Nancy Fisher | Ipswich, Massachusetts
This is the third of three articles on the author’s recent move from Del Mar to Ipswich.
|The Mansion at Turner Hill. Photo Mike Salt.
On a Monday in early August the moving van arrived and unloaded box after box of the “stuff” of our lives, and by late Tuesday we had enough empty cardboard boxes to fill our double garage, kitchen, and living room. We also had an invitation to a cocktail party, received a few hours before, which would be hosted that evening by the new professional property manager of our condominium association. It would be a chance, the invitation promised, to get to know the new company and our neighbors.
The venue was the 1898 Elizabethan mansion that is the centerpiece of the Turner Hill Golf Club and the Residences at Turner Hill, and serves as its clubhouse. Elegant and creepy at the same time, and said to be haunted, it’s a popular wedding spot and also hosts gatherings of all kinds. We cobbled together some cocktail attire and went.
Our closest neighbors, who had seen or heard about the van unloading only the day before, treated us like royalty just for showing up, and we met our next-door neighbor, Nancy, the couple two doors down, Bill and Ronna, and Rene (pronounced Rainy) and Patty, from across the street. While I tried to explain to everyone why anyone would intentionally move from Del Mar to Ipswich, Mike tried to get rid of the cardboard. Which day was trash day? Where was the dump, and how could he get a sticker? Would our recycling guys possibly take that much? We left feeling welcomed, and even embraced, which was nothing compared to how we felt at 7:30 the next morning when we found Bill and Rene standing in our driveway ready to haul the cardboard out for the recyclers.
And just like that, before the sun set on our third day, we knew the neighbors.
So, back to the point of these articles. If we had a chance to do it over again, as we do, would we get as involved with the community as we did in Del Mar?
Yes. If not, we’d risk never meeting a writer like Ann Gardner, or meeting friends with the volunteer spirit of the McGreals, Carol Kerridge, or Jeff Barnouw. We might never see another smile as beautiful as Mary Ann Emerson’s, never pick the brains of a Don Mosier or a Jacqueline Winterer, or know hearts as warm as those of Karolen Linderman and Sherryl Parks. We could miss out on witnessing the energy of Lee Haydu and Bill Michalsky, the tenacity of Rose Ann, Ira, Hershell, and Pam, and the wit of all of those who made us shoot milk out of our noses laughing. In alphabetical order, from Abarbanel to Zizka, we met many of the best Del Mar has to offer and will always be grateful.
And finally, to Bud Emerson, who weathers ad hominem attacks as graciously as he deflects praise for all he does for the city – as Dorothy said to the scarecrow, “I’ll miss you most of all.”