Sunday, October 31, 2010


This past week the Box was busy, busy, busy, ferrying me around on a bunch of activities and errands.

On Saturday, the twenty-third, we had an extra choir rehearsal at Market Square Church with another singing group. We are singing Duruflé's "Requiem" next Saturday night at the church. There will be a 15-piece orchestra, harp, organ, and soloists, along with nearly 40 singers. After the rehearsal, I stopped at the Broad Street Market and then drove through my old uptown neighborhood on my way home.

On Sunday, the twenty-fourth, we went to church just in time for a fire drill conducted by the Harrisburg Fire Department. The drill was successful as everyone was evacuated quickly. Some glitches in the alarm system were found and corrected.

While the drill interrupted the choir's rehearsal time, we turned in our usual splendid performance. What?? I'm just saying.

In the afternoon the Box took me over to Camp Hill United Methodist Church to hear a recital on a newly-restored and enlarged organ. The recitalist was Eric Riley, organist at Market Square. It was a very fine recital, followed by the best post-recital reception ever staged in a Protestant church -- on the West Shore, I should say.

On Tuesday, the twenty-sixth, I celebrated my 64th birthday as the guest of my sister Rachel and her husband Jack at the Rock Bass Grill, only feet from the river's edge in Wormleysburg. I had a delicious hunk o'chicken parmesan with spaghetti. The others all had seafood macaroni and cheese. And of course, those delicious rolls and hush puppies with cinnamon butter.

I understood the furtive whispering between Rachel and Jack when a lovely cake with a candle arrived. I guess they don't allow 64 candles due to the fire code.

On Thursday, the twenty-eighth, we took Susanne to the Harrisburg International Airport, where she departed for Winston-Salem to visit her sister for the weekend.

On Friday, the twenty-ninth, I met an old PennDOT crony for brunch at the Broad Street Market. Afterwards, I walked around taking some pictures. Then I drove a bit north to my barber's, where I picked up the much-needed goop that holds my mane in place. The Box waited patiently in the loading zone across the street.

Later in the afternoon, I ran to the grocery store for some convenience food, passing a gorgeous red-leafed tree and a tornado in the spot where the shopping center sidewalk makes a 90 degree turn. [Turn off the sound so you are not annoyed by the talk show host]. I have always marveled at the collection of leaves and trash that accumulate there. The building's shape must cause this phenomenon.

The Box
The week ended on Saturday, the thirtieth, with a trip to the nearby Plumbers and Pipefitters Union building to make calls urging Democrats to get out the vote on Election Day. I made 75 calls in the three-and-a-half hours   I was there.

The people are very friendly and they give you soda, coffee, donuts, and sandwiches! Unfortunately, they would not let me keep the new cell phone they bought to add calling capacity.

Oh, this reminds me to tell everyone reading this to go to the polls this coming Tuesday and vote for your favorite candidates.

 On the way to the Market, I drove down
Dubbs Alley, behind Briggs Street. It must
be the most narrow street in town!

At the market you can see a diverse
crowd of people enjoying themselves.

 This is Channels Food Rescue, where they collect
prepared but unserved food from restaurants, 
caterers, etc. for distribution to the needy.
This building is on North Sixth Street near the 
television stations.

I liked the table in the front of Camp Hill
United Methodist Church.

 Eric Riley, organist

Jack and Rachel with the Walnut Street Bridge 
in the background.
Susanne had the window seat.
I had chicken parmesan with garlic bread.

 The others had seafood mac and cheese.

Whoopie pies are getting more complex all the time!

These colorful cabbages caught my eye at the market.

Why, there's the Box now, waiting
for a parking ticket.

 A beautiful work of nature.

The tools of the volunteer phone-call maker.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You might recall that Susanne and I are community sponsors for a French Colonel and his family. Patrik is studying at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle while his wife Dorine keeps busy with four kids!

Dorine did have time to come to an event today for which I volunteered to participate. The spouses of the students present programs about their own countries for the other students' spouses and the community sponsors. This program was designed to present regions of our own country to the foreign visitors.

I chose Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey (as did two other sponsors), so our display was quite full. I made a poster with photos of these states and some facts about each. For tasting, I took things associated with south central Pennsylvania -- pretzels, shoofly pie, birch beer, apple cider, and pierogies.

After the program, I packed up and headed home in the Box. On the way, I decided to take a look at the progress being made at one of my favorite real estate developments, Walden in the Mechanicsburg area.

The Box is parked across from the park and playground.
I took photos of some of my favorite houses and vistas, then visited the model to speak to the sales agent about one of them I liked particularly.

Walden is a very innovative place, like an old-fashioned town with houses near to each other and front porches for sitting and greeting neighbors. There's a beautiful green park and playground. There will even be an area where homes are built over storefronts, where small businesses will offer the necessities (donuts?). Hmm, I wonder...a pottery shop with living quarters upstairs. No commute!

 The New England table had blueberry muffins.

These Asian women tasted shoofly pie
for the very first time.

 The woman-in-charge makes announcements.

 The Texas display

 Pretzels and shoofly!

Pennsylvania products and souvenirs
A crowd in front of our display.

Southern cooking is shared.

Watching the women take pictures of the community sponsors


Here are pictures of Walden

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and pink is the color chosen to call attention to this campaign. Today, after a haircut and lunch with a friend, I had some time to kill before a meeting at the church. So I drove past the fountain on the east side of the State Capitol (where the water had been dyed pink, although it is hard to see here), then headed across the wide Susquehanna to the Camp Hill Shopping Center.

Stepping into the Giant Food Store, I noticed right away a couple of pink products, some with the pink ribbon tying the product directly to the awareness campaign. Then I started seeing pink everywhere and thought I would share with you the wide variety of pink packaging. You know, just for the fun of it.

 When I got to the church, I parked in the garage
next door. On Floor 7. The pink floor!