Thursday, December 12, 2013


Main Street in "the coolest small town in America."
We just can't seem to help ourselves. When we want to go somewhere charming and fun, we head for Lititz, Lancaster County, recently named "the coolest small town in America" by Budget Travel. It's pretty, bustling with activity, and has nice shops and eateries in the downtown section.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Susanne is interested in a "re-do" of our house, which has not changed much (except a little for the better, I think) in the last few years. She has already ordered a long dining room table made from reclaimed barn wood. (You may remember our trip to Intercourse to order it.)

So last Saturday, she wanted to visit some shops in Lititz to look for cupboards or book shelves for the living room.

On our way through the Annville area, we came across a furniture store that we have been visiting since we were first married. Horning's has always had nice furniture at reasonable prices. We bought our first couch here. We bought the hutch that stores our collection of Breininger pottery, and at least one other thing I recall, a ladder-back chair that little Matthew broke when he pushed it off a trunk where it was placed for a second -- a nano-second, actually -- while Susanne vacuumed in our apartment living room. It still bears the marks of repair, and I still think I should have spanked the little bugger.

The pretty blue chair.
So, we turned into Horning's parking lot (did you hear the one about the magician who drove down the street and turned into an alley? -- think about it)) and entered the store. There we came across a sales associate who sits near me in the Market Square Church choir!  John was a designer of liturgical goods after being a public school art teacher. He is excellent at design of all types, including interior design. I was hoping we might encounter him.

John B. welcomed us and answered Susanne's questions about the company that had made the aforementioned hutch. Alas, it was no longer in business and could not supply matching bookshelves. He showed us others, and a lovely little chair caught our collective eye. It was in one of the colors we are anticipating in our new color scheme, and it fit Susanne well. (Of course, it did not fit me. It was like a doll chair for this big dood.) She anticipated many evenings of falling asleep in that chair before tumbling into bed for the night.

We thanked John and promised to see him soon. Actually, we hope to have him come up and look at our living room and dining room (if you have been here, you know it's a large space divided by a "knee" wall) and make some recommendations for color and furniture placement.

Back on the road, we discovered that it was lunch time and stopped at the Quentin Haus, a small
The pretty little burger.
restaurant on Rt. 72, on a section that runs past Cornwall and Quentin on its way from Lebanon to Lancaster. Susanne had quesadilla and some sort of chowder while I had a simple little burger, not the best I have ever had. It was a pleasant enough stop, but we were soon back in the car and charging through the forest along Rt. 322 toward Lititz.

First stop was the Shaker Shoppe, which you have encountered before on this blog. It's located on a ridge just south of town. We were greeted warmly by Tom Rossman, shop owner, who was just removing a loaf of bread from his bread machine. The Shaker Shoppe produces high quality stained and painted furniture, faithfully recreated from original Shaker patterns or adapted for modern use. And they have wonderful sales! One was underway last weekend, and we were there to look at their bookshelves and cupboards. They had a stained bookshelf and a painted one. Susanne wants a pair, so the timing was just not right.

Bread from Tom's bread maker
We had a nice time talking to Tom and his wife, looking around the store, and dreaming of throwing out everything we own and replacing it for a complete Shaker look. It was soon time to head into town, but there will no doubt be many future visits to this world-class workshop.

Our favorite antiques shop on Main Street in Lititz is called The Moravian House, operated by a pleasant and knowledgeable couple, Mark and Linda Johnson. They have a mixture of true antiques and other home accessories of more recent vintage -- like yesterday. All of the goods are nicely presented in their shop, and they're very helpful.

Susanne honed in on a bluish beat up wooden cupboard that we learned had been found in a cabin in the Catksills. It had a nice patina of age on the exterior, and the interior of the doors showed a nice original intact paint. Susanne and Mark did some serious talking and measuring.

"What is the width?" Susanne asks of Mark.
Each time we visit The Moravian House, I salivate over a great big wonderful step-back hutch, big enough to hold a lot more of our Breininger pottery collection. I looked at paint color samples and dream of having it someday in our house. The problem is that I will need to play the horses -- and win!

Finished window-shopping, we took a quick drive down Main Street, past the beautiful Moravian Church and Linden Hall, the oldest girls school in America, enjoying individual house decorations and the vintage star decorations on the street lamps.

We passed Wilbur Chocolate Company's retail outlet on our way out of town but did not give in to temptation, as you can see in this little video.

Soon we were on our way up Pa. 501, west on US 322, and then onto Pa. 39 towards Linglestown. We stopped at the Giant supermarket to purchase some artisan bread to take to Market Square Church the next day for Bistro, a fundraiser our congregation organizes each year to help folks who are down on their luck. Church members and others prepare somewhat "exotic" soups, artisan breads, and desserts. Musicians provide a nice atmosphere, and the whole thing is a jolly affair. This effort has raised more than $100,000 since its inception.

Bread bought, Susanne and I headed home to put up our feet and exhale. But not before attending our own annual outdoor Christmas tree lighting. It was spectacular!

And now some additional pictures for those of you who are foolish enough, er, I mean care enough to read further!

Welcome to Quentin Haus.

Like all smart phone users, Susanne rudely ignores her lunch partner.

The charming entrance to the Shaker Shoppe in Lititz.

Now I call this fresh merchandise!

Furniture and pottery: what's not to like?

There's one of the bookcases on the left wall.

This is the 1796 John Phillips House on East Main Street.

These fanciful paper trees adorned the window sill.

The Moravian House glittered with holiday decorations for sale.

I like any representation of a house (or other structure), 
in no matter what medium.

Here's the big hutch I need to display more pottery.

A  hummingbird for the tree.

 Pilger Haus condos across the street from the shop
 beckon, "Buy one, buy one, you'd be home already!"
A simple but elegant 18th century doorway on Main Street.

Young people stroll near Linden Hall under the starlight.

When we were shopping for bread in the Giant at Hershey,
I came across this odd little cake.
I think it was hollow in the middle.
I must examine one more closely. Mmmm.