This is the place to share stories of good deeds, milestones, special recognitions, gratitude, life transitions, and other news.

Lyme’s Day of Service

Fabulous Turnout for Lyme’s Day of Service!

On Saturday, May 4, 2019, over 200 people participated in Lyme’s fourth annual Day of Service.Day of Service

We started the day with 125 guests at our community breakfast at The Lyme School. Wow! Thanks so much to Jeff Valence and Tami Dowd. There was quite a buzz as everyone prepared for what proved to be a productive and fun event. The weather cooperated: There was a break from the rain, which was a relief, and even a few moments of sun. With temps in the 50s, conditions were perfect for getting out and getting the work done!

Individuals, families, and service groups (including Those Guys and a 4H team), turned up: 90 volunteers helped with all kinds of projects, and over 140 people greened up roads.  Many volunteers worked on more than one project or road. Both volunteers and service recipients looked forward to the big day, with some volunteers going back to help the same friends they had met during a previous year’s Day of Service.

The organizing team of Sue Hanlon, Kathy McGowan, Lynn McRae and Erin Wetherell did an incredible job!! If you see them, please congratulate them and thank them for sharing their love and energy to involve us all. Erin, who grew up in Lyme, offered, “My favorite part of the Day of Service is folks coming together for good– and for “good” in whatever way feels best for them. Whether it’s washing dishes at the community breakfast, greening up a patch of road, or raking leaves for a senior, the town comes together in the spirit of connection and community, and that fuels me and connects me to my roots.”

By Saturday afternoon, we had run into several people who were delighted with the day. Said one happy Lyme resident: “I had four doctors at my house! They did an amazing job—even more than I had hoped.”

Here are just a few moments that made us smile:

On Saturday morning, we received an email from Hanover High student Jack Lynch, hoping he wasn’t too late to help out. Thanks to some cell coverage luck, we were able to match him up with a team, and he jumped right in. After the event, he wrote: “Thank you very much for organizing the Day of Service, days like that make me want to stay in Lyme forever.”

A four-family raking party (Gartners, Princes, Voegeles, and Tadlocks) came together to take on a big job at a very appreciative neighbor’s home.

Celeste and Walter Wetherell cleaned up the shore of Post Pond via Canoe, as they have every year.

Jay Davis, who participates in the Day of Service with his family every year, said, “We again so appreciated the opportunity to connect with elder members of our community.  Always a great source of perspective, including a nonagenarian allowing as how he might need to eventually move away from cutting his own wood…”.

Susan Musty, a neighbor who was recovering from a broken wrist, received help from Nancy and Mant Copeland and Theresa Mundy. “It was a joy to work with my group of volunteers, who stacked wood and got the sand and gravel off the grass back on the road edge,” she said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the tip of my hands.”

Nancy: “We had such a lovely time. Susan had chocolates and drinks for us for a little break. We left with a bouquet of fresh picked daffodils and several new perennial transplants. It was so neat that we helped her and then we left with plant and flower clippings from her yard to ours.”

It really was a special day! Check out the photos below.

If you have more photos or more stories to share, please contact us at 603-795-0603.

Lyme Green Heat in the Spotlight

Local First Alliance recognizes Morty Bailey

Vital Communities’ Local First Alliance* has highlighted Lyme Green Heat in a recent member spotlight. Congratulations, Morty!

When Lyme native Morton Bailey started his business, Lyme Green Heat, he was just a guy in a truck delivering bagged wood heating pellets to residential customers around the Upper Valley heating their homes with pellet stoves.

Today this Local First Alliance business has grown to become the only bulk distributor of wood pellets in New Hampshire, serving commercial and residential customers with wood pellet boilers—central heating—throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, and even into Massachusetts. Click here to read the full article.

*The Local First Alliance engages businesses, organizations, and citizens to strengthen our local economy. Recognizing that regional prosperity grows from communities actively building economies that strengthen and sustain the places we love — the Local First Alliance works to promote, encourage, and support our local businesses.

By |2018-04-05T10:30:31-04:00April 5th, 2018|People of Lyme|0 Comments

Standing Together for our Future

Lyme School and wider community gather on the one month anniversary of Parkland.

