im ·pres ·sive  /imˈpresiv/  adjective ~ evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill: grand, imposing, or awesome

Errands (which are not impressive) are a part of life and often take us to new communities. Last week, I traveled from Lititz, to Harrisburg, to Carlisle, and back again. A native of Central PA, I’m sure I’ve been to Carlisle before. But driving into Carlisle this past week, I was struck by what I saw and immediately thought, this is impressive.


Approaching the borough on Trindle Road, I immediately noted the scale of the architecture, the streetscape treatments, and the energy on the street. The blending of these elements created a vibe that I was not expecting from the borough.

Being pressed for time, I didn’t stay. But I did promise myself to come back and satisfy my curiosity that was kindled in this brief amount time.

Many people pass through numerous communities on their way to someplace else. When that happens, you are given an opportunity to make an impression. What is the impression your community leaves? Is there anything that would inspire an extended visit? Or prompt someone to get out of their car and explore? Or return on another day?

As we patiently await the return of spring, this might be a good time to evaluate your community from the warmth of your car. Choose the road or roads that are used most to come into town. Take note of what you see and what you’d like to see. How can your community make a positive impression?