April 2010


When my husband and I first moved to this area nearly nine years ago, it took us quite some time to find our way around and figure our where the local treasures were.  For a while, we drove an extra ten to fifteen minutes to a grocery store.  Then I learned about Landis.

I remember my first trip there rather well.  Admittedly, I’m not a very religious person and I found myself quite taken aback by the Landis supermarket’s tagline….”Faithfully Serving You” and was curious what a store with such a tagline might be like.  But I fell in love with it.  Yes.  LOVE.  How many supermarkets do you think get that kind of affection?

I walked in and it just felt different.  Homey.  Comfortable.  Warm.  I felt welcome.  You might think those odd statements about a supermarket but I tell you with absolute honesty and certainty that this was how I felt.  How I still feel when I walk in those doors.  Landis employees seem happy to be there.  I promise.  They seem a family.  Whether that is indeed true, I don’t know.

But it’s not just the warm feel, it’s also the welcoming appetite-whetting smells…bacon frying, rotisserie chicken roasting.  And the tastes.  “Free Samples” at the counter in the back.  My kids are always excited to see what the offering of the day will be.  Mmmmm.  But the bakery is what Landis is probably best known for.  Black bottom cake.  Sour cream coffee cakes.  Pumpkin bread.  Hard tack cake.  Shoo fly pie.  Such delicious Pennsylvania Dutch goodness.

We have grown quite attached to our Landis supermarket over the last almost-nine years.  Even my husband enjoys shopping there.  Really.  And we’ve always appreciated and respected the fact that Landis closed its doors on Sundays.  So we found it a sad statement that Landis feels the need to change its long-standing tradition and open those doors beginning Sunday, May 2, 2010.  Competition has become too fierce.  The big ones are taking over….Costco, BJs, Target, Giant and (coming in the next year) Wal-Mart Supercenter.  We will continue to shop at and support Landis.

And the idea that I find it appealing has me a bit disconcerted.

Manure.  Yes, I said “manure”.  As I picked my daughter up from school, I noticed the gamy odor of cow manure wafting across the school grounds.  It was so intense it elicited my gag-reflex from deep within.  But in a moment or two I found myself deeply inhaling the crisp air.

You see, as acrid as it was, I knew it was a decidedly auspicious sign of spring.  After the snowiest winter in the last decade, the John Deeres were hard at work in the fields behind the school, spreading a heavy layer of manure.  Manure isn’t spread unless fields are going to be planted.  Farmers don’t plant fields unless spring is truly here.

Inhale deeply.  Sigh.  There can’t be a more satisfying  sign of spring….except, maybe, for the heady scent of sweet lilacs.

I have  this lovely small, framed print including this sweet phrase.  My dear husband gave it to me the first year we were married.  We both wanted to make the move to a house, but we knew it wasn’t the right time.  And so we remained in our apartment for a bit longer.

Fast forward a few years.  The phrase (and sweet framed print) has come to mean so much more.  Two lovely daughters and a townhouse later and we now long for a single family home with a big (“big” being a relative term) backyard with trees for climbing and room for a vegetable garden.

You see, even before we began dating, my husband and I both shared with each other our dream for a stay-at-home-mom for our future children.  I’d say we never dreamed it would be with each other, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true (you see, I “knew” and he later told me he “knew” that first moment we met).

It was never a question as to whether I would stay home, but rather how we would make that work.  It hasn’t exactly been easy, but we have both committed ourselves to making it happen.  He has worked multiple second jobs to make ends meet.  And I have cut costs anywhere I’ve been able.  But these are the things we’re willing to do to make sure one of us is home raising our children.

And that leaves us resigning ourselves to the townhouse we currently own.  It’s not huge, but it’s big enough.  The yard is small, but the open space in the development is large and beautiful.  We enjoy seeing lots of wildlife and letting our kids play in the creek.

But today….today I put into action “Home Isn’t a Place, It’s  a Feeling”.  After so many years of wishfully thinking that we would be moving “in the next year or two”, I decided it was time to work on completing our home.  Making it truly feel like HOME.