is nasty, or mean, maybe short with us, but that we have no idea what is taking place in their life. The hurt or pain that they might be experiencing. Strange to think of this way but for me, Art allows me to remember but also to forget. When I look at Elaine’s beautiful landscapes they help me to breath and feel calm and peaceful. Michael’s work, to remember, to think. Here are a couple pictures, I bet know you’re saying, Yes I know his work, too!

I learned so much from sitting unexpectedly with Elaine and Michael, and there was so much I wanted to tell you, but once again I’m getting too long. Remember with Art that touches you, it does not have to match or fit into a room, I think it is better when it doesn’t! Art should be bought because somehow you fit with it. Display it in a place where it makes you or others pause or think, but that’s just me. Someday I just might own one of Elaine’s and Michael’s works, like their friendship they complement each other.

Now I had the privilege of being given a “little piece of Heaven” because of something my dear friend Lana shared with me. I’ve learned a lot from her and she and her husband Ted have a way of knowing when life’s stresses get too much for John and me. How strange is this, Serendipity again, as I typed Lana’s name my phone rang and it was her. How strange is that?

A few weeks back Lana and Ted treated John and me to golf and dinner. They could tell we were stressed and worried about all the college things, especially the $. Instead of inviting us out to take on another expense, they called and said “it’s on us” we want you to relax, not worry. Boy did we too! It’s hard to explain, but if you get the chance do this for someone else, don’t wait “Just Do It”. Call them right now! I think you’ll be surprised at what a difference that can make in someone’s life. The great thing is it will keep getting paid forward too!

Now I didn’t mean to get side tracked “again” with that story, but maybe I was meant to share it because someone in your life needs you to give them a break too. Lana also led me to our Cris-Anne Skin Care & Wellness Studio right in Londonderry. I called Cris-Anne the owner. My birthday gift from my family was a facial so I made an appointment.

I have not had many facials in my lifetime, but this one was worth waiting for! At one point I said to Cris-Anne something like “my goodness, this is a Little Piece of Heaven” Relaxing, Tranquil, a true Gift! Included in this package was also a mini pedicure that was as nice as any full pedicure I have ever had! Here’s a picture of how pampered I was!

I always believe that when you have any of these types of services done, the person is such an important part of the process. After all you might be spending an hour or two with them. Cris-Anne, is a gift, someone I would choose to be friends with. She pays forward constantly; she never looks back only forward with a grateful heart. You know I hated to put Cris-Anne’s Spa at the end, because I’m so afraid that some of you might not make it this far into my story, but now I know why I did. It was meant to be the first place I wrote about on the road this week, but maybe, just maybe as your reading this you will think of a mom or friend that could use this special treat. If you don’t get to try this yourself in the next couple weeks, get a gift certificate for someone you know who needs that break, and needs to know that you noticed and care. Here is the website and Cris-Anne’s number is 365-8333.

Well I know I must end but don’t forget that the Chamber Rotary Golf Classic is being held this Monday at Campbell’s Scottish Heights in Salem. Tee time is 7:30 am!

With A Grateful Heart, Sherry<3

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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