Little Things Really Matter
Jay and Karen share thoughts on how often ‘little things’ turn out to be ‘not little things’ at all.
It’s funny how life works. You do so many little things – generally without thinking very much about them. You open a door for a stranger. You initiate a conversation with someone sitting beside you on an airplane or at a restaurant. You volunteer your time at a local nonprofit or decide to join a health club. Then, something good – and big – happens in your life. It all seems serendipitous – but when you go back and trace your steps, you discover that this wonderful ‘big,’ new success can be linked directly back to that ‘little’ thing that you did unknowingly. So, what does this all mean?
Here’s an insight. I was recently told the story of a friend's sister, Emily, who was a professor at a top university in the Midwest. At only 45 years old, she discovered she had a kidney condition that would eventually become life-threatening, meaning she needed a transplant. She had become a teacher and then professor because education was to her the most important gift you can give any person. She was faced with a very difficult feeling many of us can probably relate to: what did I do wrong to deserve this? Yet something incredible happened as news broke about her condition. Within hours, her students, past and present, raised a fund to help support her transplant. Even more, one of her former students was a blood match and offered to donate her own kidney. Naturally, it all brought her to tears. When she reached out to a few of the students about why they'd made such an effort, the response was resounding: you were always there for us when we needed you the most.
It's an incredible story. As I listened, it got me thinking about all those little things we may do in life that go unnoticed, or at least that we think go unnoticed. But as Emily's sister recounted, her students wanted to give her something in return for all she had done for them, something in this case that ended up being ‘life-saving’. What we tend not to realize is that life has a way of paying it forward, and it's often derived from the little actions we take every day. Maybe we don't see how they reverberate in the moment, but eventually, our own good doing has the ability to change the lives of so many, those we know, and those we do not and eventually, our own. And in doing so, we reinforce the idea that doing good is in fact, good. So, this weekend, as you hold the door for someone, give a friend in need some of your time, or play with the kids, know that these acts aren't forgotten, and what you may think is something small has the power to transform.
The Fisher Cats – What’s in a Team Name?
The Manchester Fisher Cats are New Hampshire’s only professional sports team. With Boston less than an hour away and our state’s relatively small population, it’s not surprising that there are no major league sports teams in New Hampshire. But that hasn’t stopped the Granite State from getting a minor league baseball team to call our own.
The Fisher Cats moved to Manchester in 2004, and originally played in historic Gill Stadium right in the heart of the Queen City. It wasn’t until the next year they moved into their forever home alongside the Merrimack River, with the address “1 Line Dr” (see what they did there!). But perhaps what is most interesting about the Fisher Cats is their name. When they were acquired from Connecticut, they were originally called the Ravens but their name, along with their mascot, did not have a very New Hampshire-specific feel to it, so the owners changed the name to the ‘New Hampshire Primaries’ in recognition of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary. As an aside, politics is often referred to in New Hampshire as the state’s unofficial and favorite sport.
But there was backlash to the political name. It turns out, not surprisingly, that politics can be seen to be divisive, and some fans complained that America’s favorite pastime should not be commingled with political conflict. So, the owners reached out to the fans and conducted a vote to determine the new name (think of the irony of that, given the complaint about the name being too political.) Well, as it turned out, the Manchester ‘Fisher Cats’ beat out the ‘Manchester Millers’ by less than one percent of the vote (no, there were not accusations of voter fraud nor a request for a recount.) Since then, the name has stuck but you can still see some of the original red and blue Primaries’ hats floating around the stadium from time to time.
Today, the Fisher Cats are well known for giving back to the community. Not only does Northeast Delta Dental Stadium provide a relaxing and family friendly environment, but the team is famous for hosting charity events for children’s and veterans’ causes. This has enabled the team to be something much more than just another minor league sports team, as they have become an integral part of the Manchester community and have solidified their place in the Queen City for years to come. Please do visit https://www.milb.com/new-hampshire and plan on attending one of their games or other exciting events this summer! I’m sure you’ll have a terrific time
League of NH Craftsmen – Marvelous Talent on Display
If you've ever visited the northbound Hooksett rest stop on Interstate 93, you will see a treasure trove of New Hampshire memorabilia. However, have you ever noticed that there is also a place with unique craft pieces made by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen?
