Indian Summer in Carlisle – 2021 edition

Mid-October and cool evenings/mornings but very, very nice days with a fair amount of humidity. Feels a bit odd to tell the truth. The trees around us are kind of all over the place. Some of the maples are almost completely nude having dropped all their leaves while other trees haven’t even started turning colors. I did notice however yesterday (Saturday 10/16) while driving over to my house from my parent’s place that large long windrows of pine needles are all down and lining the roads. Definitely fall is coming – but still having to mow like crazy – so much rain!

However all over it feels and smells like harvest. I was trading some emails with my friends Allison and Marty from San Francisco and they have some property with vineyard vines up in Napa – they sent me some photos – totally awesome!

This summer has been pretty fun despite Covid – I have managed to actually get out for a walk most days that were not raining during lunch and with all the rain, I found some really neat mushrooms growing alongside the road. See below. Also, took some neighborhood shots. Spring Hill farm and across the street Fox Run (on Pope road in Acton). Also a shot of Bates/Kimball’s Pond which is downstream on Pages Brook at my house – just poking around 🙂

Spring Hill Farm on Pope Road and Spring Hill (naturally enough – situated on a spring)
Across the street, Fox Run
Kimball’s pond (us old timers call it Bates pond since Herb Bates built it in the early 20th century. It is downstream from my house on Pages Brook and is a favorite skating spot (weather permitting) for kids in town

Pictures from the top of my parent’s driveway – Kevin Brown was down from Maine to cut the upper fields with his really big Kabota tractor (you can kind of see his truck and trailer). Also, the Carmichaels have really done a nice gardening job across the street (the old Koford house)

neat mushrooms

Also – in traditional fall work, I got my DR brush cutter walk behind finally working after battery and crank case oil issues all summer. I cut down a LOT of dead invasive plants that my plant control service team killed (part of my permanent order of conditions from the Conservation Commission is to have an invasive plant management plan – I am fulfilling that by having a team do work each year and man do they do a good job! Lueders for the win!

Long day (about 7 hours of mowing all in at my house and my parent’s house) – lots of dodging of rocks and hoisting heavy equipment around but the brush hog actually did a good job of not only cutting things down but mulching them up too.

more before pictures

After lots of cutting of dead stuff
After lots of cutting of dead stuff

Finally – I thought I would share a bit of small town stuff with anyone who is still reading?

I went over yesterday to Vanderhoofs Hardware in downtown Concord to pick up some electric socket ground testers because I had some circuits tripped (we surmise due to surges from a blown transformer in town last month). I had a really interesting talk with Scott Vanderhoof – he is the 4th generation owner of Vanderhoof’s hardware and his family owns one of the iconic buildings on Main Street in Concord. There is an alley entrance to the back parking lot from Main Street and it was blocked off with cones – because the siding was off the building and being replaced. As I was walking up the alley, I ran into Scott who was in the midst of recovering the antique corners to the window frames – he was replacing the windows with new but he has a lot of customers come in for that type of window framing materials and they are not made any more. We got to talking about the building – under the siding, the framing boards are original and they are 12-16″ wide and 1.5″ thick oak boards. He was telling me the 3rd floor hasn’t really been touched since the 1800’s and the floor is a mishmash of different widths of maple – he thinks it was scrap maple from other projects because the 3rd floor used to be the union hall for the Carpenter’s Union (and the Plumbers Union). Apparently that section of the street used to be called Union Block due to the guild halls up in the upper stories of the buildings – neat!

I also had the opportunity to tell him how very, very much we have been enjoying his book about the history of his store and his family. His daughters are nurses and don’t have an interest in the store – but his nephew (also a Vanderhoof), after a stint as a corporate accounting person, has come back and loves it and they are planning on him continuing on as a 5th generation owner. Super interesting book and its available on Amazon (also – Nancy Shohet West – our neighbor on South Street (the old Diment place) wrote it with him. Her parent’s live next to me over at my own house – super local

Vanderhoof Hardware Company: The Story of My Family, Our Business, and More Than a Century on Main Street
As told to Nancy Shohet West (author)

“For over one hundred years, the Vanderhoof family has operated a bustling hardware store on Main Street in Concord, Massachusetts. As he himself approaches fifty years in the business, owner Scott Vanderhoof reflects upon the legacy that dates back to his great-grandfather and how five generations of Vanderhoofs have provided excellent service to the greater Concord community, proving that in the right circumstances, a well-run family business can indeed thrive in today’s retail climate.”

From the back cover – an old family photograph and the current generation recreating it. Awesome fun stories and a great place. I highly recommend it 🙂

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