Class superlatives from the school of New Hampshire living

SUSAN DROMEY HEETER June 16. 2014 10:54PM

Today marks my daughter’s end of the year award ceremony at St. Mary Academy. She’ll graduate tomorrow and head on to Phillips Exeter Academy for the next four years.

Today marks the moments to recognize successes by students: academic, athletic, social. Chances are, you may have attended an awards ceremony or two this spring; ’tis the season.

Alas, as I clap and celebrate students’ achievements, I wonder what it would be like if we New Englanders , simple folk we are, could have an awards ceremony for arriving at June 17 intact, successful, alive.

One of the categories I’d give would be the award for the most successful snow remover. You know, the neighbor who spots one flake on the driveway and is out there with the snow blower within seconds. This enthusiast may also earn the raking award, as no matter what, not a leaf is ever spotted on his or her pristine lawn. I love people like that and attempt to emulate them, but know I’ll never measure up. Applause. You’ve earned this award and we thank you for keeping New Hampshire so beautiful.

Another category is for those year-round birders. These are the bird lovers who keep their feeders filled, lovingly check daily to see that their feathered friends are cared for, and are always on the lookout for new guests. The husband of my friend, Mary, is in the running for this award. She tells me he has more than 20 bird feeders and in a recent trip to the store, John came back with no milk, no bread, only seeds … for the birds. Nothing else. OK, he wins.

Several awards should be given for anyone who works outside. While we’ve had some lovely spring weather, we’ve also had some less than stellar days. These awards would go to roofers, crossing guards, mail deliverers, all those men and women working on the expansion of Route 16 here on the Seacoast. Thank you.

Much as I love the out of doors, there are times when I’m grateful my work does not mean constant gloves or sunscreen or dealing with rude drivers. Applause AND a standing ovation — especially for making it through that mean March of subzero temperatures. You deserve this award AND a gentle summer.I am amazed when people have never lost a library book and have never had an overdue fine. I’m not sure if an award is enough if you have achieved this status. Perhaps a statue is more in line with this kind of stellar performance.

Really. I am simply amazed at those of you who simply have your library books, magazines and DVDs in order. As I rarely return a book on time, I applaud you, I thank you and I shall try to emulate you, even though despite all those electronic reminders and phone calls, I’m still, inevitably, late. As I walk into my favorite library (the Dover Public Library) I’ll genuflect in front of your statue. Truly.

Finally, here is an award for those of you still reading this column in print, for those of you physically turning the pages of the Union Leader, hearing the crinkling of the pages, enjoying the feel of a true newspaper in your hands. I think you’ve already earned the award: No pop ups, no commercials interrupting your read, no distraction by a new email. Enjoy. Applause for enjoying the award of a newspaper.

And may you enjoy the award of a summer well spent with warm weather, green pristine lawns, well fed birds and a good newspaper or book. Stay down to earth and I’ll see you next month.


“Down to Earth” appears the third Tuesday of the month in the At Home section. Susan Dromey Heeter’s other column, “Budget Vogue,” appears the first week of the month in the New Hampshire Sunday News.


Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required