An invitation to come together

At Town Meeting on Tuesday, Principal Jeff Valence invited the whole community to join in a special assembly at the school today Wednesday, March 14, at 10am, in memory of the lives lost in Parkland. This date and time was organized by youth across the country as a “school walkout” day. However, Principal Valence, with eloquence and passion we so respect, proposed and conducted something different. Here are some of the words he shared at Town Meeting:

“…Rather than this day being an act of defiance, which it may have to be in some communities, I believe it can provide us a symbol of our common goals. My hope is to invite you to join me in front of the school from 10:00 – 10:17, where we can affirm to one another that our community fosters understanding and befriends the isolated.  That we can civilly debate our differences and own our responsibilities, and, above all else, protect those that are vulnerable in a manner in which we can all feel safe- again.

This assembly is neither a protest nor a rally, it is not about politics, or amendments, it is about commitments – commitments to ourselves, to our neighbors and their children and to all those who are alone or need our support. It is Lyme stating to those that learn each day in our schools or gather in any community space, we are committed to civility and our responsibility to care for the well-being of others.

Please join me, please convince me and all that bear witness, that our fears do not define what we expect of one another — that actions resulting from our lesser selves can be overcome by the will of our better selves. That the shadow cast by often overwhelming fear will retreat in the presence of compassion, civility and care for one’s fellow man and woman. I ask you to be a symbol that strengthens our faith that we can all become the person we aspire to be.”

His entire message of invitation can be read here.

A meaningful gathering

A broad mix of community members joined the assembly this snowy morning. The program began with a moment of silence and the ringing of the school bell 17 times in memory of the lives lost in Parkland. Jeff Valence spoke with compassion and hope, using a mirror to remind us all of where both the sadness and the responsibility lie for creating healthy communities and safer schools. Our own hands and our own hearts are our tools to become the strong, caring community to which we aspire. After the principal’s remarks, Lyme 8th grader, Dylan Hendricks, offered a courageous plea for thoughtfulness about the role of guns.

The assembly was inspiring; and the community discussion continues, in Lyme and beyond. May we listen well and open our hearts and minds to one another, as we seek solutions to the complex challenges we face together.

By |2018-03-14T21:38:41-04:00March 14th, 2018|Events, People of Lyme, Uncategorized|1 Comment

The Perfect Snow!

Snow Friends and Dinos and Cats, Oh My!

Thanks to Lynore Bolton’s great idea, we have the chance to share some special photos of Lyme creativity after the second of two March snows. It was naturally gorgeous everywhere one turned, and then the artists got to work. Check ’em out below. If you click on any of the photos, you’ll be able to see them all in a bigger “slideshow” version.

We’ll keep adding photos as you send them in!

By |2018-03-14T09:00:13-04:00March 11th, 2018|People of Lyme, Photos|0 Comments

Kid’s Time Turns the Page

An Appreciation

Katie Jenks’ labor of love, Kid’s Time Child Care Center, was a huge part of my family’s life, from the moment we moved to Lyme in 1993 with two boys under 3 until Grace went to school full time. Those were formative years for us all. In August, Kid’s Time closed, after twenty-six years — more than a generation — of caring for Lyme and other local children and families. I celebrate Kid’s Time!

Since the early 1990’s, shortly after graduating from Bay Path College with a degree in Early Childhood Education, Katie Jenks owned and operated a (comparatively) small, in-home, licensed day care center in the heart of Lyme. 15-25 kids roamed and/or crawled the halls & floors of Katie’s home on High Street on a daily basis. The center employed several qualified and loving associates to work with the children.

Katie’s house was once occupied by a family with their own herd of kids. It sat very close to the road, and after the property was purchased by the Jenks family, a restoration project moved it back onto a new foundation and a safer distance from traffic. It was no stranger to the business of a big family and lots of activity.

Over 26 years in operation, Kid’s Time served a very, very long list of families. Kids that attended at the beginning now have kids of their own, and Katie has cared for some of that next generation. There were often multiple children in a family that attended Kid’s Time; and kids who attended together became lifelong friends. It was a family affair. Katie often kept children overnight or on a weekend if a family was going through a difficult or challenging time. She took my boys, Mike and Chris, in the middle of the night when we went to the hospital for Grace’s birth. Like family, but also attentive and capable professionals, the staff helped parents identify and work through sometimes complex medical, emotional, or behavioral challenges in loving and supportive ways.

Child care is a tough business, getting tougher as regulations, licensing requirements, and insurance rates have increased. Tragedies at other centers around the region have highlighted the weight of responsibility a day care center holds. Kid’s Time had indeed been extremely lucky over such a long period of time; and the time seemed right for Katie to seize other opportunities. Grateful for a successful and well-supported business, Katie made the difficult decision to close Kid’s Time. There are other very competent centers as options for her families. Katie was able to step back and appreciate the longevity of the business and her enormous extended family, with the peace that came from knowing everyone would be OK.