Founded in the 1920’s to promote fine crafts in the state, the League was formalized in 1932 as the ‘League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts’ and was rebranded as a non-profit organization in 1968. The mission of the League is to promote the tradition and appreciation of fine craftsmanship in New Hampshire through educational programming, leadership initiatives, marketplace strategies and support services.
Their pieces of finely crafted art range from baskets, glass and metal casting to photography, musical instruments, and fiber arts. With its first gallery in Wolfeboro, the League now has seven amazing galleries located around the state: Center Sandwich, Concord, Hooksett, Littleton, Meredith, Nashua, and North Conway.
There is a specific process to becoming a juried member of the League, as a Craftsman must meet certain criteria of creativity, innovation, and technical excellence. Once artists are accepted as juried members, they have a support system of fellow crafters from around the state. With over 700 juried members in the League, every piece of art is unique to the artist and the region they represent and the tradition that they carry on to future generations of New Hampshire Arts.
Nowhere will this be more display than at this year’s 89th Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair being held at the Mount Sunapee Resort and expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors. The almost 500 exhibitors will display products and services like handmade crafts, fashions and accessories, handmade furniture, wall hangings, baskets, kids’ tools and plenty of activities like paper making. There is really nothing quite like this amazing Fair. You will be in awe of the breadth of skills and art forms on display, the quality of the exhibits and the overall festive, collaborative vibe in the art’s community. So, please make plans to join in the fun between Aug 6th and 14th this year at the Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, NH - see you there!
Positive Profile of the Week: Karen Bassett
This week we are delighted to highlight an inspirational entrepreneur, Karen Bassett of Laconia. Karen is a founding partner of a terrific venture, known as Wayfarer Coffee.
In 2008, Karen moved from Seattle, the ‘Coffee Capital’ of the United States and settled in the Lakes Region. Like so many people in New Hampshire, Karen is self-reliant and willing to take initiative. So, she when she couldn’t find coffee she really ‘loved,’ she began roasting her own coffee beans. Once people got a taste of her incredible creation, she was soon selling coffee beans at the Laconia Farmer’s Market and beyond. Not too long after that she, along with her husband, Reuben, and Ben Bullerwel, a friend and Laconia native, opened Wayfarer Coffee. In essence, Karen took her passion and turned it into an opportunity not just for herself but for the community. Wayfarer Coffee is located in the historic part of downtown Laconia. As a leader in the community, Karen, along with her team and the energy created by Wayfarer’s downtown presence, have made a huge impact in restoring and bringing back to life this vital section of town. Thankfully, she saw spotted a business opportunity with the potential for success and took the initiative to make it happen. But the story doesn't end there.
In 2020, deep in the midst of the global pandemic that took a major toll on small businesses across America, Karen started the process of opening her second coffee shop in the small community of Lakeport, New Hampshire, technically part of the City of Laconia, located only a short distance from downtown. And, in so doing, she chose a great spot in Lakeport for her second business. Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, the Lakeport Café is located at the beautifully renovated home of the Lakeport Opera House.
And, there’s more. This May, Karen and the Wayfarer team are partnering with local businesses and organizations to host the first ‘New England Coffee Festival.’ With a theme, ‘Making Specialty Coffee Available to Everyone,’ and Wayfarer’s commitment to ‘Coffee and Community,’ the Festival is on track to be a terrific success! So, please invite your friends and come up to Laconia, the weekend of Friday, May 20th and Saturday the 21st, to sample some amazing coffee and see firsthand the impact Karen and her team are making in the community. Visit https://www.newenglandcoffeefestival.com/
Thank you, Karen, for your inspirational spirit and entrepreneurial leadership! You and Wayfarer Coffee are making a wonderful, positive impact on the Laconia community, the Lakes Region, New Hampshire and now the whole New England region and beyond.
Quotes of the Week: Little Things
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”
― Andy Warhol
“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.”
― Barbara Pym, Less Than Angels
“A little "thank you" that you will say to someone for a "little favour" shown to you is a key to unlock the doors that hide unseen "greater favours". Learn to say "thank you" and why not?”
― Israelmore Ayivor
“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.”
― Danny Wallace, Yes Man