In June, my sister Jan and I visited our Longenecker kin in Elizabethtown and the village of Rheems close by. One morning we took a stroll around the square in E-Town and found that though the town clock was still planted in place, the merchants we knew had disappeared. Dorsheimer’s News, Bishop’s Photography, Moose’s Five & Ten, The David Martin Store, and Zarfoss Hardware had changed into something else entirely: a bakery, a coffee shop, a train specialty store, and further down Market Street, an antique shop about to open.

These signs caught our eyes at the opening-soon antique shop:

Not-so-discreet advice: Notation reads July 14, 1941 Reno - Las Vegas

Tactful notice: Notation reads July 14, 1941 Reno Hotel Association, Las Vegas


Pay up! Notation reads: Virginia Beach, VA  1943

Pay up! Notation reads: Virginia Beach, VA 1943

Next we visited The Shoppes on Market, brim full of signs and mottoes for sale:


Then we admired the always festive store front of Flowers in the Kitchen Cafe all gussied up for the Fourth of July celebration:

Flowers in the Kitchen Cafe with patio dining. Used to be

Flowers in the Kitchen Cafe with patio dining. Used to be

Greek Gus @ Gus’ Keystone Restaurant tweaks his menu to suit Pennsylvania Dutch palates. Dried beef gravy on mashed potatoes, Wenger’s ham loaf, pork and sauerkraut any day, and pig stomach just on Wednesdays. As I snap this photo, one obliging soul obligingly rubs the belly of the greeter.


Less than a mile from Bossler’s Mennonite Church, the truck on the Kevin Charles farm delivers fresh bounty from the field. We buy 2 boxes of strawberries, a pint box of sugar peas, and 5-6 stalks of rhubarb. (See recipe for rhubarb sauce below.)


Miniature tractors for sale at Darrenkamp’s Grocery Market near Mt. Joy, PA


* Mom’s Rhubarb Sauce Recipe

Soak 5-6 stalks of fresh rhubarb

in water to “cut the bitterness,” Mom says.

Drain off the water.

Add fresh water.

Cut up stalks into 1/2 inch chunks and bring to a boil.

Add sugar to taste   “. . . until it’s sweet enough”

and 2 tablespoons of tapioca  “. . . just what you think,” Mom says.

Mixture will thicken as it cools.

  *  *  *

Have you returned to your home town recently and found it changed?

How have these changes affected your memory, your emotions?


♥ Coming next: Happy Birthday to my One and Onlies