Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Not Middle Earth but Home

I would hope you are tiring of my insistence that there's more to Norwich than meets the eye, unless you insist on keeping your eyes closed (and if you do, having your mouth do likewise is okay, too).

As someone who's been around these parts for twenty-three years, but whose rest of his parts are considerably older than that, I can appreciate still being regarded as an enthused beginner with a more childlike than childish sense of enjoyment of the variety of activities within our city limits.

I especially enjoy discovering, as I did this past weekend, kindred spirits in terms of being NFH (Not From Here). Forgive my absence of modesty but I think we might be better off with a few more of us.

This weekend proved my point about a plethora of simultaneous, multiple and diverse interests (guess who got a thesaurus for his birthday? And I so wanted a brontosaurus) being addressed here in The Nine Mile Square (a great coffee table book from the late Bill Stanley that's just a small part of the informational materials at the Norwich Visitors' Center on the Norwichtown Green and if you haven't been there, it's not only for visitors from without Norwich but helpful to those from within).

Saturday I had the perfect excuse to visit The Lowthorpe Meadows, just a few steps behind the concrete constructs housing businesses over on Town Street on your way into the Norwichtown Historic District.

It's a bit bigger than 18 acres and I've heard it called a "cool, hidden place" and if your definition includes tiger swallowtail butterflies, deer and a pod of goldfinches you have most definitely come to the right place.

Saturday was a semi-annual clean-up and because the meadow meanderers are so good at picking up after themselves all year long, a volunteer like me had light work and an opportunity to enjoy steps around this absolute gem.

Before the weather turns even more autumnal, you should carve out an hour  and make it a destination, I promise you'll be delighted with yourself for taking a break from bustle and noise of the 21st Century.

Here are some other steps that pay dividends include the (only) twenty-six steps from Main Street down the stairs to the Otis Library basement. This past weekend was the Friends of Otis Library Book Sale, combining a chance to do good by financially supporting the folks who support Otis Library with a chance to feel good by gobbling up great bargains by the bagful.

One of the volunteers estimated there were at least 10,000 books offered at bargain basement (literally) prices. Sounds about right to me, especially on Sunday with a bag of books going for five bucks. I love doing good deeds, especially when I, too, get the immediate benefit.

These activities go on around here all the time; you just have to learn to look for them and grab your opportunity when you see it. Or you can complain about how there's never anything to do around here and feel good about feeling bad. Your choice.
-bill kenny

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