Thursday, July 21, 2011


Fern M. Long, matriarch
A family gathering was the order of the day on Saturday, July 16, when Susanne's twin sister and brother came to see Susanne's mother at the rehab center of Messiah Village. Finally, the weather was pleasant enough to sit on the porch and enjoy conversation and dinner. We were guests of Grandma Long and got to order anything we wanted from a nearby restaurant.

After dinner, we had coffee provided by Susanne, and a birthday pie, complete with candles, brought from Maryland by her sister Joanne for their brother Randy, who turned 50 that day. The food was delicious and everyone enjoyed being together.

Fast forward to this week, which has been so hot that we have spent most of the time in the house, leaving poor Mr. Box to roast in the terrible heat. Then today we abandoned him again to venture out to Red Lion, Pa., to see the workshop and show house of Family Heirloom Weavers. They are located at June Pond Farm, a property outside Red Lion, which is near York, Pa.

We moved easily down I-81 to I-83 and then exited below York at Queen Street, Route 74 south. In a few miles we came to a small town called Spry (which we were not feeling at the moment) and then passed through a larger town called Dallastown. Soon thereafter, we turned onto a country road. We encountered some lovely farmland and waved to the horses and cattle languishing in the sun.

Soon we arrived at the road back to June Pond Farm and pulled up onto the gravel parking lot, seeking some shady park to spot. Unfortunately, not a single spot of shade was to be found.

Pieces in the brown palette.
A low building directed across the street housed the workshop, and a 100-year old house beside it was the "show house," a former log house that had been expanded into an American four-square early in the 20th century. Americans must have been shorter then, or perhaps there was a lot of bending down to get through doorways then, just as there was today.

Susanne oohed and ahhed her way around the house, loving the most primitive-looking pieces, as well as the more intricately-patterned ones. The back room had a new line of items for use in the Arts and Crafts house.

Arts and Crafts designs.
This weaver has produced rugs and other fabrics for the most famous historical restorations like Colonial Willamsburg, churches, museums, and homes of nine American presidents. The cool thing is that everyone can have unique designs of their own or copies of other designs with their name and date included.

Susanne made a deal for the weavers to make a queen-size coverlet with blue and white yarn in a herringbone pattern. This would be something new, so the weaver said he would do a few inches and call to have us come see if he should proceed! That should be interesting to see. Watch Ebay to see that coverlet once Susanne and I are gone, as Matt and Sarah will no doubt list it as a historical reproduction of the highest caliber.

How good does that  look?
By this time it was nearly 1:00 p.m., and we were famished. (It is very taxing to look at reproductions of historic fabrics, you know.) We read all the signs at every exit, and finally found a classic burger joint near the interchange of I-83 and US 30. Zooming past a state historical marker for York, we soon arrived at Hardee's, the fourth largest fast food chain in the country. There is only one Hardee's in the Harrisburg area, and the food is always a notch higher than other fast food restaurants. You can see from the pictures that everything looked fresh and tasty. The restaurant, including the rest room, was spotless, and the people behind the counter were very helpful. And, believe it or not, the food was fast!

Susanne had the turkey burger, and I had the hamburger, along with classic fries and a soda (pop for those readers in Pittsburgh). We almost never go to Hardee's, so this was a treat, and a reward for venturing out in the extreme heat. Heh, heh.

Mike Deno, Nice Guy
When we arrived home, Susanne, tuckered out by walking two feet from the car to the house in 102 degrees, went to take a nap.

At 3:00 p.m., I met with Mike Deno of Copper Sun Designs, our favorite contractors, who are going to make some much-needed improvements to our tired old master bath. Mike is fun and personable, and we all find it hard to stick to the subject at hand, preferring to go off on wild tangents.

After Mike leaves, we usually discuss adopting him.

 Mother and son share a laugh on his birthday.

 The showhouse at Family Heirloom Weavers.

 The same house 100 years ago.

 Susanne enjoys the displays. Note the 
heating grate in the floor.

 The blue palette section.

 A favorite pattern.

 Bed clothes and hangings.

 Looking through the grate at Susanne in the basement.

 There she is, rooting through the "seconds" bin.

 Some coverlets in the brown palette.

 A poster and news clipping about the weavers'
work on the movie 'Cold Mountain.'

 Punch cards that create the pattern on the loom.

 An antique loom and a list of Presidential homes
with Heirloom Weavers' fabrics.

 A worn and torn fabric sample, right, was reproduced.

 Bobbins, I guess!

 Pat Kline, weaver. holds a pattern.

 A bolt of green fabric comes out of the 
workroom for inspection.

 A clean and modern counter and kitchen at Hardee's.

 My cheeseburger. Watchit, yer droolin'.

 Susanne's turkey burger. She loved it.

 ...and hotter.

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