I’m really feeling a day late and a dollar short… I was supposed to have my On the Road with Sherry ready for Saturday, but somehow here it is Saturday night and I am just beginning to type. Yesterday I e-mailed Steve and told him this would be very late because of the Thanksgiving celebrations …he said… “Family comes First”. Family does come first and it’s these beautiful holiday gifts we share that remind us of that….
Just a couple years ago I lost my mom Pearl to an unexpected, out of nowhere cancer. It was just about this time that everything started to happened…. Growing up here in Londonderry with just my parents and me, and no family close by, we really meant the world to each other. Then as life should go and we age and grow older, when both my parents were gone it was very hard at times to live here. I started to forget all the things that I really loved about Londonderry, memories can be beautiful, but hard too. Thank goodness I have John and my girls. When Kathy and Steve shared their vision of Visit Londonderry with me, and I started spreading the word about our Commerce and Visit Center to all of you… I started to fall in love with Londonderry all over again, even without my mom and dad being here. Visit Londonderry is about all of us taking care of each other, helping each other and working together to make this the best place to live work and play. People ask me “How is Visit Londonderry different than a Chamber of Commerce?” Oh my goodness Visit Londonderry embraces our entire community, our Londonderry family!
From what I understand of a Chamber, they represent Businesses only. That’s a great thing too, but why I believe with my whole heart in Visit Londonderry is that we represent everyone…. Yes our businesses (our newest members Giovanni’s and Martinelli Travel, we are so grateful to have you!), but also our churches (St. Jude’s Woman Guild was one of our first members to believe in us <3), our non-profits (one of our newest members the YMCA) our Town (The Town of Londonderry), our students, and our Farms (3 have already become members because they know how much we all appreciate them!). Even our preschools (Corrie the owner of the Learning Stop)! Visit Londonderry is here to promote all of us, big and small. As I go into each of these different places, together we begin sharing all the great things about our town and why we are all here.
This week even, though it was a short week, did bring a few surprises. . .
The first involved our own Richter’s Jewelry store. I have heard wonderful things about Paul at Richter’s for years. This is another one of those times when I’m a little embarrassed to say that with all the years Paul has had his business in town, I have never walked into his store. I know that sounds crazy, but because I have been a stay at home mom for years, we never really had any extra money for such beautiful things. I was so ignorant to the fact that Paul has beautiful jewelry at all different price levels. Because of Visit Londonderry I walked in… I told Paul all about our Commerce and Visitors center, he listened and offered me a cup of coffee. We heard each other’s story. Paul showed me many pieces of jewelry that he designed and constructed but he also showed me pieces that even my daughters could afford for special occasions. We also talked about all the beautiful pieces that he had repaired through the years. That got me thinking… I had two priceless, to me only, rings that I couldn’t wear anymore… one was a a mother’s ring that John had made for me when we lived in up-state New York when our last little daughter was born… the other was a an inexpensive ring that the girls had bought me while on vacation and the pink stone they had picked fell out. Paul explained that the stone that 6 years ago was very inexpensive now had become very pricey. He did say that when we were ready he could replace it with something that would look the same but not cost us as much. I knew we had to put that one on hold for awhile… About a month after my first visit with Paul I stopped by with my mother’s ring. I was still really worried about price, but knew I felt at home with Paul, and even if I couldn’t afford to have it fixed, he would be honest, helpful and just appreciative that I walked back in a second time. I was shocked, and I know I have typed that in these stories before. The ring was tattered, broken to the point that the silver had separated that held the ring together. I hated the thought of hearing the price, my guess was $200. A nice women that works for Paul, evaluated the ring, and gave me the price. $45 dollars!!!!! She said it would be ready in a few days. When my daughter Mackensie and I stopped in to pick it up I almost cried… not only had Paul fixed it, he polished it, cleaned it… and it looked just like when John had first given it to me… all that for $45! I wish you could see it… it means the world and now instead of it sitting broken in my little drawer, it is back where it belongs on my finger. I can’t thank Paul enough. Mackensie loved looking at all the other jewelry Paul has, and we both realized that there are prices that are low enough that she could save for, or pieces that he designed and crafted that we could both put on our wish list for ‘someday’. Don’t be afraid to walk in, look around, buy a special piece for someone you love or have Paul fix or recreate, with real appreciation for your memory and what you can afford. Paul also has many great ideas for our community, he is involved and wants to keep serving Londonderry… don’t go anywhere else for fine jewelry, Richter’s has everything you need and can create anything you might dream of. Again I wish you could see my ring, he gave me back more of a gift than he knows. He is a good man and we are lucky to have him and his business here in our town. Thank you Paul!
