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

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 (, 603-795-0603), CCL intern, or Patty Jenks (, 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,


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


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, along with any words you would like to include.

By |2018-01-26T21:25:48-05:00June 12th, 2017|Celebrations, Events, Photos|0 Comments

Lyme Citizen of the Year 2017

Lyme Citizen of the Year is awarded by the Lyme Foundation through a gift from Rachael Miller who established the premise of a Lyme Citizen of the Year award in 1999.  It is bestowed on an individual or individuals who have provided outstanding service to the Town of Lyme. Thanks to the Lyme Foundation for sharing more about our TWO 2017 Citizens of the Year:

Peggy Little

Peggy Little, whose guidance and inspiration led to the founding of CCL, with friends at CCL’s Open House

Peggy has been a quiet, steady, generous light in our town throughout her years here. Originally from Wyoming and a graduate of Barnard College, Peggy and her husband Peter arrived in Lyme in 1990, and Peggy immediately started her over-25 years devoted service to our town. One of the first organizations Peggy joined was Friends of the Lyme Library, where she was known especially for organizing and running the book sales for many years. She served as a member of the Utility Club and helped raise money to fund scholarships for Lyme students and grants to Lyme organizations through events like Fine Art Fine Food, and spent years as a member of the Lyme Democrats.

In addition, Peggy has served the broader Upper Valley community. A founding member of Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley, Peggy’s work has helped an impressive organization that many Lymies both volunteer with and benefit from. She’s also been a board member of the United Way. And, as one of her nominators said, it’s hard to imagine the Upper Valley arts and education scene without Peggy. She’s a board member of Open Fields School in Thetford and has served on the board of the AVA Gallery. And, luckily for Lyme, she is the co-founder of Long River Studios, a labor of love which brought the arts to Lyme in a unique way.

Peggy is more than all the organizations she has built and served. With four children and 10 grandchildren, someone is always visiting. She seems to enjoy the perpetual comings and goings! When you see Peggy and her dog Henry around town, she is free with a smile and a greeting. She has a contagious laugh and an excellent sense of humor. She is an avid reader, smart, curious, loyal, and never seeking recognition for herself. Today we ask that you join us in recognizing Peggy Little for her years of service as Lyme Citizen of the Year.

Paphanh Sithavady

Paphanh and friend, spreading love!

Paphanh Sithavady is one of the hardest working people in Lyme. She and her family arrived in Lyme, with three children and a couple of suitcases, as refugees who spoke little English. In the 37 years she has spent in Lyme, she has worked tirelessly for the betterment of her family, for her new community, and for the community she left behind in her native Laos.

In 1979, Paphanh and her family were forced to flee from violence and an oppressive government in war-torn Laos. In a daring and dangerous escape, she and her young family walked eight hours to cross the Mekong River in a small boat to the relative safety of Thailand, hiding from government forces along the way. Her family endured months living under difficult circumstances in a refugee camp in Thailand before coming to her new home.

Paphanh and her family arrived in Lyme on March 1, 1980, just a little over 37 years ago. Paphanh worked tirelessly, often holding down multiple jobs at Pearce Jewelry Design, EBA’s, the Lyme Inn, and Dartmouth College. She has been remarkably resourceful, using fish from the Connecticut River to help feed her family and making Christmas wreaths to sell at the holidays. Through her perseverance she was eventually able to move her family out of an apartment on Route 10, to a mobile home on River Road, and finally to a house she largely constructed on her own on Goose Pond Road.

Paphanh’s gratitude for the fresh start that the people of Lyme helped provide has been the source of her enduring commitment to the town. When the Lyme Country Store burned down in 1980, just a few months after they arrived, she and her husband showed up at the front steps ready to pitch in to clean and help rebuild. To contribute to the Lyme School and grow awareness about the culture and cuisine of her native country, she brought home-cooked Laotian meals to the classes of her sons and daughter.

Paphanh got her start cooking for the larger Lyme community at church suppers. Over the last three decades, Paphanh has prepared meal after meal to help fundraise for the church. In addition, she wakes up in the wee hours of the morning every flea market Saturday to prepare meals for Lymies and many of their neighbors to enjoy. She makes wreaths and Thai food for Lyme eighth graders to sell to raise money for their annual trip to Washington, DC. Not satisfied to do good just for Lyme, she sends the proceeds of her sales to a school she has built and funded in her native Laos.

While Paphanh knew that her food was delicious, she likely never suspected just how in love with her curries, noodles, and spring rolls our town would become. Paphanh has used her cooking and her resourcefulness to bring communities together, both here in Lyme and halfway around the world. We have been the fortunate beneficiaries of her loyalty and commitment. Please join us in recognizing Paphanh Sithavady as Lyme Citizen of the Year.

By |2017-06-12T18:19:08-04:00March 15th, 2017|People of Lyme|0 Comments

Independence Day 2016

Lyme’s Independence Day celebration was held on Saturday July 2, 2016 on the Common. It was a great success!

Breakfast, Craft Show, and Old Fashioned Games

The day began with a breakfast hosted by “Those Guys” in the Congregational Church. The Horse Sheds were filled with a craft festival hosted by Matt Brown, with many local artists participating. Later in the afternoon, the focus shifted to the Common, where there was a variety of music and talent shared, while the kids enjoyed draft horse cart rides, a dunk tank (with good sports including Mr. Valence and Pastor Amy), an assortment of Old Fashioned kids games, and prepping for the Parade. During the afternoon, Dan Freihofer’s cool red pickup was gussied up as the local ice cream truck, brought into service for the ice cream give-away in memory of our friend Bill Ackerly, the ice cream man of the A.T.

The Parade … and More Music!

There was great participation in the parade! Old cars, trucks, fancied-up bikes of all sizes, floats, horses, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts … and lots of folk simply sitting back and enjoying the show!

Following the Parade there was more live music, including patriotic moments and a sing-a-long under the big tent while the BBQ grills got warmed up.

Old Fashioned Cook Out and a Musical “Toast”

An incredible spread was enjoyed by a great crowd. Ingredients were mostly locally sourced. The grand finale was a dance party with funk &soul band “Toast.” Cool, indeed.

By |2018-01-26T21:07:07-05:00July 15th, 2016|Events, People of Lyme, Photos|0 Comments