Today, I played hooky, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS! My drive to church was so pretty that, instead of attending my Wednesday morning women’s group (WOW- Women on Wednesdays), I hopped on the highway and left town. I wandered up through the gold and red fall foliage to my favorite spot, southern Pennsylvania. No particular destination in mind, I wanted a dose of freedom and all the eye candy I could take in. God’s fingerprints are all OVER fall, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Speaking of noticing things, I know, I know, I didn’t post anything new in October. But I have great excuses! First, my family drove down to New Orleans for our cousin’s wedding on October 13th (Girlchild was the flower girl), and then both Girlchild and Manchild had their tonsils out at the same time (while Captain Schenanigains was out of town) on October 19th. Throw in Halloween, and all spare time going towards building our new rabbit colony, and that pretty much sums up October.
Anyway, back to my stolen day alone. Since I missed the apple orchard I had vaguely considered going to, and was in the mood for a bit of exploring, I exited I-83 at York, turned right a few times, and found myself in Red Lion, Pa. A town I had heard of often, but never seen (lots of people selling chickens there on Craigslist).
It had a pretty little main street. The usual car parts stores and banks, along with a few places that had clearly been built for some other purpose. Like the Karate building that was obviously a store in it’s past life. But I’m happy the people of the township are able to breathe new life into these old buildings so that nothing stands empty. One particular new store used to be a hair salon. Not bad for a small town!
As I poked along, I prayed for somewhere to pick up a few fun Christmas gifts and make this trip a bit more worth my while. Something to show for my time. About a minute later I came to Shadesville Hub and Corner Cafe. I was drawn in by the lure of the pink sign, and a promise of vintage and handmade goodies. ‘Nuff said! I parked around back, hustled up the steps, and found myself stepping into Etsy.
It was a seriously great idea for a store! There was a lunch counter with homemade food and desserts right inside the door, and then multiple other rooms of vintage, second hand, and crafted goods. But my FAVORITE part was that each of the 15-20 various display sections were run by a different seller. So you want chemical free soaps and shampoos, there’s a seller who makes that. You want jams, preserves, and sweet treats, there’s a seller for you. Are you looking for upcycled wine bottle gifts? Farm house decor? Pottery, unique jewelry, antiques, gourmet dog treats, knit gifts? It’s all there, sold by local citizens, just trying to get by. I love that. LOVE THAT!
I spent all morning pouring over each display (I never even made it upstairs to the used motorcycle wear section, what was I thinking?), and selected a bunch of gifts. I even treated myself to a few farmhouse themed must haves for my kitchen, along with a hand knit washable cover for my Swiffer mop. It can be used wet or dry, and keeps you from buying and throwing out replacements. Perfect! Some woman was very clever! She had sold so many of them I had to take the orange one off the display, the rest were all gone. It warms my heart to see good ideas flourishing at the grass roots level. Plus they were all very well priced. It pays to go off the beaten path (or offline)! 🙂
On the way home I stopped at Captain Schenanigan’s job to get some HUGE cardboard boxes. I need to get a start on next year’s new garden beds, and planned to use the cardboard as a bottom layer against weeds. I also snagged a few nice pallets, because what can’t you make with pallets?
I stopped by my good friend Marti’s farm to pick up two bantam chicks. One sweet fuzzy gray mix, and a black and gold Sebright with a mullet that I suspect is a cockerel. I wanted to test out my new birthday present, a chick brooder heat plate (that won’t set my barn on fire). For that, I required volunteers.
When the school nurse called, I knew my day of hooky was over. Girlchild, my hypochondriac, had been complaining of a tummy ache since breakfast, and I agreed to pick her up early from the nurses office. While my freedom was fun while it lasted, I’d still sign up for the rigors of motherhood all over again. It’s painful and priceless, as most good things in life are.
So tonight, as wood smoke wafts into the air all over the country, and pumpkins decorate countless front steps, please know that I am grateful you stopped your autumn evening to read my blog. I appreciate you, my faithful reader, and apologize for infrequent postings. I’m hoping for a very slow winter, with some quality stories to share. Just between you, me, and the internet.
So when possible, eat local, shop local, and give local. Community is rare these days, and good relationships bloom wherever you water. Go in peace.