I love snow days.  Outdoors and indoors.

Indoors, the quiet play of my girls, background music by Taylor Swift and remnants of a cozy breakfast…..warm cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate…on the table.  They are homebodies, my girls.  To them (and to me), a snow day is a gift.  A day they can stay under the toasty covers a few more minutes and wake at their own pace.  A day Mom isn’t rushing them through breakfast and tooth-brushing to make it to school before the bell rings.  A day they don’t have to worry about doing or saying the right thing in class.

I watch the outdoors from the kitchen table as I write.  Wind-whipped snowflakes rush to blanket the grass, while a pair of juncos and a house sparrow take turns at the birdfeeder.  Much to our kitty’s chagrin, I don’t think we’ll see too many more, as the winds continue to pick up.

Soon it will be time to start clearing the driveway and sidewalks, a task I don’t mind in the hush of snowfall, interrupted only by the simple scrapes of my shovel.  Once the jarring sound of snowblowers breaks that silence, it becomes a chore.

I am grateful for another day.  One that happens to be a snow day.

I know I’ve already talked about how much I love our Landis market.  Each time I shop there, I’m reminded how truly remarkable small-town living is.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything…except maybe a few acres we could homestead.  But that’s another post.

Yesterday, I stopped at Landis with the kids just to pick up a few things.  As we were checking out, the cashier, a kind older gentleman, smiled at the kids and asked “How would you like to see some bubbles?”  I don’t think any of us could have anticipated what he was going to do, but he pulled out a small bottle of bubbles from his apron and began blowing them for the kids!  So as he was ringing up our groceries, the kids were laughing and popping bubbles with such joy.  Such an unexpected simple pleasure from our local grocery store.  That wouldn’t happen at any of the bigger chain supermarkets or “super” center department stores.

I love it.

I like to think we live in “the country”.  We’re surrounded by farms and very gently rolling hills.  I really should post some photos of the bucolic countryside.  Living in the country provides us with the wonderful opportunity to truly “buy local”.

One of my favorite places to shop is Bolton’s Turkey Farm.  And we do go there on a fairly regular basis.  Oh, how good it smelled in there…just like Thanksgiving!  Mmmmmm.

Today I stopped for a roasting chicken.  Bolton’s roasting chickens are delicious.  I wish I could share with you virtually how wonderful it smelled in my oven.  The fresh garlic cloves I sliced and placed in its cavity permeated every inch of the chicken.  It was spectacularly delicious.  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy one of their tasty turkeys!

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.