Now it is Sunday morning and again another day late and more money short…..Life is so strange… on Sunday mornings I love to get up a little earlier and look out my kitchen window for the sunrise… right now it is breathtaking at 7:13… I hope you saw it too…. On Sundays I love the peace of a radio station named Magic 106.7. Each Sunday morning they have Sunday Morning Jazz. Usually I have a cup of tea, but lately coffee, from our fancy dancy Krupp’s Coffee Machine. The only problem I have with these machines is that the coffee never seems really hot to me. Remember last week I mentioned how my mom had to have her coffee HOT! She would send it back no matter where we were. Then it drove me nutty, now I smile to myself, as I have to put my steaming cup of coffee into the microwave because as I grow older it’s just not hot enough for me either! Wish I could tell Pearl. She’s say see I told you so!
I have just a two other things to tell you about here…time to stop rambling and focus… Steve has been patiently waiting since yesterday. . . Oh I forgot to tell you that I really think Richter’s is a place you will see many unexpected friends that found this treasure of a business years ago. While I was in picking up my ring, Coach Danny K stopped in… I could tell it wasn’t his first time. Another great man who gave so much to our High School and our community through the years.
Now as I promised, just two more…. I’ve always thought it was funny that in life there seem to be those wonderful people that you keep crossing paths with over and over again in life. Often they are also the people that you stop and think of and say boy I wish we had time to get together socially, go to dinner with as couples, or just meet for a cup of coffee together. Usually because of life though with some people this just doesn’t happen, but still every couple years your paths cross again… and yes I believe God has something to do with this…
Faye from Martinelli Travel has been one of these people in my life. Long before we formally met, Faye knew my mom from when Pearl worked at Shaw’s as a cashier. Mom always said Faye was lovely and that Faye always took the time to say Hello and chat with her. That was years ago when Martinelli first started here in Londonderry. A few years later we met at Faye and Bert’s granddaughter’s Irish Dance recital. All the girls were so little then. We were both surprised to realize that I had been their son’s teacher at the high school, too, now there we were! The world does get beautifully small. Next thing you know all of our girls are attending Saint Thomas Aquinas school in Derry. Faye and Bert were at every event cheering on all of the children and taking pictures of everyone. It meant the world to so many of the kids who had no one there to make them feel special. Bert and Faye did.
What can I tell you about Martinelli Travel, I think people run their businesses like they run their lives…something to notice and watch for I guess. Faye deeply cares about everyone who walks through their doors, calls or e-mails. She always makes time for that next question or to hear about something exciting you have going on. Faye and her husband Bert have been committed to our community for years. They have had their businesses here and raised their families here. They are vital members of our Rotary Club in town and too many other things to list. Last week when Tammy from Avandi gave me that great example of being like Cheers, Everyone knows your name… that’s how you feel when you walk into Martinelli Travel! Don’t hesitate to stop in on your way to Lindt Chocolate or TJ Max, ask a few questions, say hello and dream a little, too.
Now to end last week before the new week begins tomorrow…. I have to tell you about my time getting reacquainted with Giovanni’s Roast Beef and Pizza. Teddy and his family started Giovanni over 25 years ago and it has always been in the same location. Another place I haven’t been for awhile. Now I have been back twice in the last week…. Yes in the last week. Tuesday while we had Giovanni’s interview, the homemade smells drove me crazy. When we were done I had to order lunch! Then Friday night when our family from CT was here, we stopped by and ordered dinner to go. Part of our interview involved walking around in the back, seeing what’s going on, how things are prepared, not with any notice really either. The hustle and bustle we saw goes on everyday. When Teddy says the food is homemade it is! I watched the roast beef being taken out of this large oven, dripping with juice and being sliced fresh… Dear God! Oh how could anyone resist! Oh Oh OH and they have homemade horseradish sauce or barbecue to go on it. I promise you have never had a roast beef sandwich like this one. Also I loved seeing a zillion heads of ‘real’ romaine lettuce being cut up and prepared for ‘fresh’ salads. One thing I really hate (sorry just don’t have a better word right now) is places that use bagged, prepared salad greens. Yuk, I know many places use it but remember I was a Home Ec teacher.
Another “Cheers” moment too, every time you do go in you will see familiar faces. Teddy hires from within our community. Many of our local High School students are given a chance at Giovanni’s as their first job. I saw one of my favorite students, from when I taught at the High School, Jimmy there. He has been Teddy’s right hand man for years. Also Teddy, gets involved and does everything he asks his employees to do… There all in it together, he too, works hard and is a good man.
Now it’s time for me to end last week and get ready for the new week ahead I wonder Where the Road will lead me this week….. Thank you yes, a zillion times for taking the time to read this… Sherry xo