Life In Lincoln MA

10 Places to Celebrate the 4th of July 2014 in Greater Boston

July 4th 2014 Greater Boston

Here's a list of places in and around Greater Boston to celebrate the 4th of July in 2014. Ten spots (listed alphabetically) to choose from...some of them have *fireworks*, all of them include *fun*...like parades, live music, food, games and much, much more. Enjoy!!

  • Acton Mass. July 4th Celebration at NARA Park, Acton MA, July 4, 2014 from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm with family fun activities, live music and *fireworks* beginning at 9:30 pm.
  • Arlington Independence Day Celebration at Robbins Farm Park, Arlington MA, July 4, 2014 with musical entertainment provided by the "The Reminisants", refreshments, and of course, the Boston Pops Orchestra and Fireworks on the giant screen (fireworks start at 10:30pm). The event is free and open to all.
  • Boston Harborfest is favorite yearly destination for 4th of July festivities, running from July 2nd - July 6th 2014. Activities include Scavenger Hunts, Harbor Cruises and the annual USS Constitution Turn-Around. The Boston Pops *Fireworks* Spectacular with this year's performers: The Beach Boys, Megan Hilty, The Phantom of the Opera and The Boston Children's Chorus. And don't forget, you can see the concert on July 3rd but there won't be any fireworks.
  • Chelmsford 4th of July Parade and Country Fair, Chelmsford, MA The fair will be held on Thursday, July 3, 2014 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Friday, July 4, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. The parade starts at 10:00 am on Friday, July 4, 2014.
  • Concord Picnic in the Park, Concord MA at Emerson Field, on July 4, 2014 from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Scheduled to have tethered balloon rides, a bicycle parade, live music, and family activities.
  • Harvard Mass. 4th of July Events at Fruitlands Museum and Harvard Center, Harvard MA, July 2 - July 4, 2014 featuring a parade, live music, field events and *fireworks* on the 2nd beginning at 9:15 pm.
  • Lincoln Independence Day Activities, Lincoln, MA July 4, 2014 Activities include a 2.5 or 4 mile road race, parade, Boy Scout BBQ, concert and *fireworks*. The day's events begin at 7:45 am and continue through the evening
  • Newton July 4th Celebration, Newton, MA July 4, 2014 Scheduled events include children's activities, Open Air Market, amusements rides, live music and *fireworks*.
  • Waltham 4th of July Celebration, Prospect Hill Park and Leary Field Waltham, MA On Friday, July 4, 2014 at Prospect Hill Park from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a family event featuring children's inflatables, pony rides, animal shows, music, and much more! That evening at Leary Field, Back in Time will be performing at 5:30pm followed by *fireworks* at 9:30pm.

For lots more ideas for places in Massachusetts to celebrate Independence Day, check out massvacation.com.

Photo credit: Beverly & Pack / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Carlisle and Lincoln Massachusetts Among Boston Magazine "Best Places to Live"

 

Boston Magazine Best Places to Live 2014

Photographs by Steve Dunwell, Diane Anton, Frank Byrne Boston Magazine March 2014

Two of the Greater Boston towns where Barrett Sotheby's International Realty has offices made Boston Magazine's 2014 list of "Best Places to Live." With analysis of more than 150 neighborhoods and towns in and around Boston, the magazine highlights the "best places for buyers at various life stages". Boston Magazine has built a tradition of publishing themed issues of its monthly magazine throughout the course of each year. With a detailed focus on particular topics, the magazine's writers research categories and present "Best Schools", "Best Restaurants", "Best Places to Live" and more.

Lincoln, Massachusetts was named the best place for "Power Couples" who are defined as those who "crave a swanky refuge close to the action, yet also long for a respite from the social whirl". Click below to see all homes currently for sale in Lincoln.

Lincoln Mass Real Estate for Sale

Carlisle, Massachusetts ranks highly for those with a "Growing Family", defined as "The kids need a dedicated playroom. You need a big kitchen—and you've earned that master suite with the fireplace and walk-in closet. Click below to see all homes currently for sale in Carlisle.

Carlisle Mass Homes for Sale

Let Barrett Sotheby's International Realty help find your next home for sale in Massachusetts that is just right for whatever life stage you happen to be in.

Septic Systems: A Personal Voyage of Discovery

I recently sat in on the seminar that Barrett & Company held for its agents on septic systems and Massachusetts Title 5 requirements. Knowledge is power, and as the septic professional said, "When you are selling your house, you are also selling its septic system." The session was informative and technical but it got me thinking of all the fond memories my family has about septic systems. Yes, I am experiencing "septic nostalgia".

You Never Know When Luck will Strike My husband likes to share a thrilling story from his childhood in New Hampshire. When he was eight years old, he entered a raffle at the local hardware store and he won! Imagine the thrill of winning a store raffle as a child. To this day, he says it is the only thing that he has ever won. The problem was that he won a free bottle of bacteria. It was an additive intended to enhance the health of a home septic system. What a bitter disappointment to a small boy. Who wants to brag about winning a bottle of bacteria? The added insult was that his family's house was on town sewer. Helpful Hint:  The presenter on septic systems said that most additives are unnecessary and can even be harmful to systems. In most cases, they should be avoided.

A Surprising Environmental Impact I had never lived in a house with a septic system until we moved out of the city. The first time I was home for a septic clean out/inspection, I was a little nervous. Would it be gross? Would we fail? The man arrived and pulled off the cover that led to the septic tank. I peered nervously in and saw...a second cover about three feet below the first one. That creates a sort of buffer chamber called a riser. But before he could remove the second metal cover, we saw the yellow-spotted salamander. It was just sitting in the riser.

