Saturday, October 3, 2009

Clay, Apples and Sands

Last night, I had a plan for today; and while I did indeed carry out that plan, it was augmented by a few great side trips today. The plan was to get up early and head to Boyertown, to my good friend and optometrist David Donohue's office to pick up my new glasses. I needed to go fairly early, as I ALSO had plans to meet an old friend for lunch at the new Sands Casino, which I've never seen inside (though I've watched the exterior construction since it began). My good friend El, who we affectionately call "The Doctress") came along for the ride, because she wanted to shop at Frecon's, a local orchard store. I worked there as a kid, so I always enjoy a visit. So, off we went.
Our first stop was at a roadside farm stand, where we both bought some fruit and vegetables. Good stuff, local and organic. I got a huge head of cabbage for my weekend soup, as well as two quart boxes of local peaches and a quart box of cutting tomatoes. Yum. Our second stop was at a local mini-mart for lottery tickets. We enjoy planning how we'd spend our winnings while we drive. The next diversion, and the subject of this post, came from following road signs. Those signs simply read "Stahl's Pottery Festival". She asked me, "What's a pottery festival?" I couldn't answer, so we investigated. Several miles of winding country roads later, we found this wonderful site.
The Vendors
We quickly found out that this time-honored festival has been going on for years, and we somehow missed it. Each of the potters is local, and there was so much talent and diversity displayed there that we both had trouble deciding what to buy. Since I'm participating in Crunchy Chicken's "Buy Hand" challenge, I found it an opportune time to purchase a Christmas present for a close friend of mine. El bought some raku-fired jewelry, and we spend a half-hour or so just soaking up the ambiance of the place. Check out the hyperlink above for a better description than I can provide you.
The lucky puppy below was enjoying the misty morning at the side of his master, a content young woman who was quietly reading and scratching him as she tended her stand. It seemed like a great way to spend the morning. Behind her, you can see the Stahl homestead and pottery. I may try to buy this place when I win the lottery tonight. I think I could keep goats there with no problem at all!
El and I finished our trip with the top down, as the mist politely burned off. We made a quick stop at David's office then an equally quick stop at Frecon's. We both bought local concord grapes (did I mention that I'm fermenting fruit?) and a few other items. She enjoys their frozen grass fed beef steaks (well, I do too, but I'm financially challenged right now, having misplaced my ATM card). We left with my tiny Miata trunk stuffed with provisions. One last stop at the fish store, and we were on our way home.
I did make it home in time to change my clothes and drive to the Sands, where we met up with Jill and Scott, and enjoyed a nice lunch at the Irish Tavern. The interior of the casino is industrial, having been built on the bones of the old Bethlehem Steel Plant. Peter and I didn't gamble; just met up with our friends to dine. The lights and sounds in places like that disturb me. My personal hell might well be a casino, though we're going give the experience an honest try next month, for my birthday. I'll let you know how it goes.
I still think the place has ghosts.

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