CommunityCare of Lyme extends heartfelt congratulations and thanks to Katie and Kid’s Time for providing an enriching and loving environment for so many children and families over twenty-six years. May she and her staff move forward knowing that they made a difference to so many and sharing in the pride and awe of the the wonderful adults that continue to blossom after having had a nurturing start at Kid’s Time Child Care Center.

As you sail on to your next adventures, we wish Kid’s Time children, families, staff, and especially Katie,

“Fair Winds and Following [AB]Cs”

By |2017-10-26T10:44:58-04:00October 26th, 2017|Celebrations|1 Comment

Remembering Tom Hughes

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

The days of our lives are a passing memory, a beautiful flower that is here and then it is gone, a piece of flowing water we watch, contemplate, worry about, and then lose, just as surely as we have just lost the sweet, companionable, ever helpful and humorous body and presence of Tom Hughes.

This Friday evening’s Facebook post goes out to Tom’s friends, family, and neighbors, and especially to his wife Maureen. Thinking back on last week, all the activity of my own Sunapee Fair effort, I can see this unexpected sad news, which I found out about while checking e-mail yesterday evening when I got home, looms way larger than the work and activity I have been wrapped up and focused on for weeks now. I knew Tom as a photographer, a helper, an ever present, humorous and kind, ever positive, encouraging, and generous soul who showed up in meaningful ways in my life with offerings and practical help at just the right time when the difficulties loomed extra large. It was exactly a week ago, Friday, Aug 4, that I ran into Tom’s wife Maureen at the Town Office in Lyme and asked her how Tom was doing. She said things were going OK. We spoke of when he might be coming home and good times to visit him at nearby DHMC hospital in Lebanon. She mentioned the room number he was in and said most anytime could work for a visit. I left thinking about the idea of stopping in on him on my way back from Sunapee some evening during the Fair. I had the idea it might need to be sooner rather than later as he likely would be returning home sometime mid-week. My thought? Tom had recently played a key role in helping my sister, brother-in-law and I to solve a challenge in the project of our Mom’s own hospitalization at the end of this past April. He and I hadn’t spoken face to face about how well that had worked out and the happy result of his own contribution and effort. I imagined catching him while he was still at DHMC, site of numerous pivotal moments in my own life. I felt this could be a great place to connect with and thank him. Whoah.

The picture I have shared was taken today, August 11th. I think Tom, as a photographer (we talked on several occasion about his philosophy of taking photos and I shared a few of my own ideas about making “flat art”) might like this idea.

By |2017-08-18T22:54:56-04:00August 11th, 2017|In memoriam, People of Lyme|0 Comments

Grateful Memories

The Lyme community has lost many good friends over the past few weeks:

Hank Swan, a steward of forest and fauna; his wife, Freda Swan, a dedicated servant to the town of Lyme, as a member of the planning board and select board among other things; Marion Balch, a mother, grandmother and friend to many, creative in her works, loving in her nature; Ronnie Balch, a long time fixture at the Dartmouth Skiway and teacher of all things hunting and fishing; and Mike Whitcomb, firefighter and EMT for Hanover and Lyme, and fixer of all things noisy with a motor.

To the families and friends of these good people, our appreciation for sharing them and our sympathy to you all.

By |2017-08-24T16:49:46-04:00July 19th, 2017|In memoriam|0 Comments

Tell Your Story!

We Have Each Other

Are you interested in listening to other’s stories, or sharing your own stories?

CommunityCare of Lyme invites your participation in a new story-gathering project, “We Have Each Other.”

Inspired by We Had Each Other, a Spoken History of Lyme, the extraordinary collection of Lyme personal histories edited by Mary Daubenspeck and Judy Russell and published by Friends of Lyme Library in 2000, we are gathering and celebrating new stories from the people of Lyme. We are also part of the UVIP Stories Project, which has included over 500 seniors across the Upper Valley and over 100 Claremont residents.

We are eager hear about the joy, the challenges, the hopes, and the dreams associated with YOUR life in Lyme.

Contact Mariah Lang (stories@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL intern, or Patty Jenks (patty@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL Director, to learn more about “We Have Each Other” or to sign up.