"Oh, those are endangered," the man said. He shook his head. "We can't harm those."

We both marveled at why the salamander had set up housekeeping in the riser. But the man needed to get the second manhole cover off to actually peer into the septic tank. So I grabbed a bucket, and we carefully put Mr. Salamander in it. "Spotty" seemed calm.

The man removed the second cover and I finally got a full view of my household waste now layered as scum, waste water, and sludge. Actually it wasn't that bad. The man pointed out some frothy stuff floating around. "See those," he said. "Those are floating islands of bacteria. That is a sign of a very healthy system. You have terrific bacteria."

He said this with such excitement that I actually puffed up with pride. No bacteria additives needed here! The words "very healthy" and "terrific" kept repeating in my brain. It was as if I had won a contest. It was the same feeling as hearing great news from a doctor. I wondered if I should call my mom to tell her. I came back to reality and decided to go inside the house while he and his crew did the real work (which my dad who grew up in western Pennsylvania quaintly referred to as "honey dipping.")

But what about the salamander? When the cleanout was complete, we put him back in the riser chamber. I hoped we did the right thing environmentally.

Four years later, when we sold our house and moved, we did our Title 5 inspection. A different company came out (just because we'd forgotten the name of the first company). The man again removed the cover to the riser, and there was the spotted salamander, alive and well -- four years later. The lesson I learned between the bacteria islands and the salamander habitat is that a well-functioning septic system is definitely a world unto itself.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

Renovation of Lincoln Mass. Town Offices

So I had just finished my Insanity® exercise workout at 8 o'clock on a recent Saturday morning. I popped out the dvd and the Channel 8 local access station came on. A notice appeared telling interested Lincoln, Massachusetts residents that they could come to the Lincoln Town Offices building (which is about to be seriously renovated) and salvage anything from the building. I wished that I hadn't just finished a workout because my work for the day was about to begin.

I gathered up the family and we all drove over to the building that was originally built in 1909 as Lincoln's Center School. Over the years it was repurposed into the Town Offices, but it still retained its "old-school" flavor, including blackboards, old oak doors, and boys' and girls' matching staircases.

The notice about the Lincoln town offices renovation said that the first-come, first-served giveaway would last from 8:00 a.m. until noon and items had to be taken away during that time. When we arrived, the junker dash was well underway. People had already stuck claim stickers on many items, including a great 1940's Steelcase desk, almost all the blackboards, most window air conditioners, a safe, and even the brass handles on windows.

It must be noted that this really was leftover stuff -- the town was not giving away all its office furniture and equipment, by any means - but it brought out people's acquisitive nature. A town worker had volunteered to help people unscrew hardware and move items. The rule was "no private toolboxes." The poor man bit off more than he could chew with this crowd. People tagged doors, wanted shelving pried off walls, and asked for Venetian blinds to be removed from 15-foot high windows. (That last one was my request!)

My daughter came out with a 6x6 foot map of the Town of Lincoln that shows every bit of conservation land and every lot in town. She wants to redecorate her room around this piece. So if anyone wants to know how much land Parcel #XXXXX has, you can call her! We ultimately came away with a birch slab door to replace one of ours, a metal chair, and the town map.

I commend the town that these things did not just end up in the landfill. But I think they underestimated how dearly Lincoln residents embrace the values of recycling and reusing!

Living the Sweet Life in Lincoln

What is more quintessentially New England than maple sugaring? It is underway right now in Lincoln, Massachusetts as the unseasonably warm weather in January and February has caused the sap to run early in the town's sugar maples.

I live in Lincoln and this first sign of spring has become a cherished family tradition. Our introduction to maple sugaring came when we first moved to town and cut down a large pine tree that was towering over our house. We immediately got a call from our neighbor: "Unlike many, we love pine trees," he began. My husband and I panicked. Uh-oh, we'd probably offended our new neighbor by cutting down the tree. But then the neighbor continued,

"We use pinewood to power our maple sugar boiler. Can we come by and cut up the tree and take the logs?"

The next day, the neighbor was sawing and removing the huge tree, saving us disposal costs and making us happy to see it go to such a good use. Soon we noticed his homemade sugar boiler smoking away. Coming from the Back Bay we found this amazingly quaint. I thanked him by baking some cookies; what a great community we had just joined.

The tradition of maple sugaring continued as another neighbor with three children set up an organized maple-sugaring operation on our road. I admired this father who took the time to embrace this long-standing New England activity even though he commuted into Boston on the train with me each day. After work he would change into some New England farmer duds and he and his wife would set the buckets out to tap the maple trees. All of the neighbors with maple trees "loaned" their trees to the effort. For added charm, the taps and buckets were the traditional tin type, not the plastic milk cartons that I had seen used in New Hampshire.

The sap only runs for a couple of weeks, and it is a window that cannot be missed. Our neighbors gathered all the kids in the area and piled them into the back of their pickup. They would drive slowly from one tree to the next on the quiet country road and we would all pick a tree and empty its sap bucket into a bigger drum. Then we returned to the truck to bounce and slosh back to their house and transfer the thin, sticky sap into the boiler. A month or so later, we all received some delicious Grade A maple syrup. Not a bad lifestyle in a town 20 minutes from downtown Boston!

Note: A great introduction to maple sugaring is found at a Sap-to-Syrup Farmer's Breakfast at Lincoln's Drumlin Farm March 17-18, 2012. They offer a pancake and maple syrup breakfast and activities and presentations outlining methods of maple syrup production.