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A Sunday in August like yesterday, when the skies are bright blue and sunny and being outdoors is pleasant rather than unbearably hot and sticky, is rare in southeast Pennsylvania. After feebly telling myself that I really still need to rest quietly for a few more days, (see the previous post), I put my sketch bag and medication kit into the MG, lowered the ragtop, and set out on a leisurely old fashioned Sunday drive with no particular destination in mind.

40 miles later, I found myself on PA Rte 143, a less traveled road that winds along a creek through woods and patches of farmland, dotted with Pennsylvania Dutch stone houses and barns, heading north. Stopped in Wanamaker at an old general store that makes sandwiches worthy of any deli enthusiast's palate. Polished off a pastrami on rye then dashed off a sketch from the front porch before continuing up the road to drop in on my friends Denise and Paul Grothouse up in Germansville.

When I rolled up to their house, perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views, Paul was indulging himself by washing his car, and Denise was inside canning and pickling vegetables from her gardens in the kitchen I designed for them. Last visit I'd taken a sour cherry pie that proved a big hit, so I mentioned that if I'd have known I was going to end up there I'd have brought peaches and blueberries so I'd have an excuse to use the new kitchen. Denise immediately seized on the opportunity, saying that just two miles down the road was a local produce stand that would probably have both. Fifteen minutes later I was making a mess, hunting for utensils, throwing together pie dough, peeling and slicing peaches, and earning my dinner.

We hung out by the pool while the pie was baking, talking about business, politics, movies. Enjoyed an ad hoc meal of homegrown fare. Had big wedges of pie. Relaxed and talked some more, catching up on each other's lives as the sun faded to the west. It got late. Denise put together more fresh produce and pickled beets and eggs and beef liver than I can eat in a month and we loaded it into the MG. I drove the 80 miles home under a star studded sky.

Before a rash of bad luck made cross country travel impossible for me this month, I was to fly out to meet Ina in Wyoming to see the eclipse. We were both sad that I couldn't do that. Still, a beautiful drive on a fine summer Sunday and an unplanned visit with friends I don't see enough of, while not exactly an historic celestial event, took some of the edge off that disappointment. Wandering, and spending easy time with good friends. I remind myself that I need to do more of that.


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Reader Comments (2)

As always Scott, a beautiful post. Where do you live in PA? My father's family is from there. So all those old stone houses and farms you mention , I see clearly in my mind. Altho it wasn't the Eclipse., I'm so glad you're better. I'd take that days random excursion any day, especially when there's pie involved.

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Main

Thank you Deborah. I live in western Lancaster county, in a little borough on a wide bend in the Susquehanna River. My Sunday drive took me east and north, up past Reading. Pretty countryside.

August 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott Stultz

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