Where You Live: 'Always Christmas' In Georgetown

By Terry and Rick Palardy

Nov. 16, 2011

wooden toys and gifts

Terry and Rick Palardy sell homemade gifts out of the former barn next to their house in Georgetown. (Courtesy of Terry and Rick Palardy)

GEORGETOWN, Mass. — We are living our retirement dream. Rick started making wooden ornaments for gifts back in the mid-‘70s in Georgetown. Both sets of parents were living in town also. We bought a small cottage-turned-home, and he began digging, with pick and shovel as his dad had done before him, to create a work space underneath the house. He set up a few tools, and continued making ornaments. Many years later, we sold that first home and moved to where we are now, on North Street.
It is always Christmas here. Rick makes more than just ornaments now... wooden trucks, spinning gravity-powered carousels of all sorts, tops, puzzles, doll furniture to fit the popular 18" dolls, a rocking baby cradle, a rocking motorcycle and scroll-cut plaques for the US military branches.
I have always painted the ornaments and now make coverlets and quilts for the doll furniture. I play Christmas music out in the shop all year long, and during the school year spent many hours sitting in that happy setting to correct student essays.
I continued teaching until this past June, 2011, when I had to retire due to limitations caused by multiple sclerosis. I began self-publishing the writings I'd been doing for years... some on teaching, some poetry, and some on living in the small town of Georgetown after growing up in the City of Boston. I continue to quilt, continue to donate infant quilts to the neonatal unit of Lawrence General Hospital (something I'd started anonymously with a group of students who met after school to stitch with me) and now I am making one for the Linus Project and for the ALS patients project.
Our parents are gone now, and our children grown. But we are living our happily-ever-after years, right here near the center of town, where we can walk to everything basic when we, too, reach the age when we can no longer drive. I just published a book, through Amazon, and on sale at our shop and at Little's Block of Shoppes in Georgetown Square. The title of the book is "Georgetown at the Turn of the Millennium." In it I share stories of our town.

Terry and Rick Palardy are the proprietors of Wooden Toys and Gifts in Georgetown, Mass. You can read Terry's writing at Beyond Old Windows.

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