WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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206 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 6 i followed Pam through her entranceway. I won't go into it, but it was a-mazing. She led me into the kitchen. Marble countertops, cabinets the most perfectly perfect shade of robin's egg blue, farmhouse sink, and copper hardware. Copper. Hardware. I think I short-circuited for a moment. It was beautiful. It was brilliant. It was spotless. Pam motioned for me to sit in a gray wooden stool at the oversized kitchen island. She poured me a cup of coffee, and I helped myself to milk and sugar. I commented on her kitchen and took note of a sailor's valentine perched on the countertop behind her. Inside a hexagonal wooden shadow box were gorgeously arranged shells, stones, and sea glass. The valentines were created by sailors in the 1800s and brought home to their sweet- hearts after they had traveled at sea for years at a time. This valentine held blue shells, green sea glass, and stark white stones in a perfect wave-like pattern. One word, until, stenciled into what I assumed was whalebone, sat in the design's center. My family traveled to Nantucket every summer, and I'd pined over the sailors'valentines in the Whaling Museum. Such romantic gestures so filled with longing and homesickness. This one was the most intricate, the most beautiful I'd ever seen. "That is stunning," I said, motioning to the valentine. "Isn't it?" Pam replied. "It's the reason I asked you to come." "Oh?" I prompted. "Everything began when I brought the valentine home," Pam gestured toward the huge picture window to her left. "I know she is tied to it somehow." I looked out the window, then back to Pam. "Who?" I asked, wondering if perhaps she had indulged in a hot toddy before I'd arrived. "Elizabeth, the ghost." "Oh, right," I said, thoroughly spooked and well aware that no one knew where I was and with the house set this far back from the road, no one would hear me scream for help. "I should start from the begin- ning, I suppose," Pam sighed. "I wish I could reach into my head and pull my memories out so I could just drive them into your mind." "Ha ha," I laughed, meaning ahh! ahhhhh! "Have you been to the dump swap?" She asked. Um, yes. I practically used it as a toy store (garden center, fur- niture outlet, and lawn care shop). Open from April through December, Wellesley's dump swap was a thing of legends. Now, I'm sure when you hear "dump swap" you think something like, "Here, take my old garden hose. I'll trade it for your extra snow shovel." No. Not in Wellesley. People dump treasures thereā€”a friend of mine scored a like-new $350 jogging stroller. The toy section alone is like taking a walk down the Toys "R" Us aisle. If you wanted to, you could bring home a new play kitchen for your toddler every single week. "Frankly, I'd rather have the bed bugs" An excerpt from The Dump Swap : a ghost story L I Z S O W E R writer narrative capturing a moment suburban sketches creative expressions your voice painting a portrait reflections last but not least "I'd grab a latte and meet a girlfriend there every Monday morning. It was such a rush finding little trinkets."

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