Friday, September 29, 2000
Carlisle Comments Love at First Sight
When we began looking for a house in Concord last winter, the realtor asked us if we'd consider living in Carlisle. "What's a Carlisle?" I asked. I had visited this area of Massachusetts once every two years during our 17-year stay in California. My in-laws live in Arlington, so I used to walk into Belmont and became familiar with that section of the Boston suburbs. As our children grew, we took them to the Minuteman Park and around the sites of Concord. "If we ever have to move to the east coast," I mused back then, "this is where I'd like to live." But on that cloudy, 15-degree day in January, to be perfectly honest, nothing looked too appealing to me. It was 60 degrees back home. Sunny. The daffodils were just starting to peek out. What the heck were we doing in this freezing, snowy, icy winterland? I had to remind myself that I was supporting my husband in his exciting new Boston job opportunity. Oh yeah, I sniffed, watching my breath released into frozen sighs. Our savvy realtor drove us down Monument Street, onto River Road, and into the center of Carlisle.
"This is it?" I asked incredulously. "You look cold," she answered. "Maybe there's something in Daisy's Market that will warm you up." I looked toward the white clapboard building with black shutters and looked back at her. "This is Carlisle's grocery store?" I swallowed hard. We walked in hesitantly, and the first thing I smelled was warm apple cider. Oh, did that smell good! And the man behind the counter smiled and pointed to the ginger cookies. The place was small and cozy, like a small town market should be. My husband slurped down a cup of hot coffee and raised his eyes toward me hopefully.
"Let's see that house you were talking about in Carlisle," I said to our getting-smarter-by-the-minute realtor. We drove up the long driveway as we were told about the two-acre minimum rule in the town. I stared at the picture- perfect evergreens whose tips were decorated like a wedding cake with sparkling white snow. Yes, of course the sun began to shine on us as we walked through the front door and felt the warmth of the floor-radiated heat, and a sunbeam fell down on us from the high-ceilinged skylight. I looked out the windows first -- my ritual in checking out a house -- and watched the red, gray, and speckled birds feed hungrily from the bird feeders; the protected woods that will never be destroyed; and the long expanse of snow spoiled only by the footprints of squirrels.
Ummmm. Carlisle is pretty special, I decided. The man of the almost-his-house sighed with relief. Now it's the end of summer, and I hop into Daisy's like a regular. It's so much fun to go there during lunchtime, order a special Daisy sub, and watch the people come and go. The construction workers line up excitably like little boys in front of a toy shop and the harried young moms bring their darlings for a popsicle and a pat by the old-timers, who sit on the stoop on warm summer days and watch new-timers like me. I feel like I'm really getting to know Carlisle at Daisy's Market. And I like what I see.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito