Monday, September 6, 2010


(Click on a photo to enlarge it, then the BACK button to return to the text.)
On September 1, three women and a chauffeur set out in the silver Box for a little trip through neighboring Lebanon County. My charming wife Susanne, my adorable sister Rachel, and my delightful sister-in-law Wanda were the three women. I will let you guess who the chauffeur was.

A quick jaunt down I-78 to Bethel, a tiny town by-passed a long time ago by US 22 and then I-78, still has a wide square with houses and businesses. One of the oldest houses is now home to Geesaman's Country Furnishings, where they have a nice blend of antiques, collectibles, and reproductions of country stuff for your house (because you do not already have a houseful).

Rachel ended up with a pretty arrangement of silk flowers, Wanda got a neat miniature tin candle holder, and Susanne added to her tin collection, too, buying -- of all things -- a dust pan! I had my eye on bigger things, like a very big, very wooden hutch in the corner. It would be perfect for the latest pieces in my redware collection. I figured I would measure a couple of spots at home where it might fit and come back to it later. By then it would be sold, and I would have saved a bundle!

Next we headed down Rt. 501, passing Kum Esse Diner (of Lestermania fame), through Myerstown, passing its beautiful 18th-century Isaac Meier house, and ending up in Schaefferstown. There we found The Tweed Weasel, a shop selling primitive antiques and "stuff" in a lovely old barn on the main drag. We had been warned that the place was pricey, and we were not disappointed. The stuff was cool, and there were some real treasures among the antique furniture. Wanda was on the trail of a wooden box to hold paper and writing instruments on her kitchen table but felt that $150 was a bit much for this little luxury. Nobody bought anything, but it was nice looking around. (Unfortunately, the Weasel's web site said photos were forbidden, so I have no evidence that it was appealing.)

Soon we were driving up Pa. 897 through some beautiful farmland, past fields of corn and beans, and those wonderful sturdy stone houses of Lebanon County. We arrived in Lebanon, in search of the farmers market. I had found the address online, only to realize later that it was a different market than we wanted. We wanted the new enterprise downtown. Being a brilliant navigator, I stopped beside a mailman who told us how to find it.

By the time we arrived, everyone's blood sugar was low, so we made a beeline to the mezzanine, where there were tables and chairs and some food vendors. We all got something good to eat and then climbed a half-flight to an art gallery, which had a show featuring some very fine artwork not larger than 12" square.

Finally, we took the elevator to the first floor, where stalls sold meats and vegetables, prepared foods, flowers, candies, soft pretzels, and, of course, what every farmers market needs, jewelry. We cruised them all. Wanda got a bag o'peanut butter cups (later to become -- in the heat of the parked Box -- one giant peanut butter cup); Susanne got some chocolate-covered pretzels, some veggies and fruit, and some cookies for the grandchildren, as I recall; Rachel bought cream puffs (for Jack); and I bought a miniature fresh peach pie.

A ride up US 422 brought us to the Antique Station at Annville. It's a large antique mall, and we all split up to look for that one thing that would complete our lives. For me, it was a china soap dish with blue flowers, waiting to decorate the newly-tiled and blue-painted bathroom in the master bedroom. (If the soap dish isn't already antique, it may be by the time I get that work done -- quick, someone MAKE ME scrape off the old wallpaper NOW!)

Well, that vast mall took our last few ounces of energy, so we decided to pack it in. We headed north on Pa. 934, passing through Annville (where we quenched our thirst with one of those embarrassingly large fountain sodas you get at Turkey Hill), past the Lebanon Valley College campus, through the crossroads at Harper's Tavern, and onto US 22. I veered off onto Old US 22, also known as Old Jonestown Road, through Grantville and Shellsville (where a saved-for-another-day-shop is located) and back home to examine our treasures.

 Wanda advises Rachel on her little bouquet.

 Here's the hutch I saved a bundle on!

Wanda considers an item on the mantle.

Pretty, isn't it?

The women enter the fancy-schmancy Weasel barn.

The warm atmosphere of the market greets
us right inside the door.

 There's the aforementioned mezzanine.

Among the goodies, cinnamon soft pretzels.

Colorful crafts abound.

This phenomenal peach pie kept calling my name.

You could tell fall is approaching by visiting the florist.

Kale is a great fall decoration.

Hallowe'en calls for candy corn!

 Cracker pudding! I had forgotten all about this
Pennsylvania Dutch treat.

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