Well, Ipswich, Christmas is over, it’s a New Year, and that means it’s time to return some of that stuff you got that you don’t really want.
Or take the stuff you don’t really want, and “re-gift” it to people you don’t really care about.
Or exchange the stuff you don’t really want, for stuff you also don’t want but you’re less apathetic about than the stuff you got, and the store won’t give you cash, so you have to take something.
I have attempted to organize a list of gifts received by the people of Ipswich over the past year. This list, while not comprehensive, at least perhaps offers a starting point for people to start arguing about, and arguing about things is, as we know, the heart of democracy.
The Outsidah now submits the following list of gifts for your consideration: Return, exchange, re-gift, or just trash?
- Got the gift of that new High Street Bridge. Let’s keep this one. After all the time it took to get it, don’t even think about returning it! We could, however re-gift the bridge workers to the upcoming Linebrook Road improvement project. I trust their job skills will be applicable. If Linebrook Road begins gradually rising up above the houses on either side of the street, we’ll know this was a bad idea.
- We got the gift of those two wells with high manganese levels. Hard to give back a well. And it would be unsportsmanlike to pump the bad water down to Hamilton. Let’s keep them, and work with it.
- Stellar performances by J.T. Turner, Orville Giddings, and other local stars. Keep those.
- A new playground at Winthrop School! Awesome. Keep that.
- Dance lessons on the Riverwalk were very fun. Let’s not give those back. However, my attempts at disco were not intended for posterity. If anyone has access to the video, please trash.
- Shirley Berry had a bad accident this year, with lingering injuries. Let’s exchange that for a speedy recovery and a year of cheer.
- Market Street lost Luna Sea and Time & Tide, among others, but gained Gifts 4 Soul and SALT Kitchen, among others. (And we had celebrity sightings at SALT!) These were good gifts. We should hold onto them.
- Our Ipswich High School cheerleaders were outstanding again this year. Let’s hang onto them.
- Old Town Hall — hmm, what to do with Old Town Hall? Oh, wait. Wrong list. We already gave this one away.
- We got seven New Feoffees. It was such a long, difficult process getting them, let’s not trade them in anytime soon.
- This year, for the first time, an Ipswich church welcomed newly homeless families to spend the night. Through Family Promise North Shore Boston (of which I was a founding board member), the First Presbyterian Church took in three small families overnight for one week, with care provided by volunteers Presbyterian and otherwise. In providing for these families, Ipswich received greater gifts than we gave. The families are already on their way. Too late for any Grinch to suggest returning them — or re-gifting them to another town.
- The beautiful Christmas lights at the Galicki place on Linebrook Road returned this year. Let’s keep this gift.
- And the Sox won the Series!
Doesn’t seem to be much, after all, that we ought to return, or exchange, re-gift, or trash. Ipswich is blessed.
Maybe it just takes a day like Christmas to help us realize it.