Friday, June 11, 2010
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy. . .”
There I go again, humming that Gershwin tune. Come June I start thinking about all those summery things I want to do during the months ahead. Instead of focusing on the more serious issues facing the town, I’ll take this opportunity to share some of my ideas for pleasurable things to do during the summertime.
Let’s start out with this weekend, Saturday, June 12, at 5:15 a.m. No I am not crazy. The Carlisle Conservation Commission is celebrating the SuAsCo Wild and Scenic Riverfest with a sunrise paddle and birding trip down the Concord River, past the Greenough Land, to breakfast at the Riverview Restaurant in Billerica at the halfway point. The trip takes off from the Bedford boat landing on Route 225 and lasts three to four hours.
Starting on June 23, the Concord Band will begin their summer concert series every Wednesday night through July 28 at the Fruitlands Museum in the town of Harvard, at 7:15 p.m., (in case of rain, concerts will be performed the next day, Thursday). The parking lot will open at 6 p.m. for those who wish to picnic. I can’t think of a lovelier place for a picnic. Sitting there on the side of the hill with family and friends, looking across the valley to Mt. Wachusett in the distance, enjoying a summer meal of chicken salad, coleslaw, and blueberry pie while listening to those familiar tunes played by the band – what a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
On Thursday evening, June 24, the First Religious Society’s annual Strawberry Festival will be held at 6 p.m. If the weather is nice, you can sit outside at one of those long tables with your neighbors, eating that delicious home-made strawberry shortcake, while listening to the Second Wind Quartet serenade the crowd. If it rains, we can all go inside Union Hall.
On Saturday, June 26, we can start celebrating Carlisle’s Old Home Day weekend, with road races, the parade, Center Park’s third birthday featuring a Dixieland Band, a used book sale at the Gleason Public Library, the Firefighters Barbecue Supper, and all those other activities that make this day so special. And don’t forget Sunday, June 27 for Ultimate Frisbee, hot air balloon rides, and picnicking on Spalding Field. If you haven’t made a donation to the Old Home Day organization yet, mail one in as soon as possible. They need our help.
Finally, on Saturdays throughout the summer, starting on July 6, from 8 a.m. until noon, we can head down to the Farmers Market at Kimball’s parking lot to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. After the chance to exchange greetings and have conversations with old friends from times past, we can then return home to prepare meals with locally grown produce.
These are just a few of my ideas on how to enjoy the summer. ∆
Now, where were we?
Someone once remarked that the great national question of the United States is “Who are we?” For other places the more frequent question is “Where is here?” Maybe it’s me, but Carlisle seems to fall in the second category.
Before we closed on our house in Carlisle we lived in Arlington. We received lots of congratulations from friends when we signed the P&S. But usually the very next statement was a question: so, where is Carlisle? A couple of people knew it as the town where Karen and Mark Green lived. On the other extreme, the most geographically challenged (interestingly, almost always people from Massachusetts) would ask “So, where is that in western Massachusetts?” The moderately educated response was “Isn’t that the town with Kimball’s ice cream?” (Peace, those of you who remember Bates Farm.)
Now, of course, this was back in the digital dark ages. No cell phones, no GPS, no widespread internet (technically the world wide web had been birthed, but just barely.) And the Globe had not yet discovered Carlisle via data mapping (at which point Carlisle became the northern division of the Dover-Weston complex). If you weren’t a map fiend, or a road bicyclist, or a particularly devoted cross country skier, however, the inability to place Carlisle was not particularly surprising.
What we didn’t realize was that the game would continue, and go to new levels, after we moved to town. As customer service boiler rooms were centralized, and sent offshore in some cases, we went from folks not merely not knowing where Carlisle was in Massachusetts to folks who could not pronounce either Carlisle or Massachusetts. Sometimes we lived in CarLYle. Sometimes we lived in Pennsylvania. Sometimes we lived in Kar-liz-lee, Massa –toosus. Sometimes the people on the other end of the phone just gave up. The zip code starting with zero is also good for occasional confusion. And then we come to the name of the way on which we have our address.
I admit, here even I get confused. Neither we nor the broker (from the organization formerly known as Senkler & Associates) could find the house the first time we went to look it over. Indian Hill Road is easy enough to find from Concord Street. But where is Indian Hill? And what is its relationship to Indian Hill Road? And why are the numbers not always in numerical order? I expected the confusion to sort itself out when Enhanced 911 came into effect, and other homophonic street names were wiped away. But Indian Hill and Indian Hill Road somehow managed to survive that process with their converging-diverging co-existence. Our sellers told us they had bought the lot thinking it would bear an Autumn Lane address, which they were looking forward to, as this was their retirement home. The street number for the lot changed after they moved in. Without any change in the street number, the plus-four zip changed as well during our years in residence.
I have joked with friends and family from time to time that perhaps Indian Hill should be renamed “Nipmuck Knoll,” clearing this up once and for all. I can tell the chuckles are merely polite, however. And when I consider the amount of time it would take me to spell both of those words to Dig Safe or Comcast, I have second thoughts.
So, for now: Third Rock from the Sun. Twenty-two air miles from the Hub of the Solar System. Fourth mailbox after the fork. ∆
© 2010 The