Quincy Community Electricity

electricity towers

A few weeks ago, my mom and I both received letters in the mail about Quincy Community Electricity.

I briefly looked at them, but didn’t pay too much attention. My mom was finally home after a horrible cycle of falling, being hospitalized and staying at nursing rehabilitation facilities for several months. I stayed with her for a couple of weeks to get her back in the swing of things again.

She had several medication changes and we both were doing our best to get things right for her. Her health and independence were the focus for both of us.

Then I happened to notice that the letters we received required us to opt-out of the new Quincy electricity program or we would be automatically enrolled. That was news to us!

After reading a bit more about the program on the city of Quincy’s website, it seems that the changes won’t be as big as I thought initially. Dynegy will become Quincy’s retail electricity supplier, but the rest will remain the same.

“Participation in Quincy Community Electricity will only change the “Supply” portion of your National Grid electricity bill. National Grid will continue to manage electricity billing, maintain poles and wires, and respond to storm outages. Customers using budget billing or receiving low-income rate discounts will continue to receive those discounts without interruption.”

Both my mom and I were very concerned about repairs after power outages. Apparently that won’t change. At first, we were both hesitant about being part of the program. But now, I’m reconsidering. Maybe we should try it.

However, I wonder how many people have noticed that they have to opt-out. Will many Quincy residents be surprised when the new program starts in June? Or maybe the changes won’t be significant enough for most people to notice. It will be interesting to see how this new program fares.

Brookline’s Attempt to Prevent Smoking

designated smoking area sign

A few weeks ago, I was watching a YouTube video about Americans visiting France. One of the hints for Americans was to not be surprised by a lot of people smoking cigarettes. And further, not to complain when encountering it, because it’s a cultural difference.

I was a bit surprised and wondered just how much more the French smoke compared to Americans. According to World Population Review, 34.6% of people living in France smoke as opposed to 24.3% of people living in the United States. That is a pretty big difference.

Maybe we have more restrictions here on where people are allowed to smoke? I would think by now, that most people all over the world know the dangers of cigarette smoking. But it’s possible that the dangers have been more publicized here because of tobacco litigation.

Smoking never appealed to me. My mom used to smoke and I remember waking up to the smell of it. I hated it. I tried smoking once and didn’t like the taste of it either. My mom eventually quit smoking and I’m sure that it’s added many years to her life.

Since so many of us are on board with not smoking, getting people to never start smoking is key. It’s so much harder to quit later.

Here in Massachusetts, the town of Brookline went next level with their attempt to prevent people from smoking. The sale of tobacco is not allowed to anyone born on or after January 1, 2000. The ordinance went into effect in 2021 and was upheld by the state’s highest court. So other cities and towns in Massachusetts could soon do the same to limit the sale of tobacco. This tobacco ban is apparently the first of its kind in the country.

I’m not sure if this is the start of a trend, but I would be surprised if it remains the only locality to try this. It will be interesting to see if and how soon other places may follow.

And for those young smoking tourists from France, if you visit Brookline, you’ll have to get used to the cultural difference.

Wollaston Beach in February

people walking on Wollaston Beach

The sunset was stunning tonight. Driving by Wollaston Beach. Looking at the sky and the water. The colors took my breath away. I was reminded again why I love Quincy.

Just a few moments drive from home and I’m by the water. I got out and walked around. The wind was biting cold, so I didn’t stay out for long. But I enjoyed these serene scenes.

Wollaston Beach with lights in the distance

Lights twinkling in the distance beyond the soft sand. Breathing in the fresh air. Noticing that it’s still light after 5:00pm.

sunset colors on Wollaston Beach

No filter needed. Sometimes reality is beyond beautiful.

Christmas in Salem

Christmas in Salem

When most people think of Salem, Massachusetts, the first things coming to mind are probably Halloween and the witch trials. But Christmas? Not so much.

Well, Salem does Christmas quite well and has its own unique twists.

The plan hadn’t been to visit Salem for the Christmas season. But I just learned about an art exhibit there that was ending today, so I visited yesterday. That will be a separate post. Along with possibly one or two other posts. There is so much to see and do in Salem!

I visited a couple of adorable coffee shops and wanted to try so many more. I worked in Salem in the early 2000s, but didn’t spend much time wandering around like a tourist. It was fun to do and end the year on that kind of note — like a full circle and healing moment.

This time spent in Salem was also an Artist Date. Time spent alone getting out of my daily routine to help increase my creativity. I have to say that these dates really work.

There was a magical air to everything. With the whimsical Christmas decorations and the witchy history of Salem itself.

The historic Hawthorne Hotel was beautifully decorated. Keeping with the more traditional touches for the season. I also noticed the South Korean flag out front. I have to admit that I don’t know the flags of most countries, so it was interesting to me that it was one that I knew. It’s quite distinctive and I like the symbolism.

Since I was curious about why it was being flown, I asked the front desk. I was told that they change the flags everyday, in order to be more inclusive and welcoming. What a great idea! It was just random that I happened to be there the day this flag was out front.

In keeping with my always being on the lookout for signs from the universe, I’ll take it as a good sign that maybe I’ll get to visit South Korea sooner rather than later.

And on that note, this is the last post of 2023, so Happy New Year!

Christmassy in Quincy

Thomas Crane Public Library Christmassy
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s even feeling Christmassy too.

One of the things that I want to do regularly is take pictures of the ordinary. What I see day to day or even year to year.

The picture above is the main Quincy library. It’s a gorgeous building all the time, but even prettier when it’s decked out for Christmas.

Quincy ice skating rink
This afternoon an acquaintance and I had planned to go skating at the new skating rink in Quincy. There was a few hours wait, so we ended up not going.

Since it was unseasonably warm, we decided to walk around to catch up and enjoy the outdoor Christmassy vibes.
Quincy Town Hall Nativity Scene

We strolled by the Nativity scene at city hall and even saw the little baby Jesus statue! He was often stolen from the manger like some sort of item listed on a Christmas scavenger hunt, so I was surprised that he was there. Hopefully the display will remain intact this year.