By |2017-07-13T16:26:18-04:00July 8th, 2017|CCL Update, People of Lyme, We Have Each Other|1 Comment

Remembering Marion and Ronnie Balch

With Love, from Patty

So, it’s been a couple of weeks of hanging by our collective thumbnails, for the family and friends of both Marion Balch and Ronnie Balch. Both have suffered in their own way far too long, and finally there is peace as the pain and heartache of the journey and watching it has eased.

My memories of both are distinct and tangled. As kids, Ronnie was a brother-in-law with a personality and voice of great proportions. We spent hours at the Skiway, and although he was busy with his important job of making sure the trails and lifts were in good shape, he kept track of where we were and how we were doing. He and Barb would get us home, or to their house. His booming voice was gifted to him for a good reason. There was never a question of where he was or what he was saying!

Through a series of most unpleasant and devastating events he found himself housing two additional relatives, adding to the already full house of four kids, the constant visitors, and menagerie of animals. He and Barbara inherited a 15-year-old teen-aged sister and a crotchety grandmother. It was above and beyond, and they did it. And it was hard, and they opened their home regardless. I wonder if he ever knew he was appreciated for his support?

While Andrea and Nana relocated to the Balch manor, I moved to the wilds of Lyme Center up the road from them. Traveling up the big curvy hill to get home was often a challenge. On one occasion, I didn’t quite make it to the top, fighting a slimy, icy snow in my useless Plymouth Duster. He came to the rescue and literally pushed the car (let me clarify, by hand) to get away from the guard rails, back into the road and enough up the road, so I could get traction enough to go. And go I did. An occasion never forgotten. Not too long after that he had his first heart attack.

Marion was also a presence in our life. Self appointed “Grammie” to many, she adopted Andrea and me, and then my girls (Andrea had grown up and ventured off to get rich and famous).  … She sewed, cooked, babysat, nursed and generally attended to all. An important memory is Marion moving herself into our home to help tend to dad when he was dying. Resting at night on mattresses on the floor to be near him, we all camped out. But it was Marion that dealt with the harsher realities encountered at times like that. Never one to mince words, you could count on knowing exactly how she felt and how best to make her happy. She had sparkling blue eyes that Ronnie must have inherited, and spent hours creating beautiful sweaters and quilts and who knows what else. And hand that woman a baby, and she was in heaven for hours. Barbara and I both thanked God Marion was close by when Kathy was a baby and toddler. Because that kid was hell on toddling feet, and only Marion had the touch to level her out! Worked out fine….she turned out to be a beautiful, loving woman.

Little stories about major people. They both touched, enriched and sustained the lives of many. They were forces to be reckoned with and they were good people, opening their homes and their hearts as needed.

To Barbara, Mike, Doug and Sherman, Kevin and Michelle, and Kathy and Ray, I send my sincerest sympathy and admiration. Your efforts to respect and enable the ending Ronnie wanted is an inspiration. And to Bruce and all the nieces and nephews and grandchildren, cousins, and good friends who will miss these unique souls, my sympathy to you.

With much love to you all,

Patty

Obituaries for Marion and Ronnie Balch appeared in the Valley News on July 6th. Click the links below to readh them online.

Marion Balch’s Obituary
Ronnie Balch’s Obituary

Those who may wish to honor the memory of Marion or Ronnie may donate to the Memorial Field in Memory of John F. Balch at Chase Field in Lyme, in care of Patty Jenks, PO Box 342 Lyme, NH 03768.

Ronnie Balch and a fine catch
“Bumpa” and his loving crew
Marion Balch

By |2017-07-08T16:35:50-04:00July 6th, 2017|In memoriam|0 Comments

Graduation!

Congratulations to all graduates and their families!

What a couple of weeks for Lyme families and friends, with celebrations at all levels:

  • 8th graders moving on from the Lyme School and Cardigan Mountain School
  • high school graduates from Hanover High, Thetford Academy, St. Johnsbury Academy and more
  • many completing college and graduate degrees

Your hard work, passionate dedication, honed skills, thoughtful friendship, and responsible citizenship honor Lyme and make your friends, families, and loved ones proud.

We would love to post more graduation photos — of whole classes, groups, or individual students and their families — and any thoughts you may have about graduation season. If you’d like to share something, please email it to info@cclyme.org, along with any words you would like to include.

By |2018-01-26T21:25:48-04:00June 12th, 2017|Celebrations, Events, Photos|0 Comments