Do you begin planning your outdoor holiday decorations as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey begins to cool? Do the lights on your neighbors front porch put Clark Griswald to shame? Then one of you should probably sign up to compete in the Pottstown Winter Decorating Contest, but you’d better hurry, because the deadline for entry is December 18th. First prize is $50, but more importantly, bragging rights for all of 2021. Sign up now by downloading an entry form from https://bit.ly/2JwF5VN.
This past few weeks have brought events that have not occurred in our lifetime in America. We are seeing panic buying that is unprecedented. It is suddenly like a zombie apocalypse out there. No toilet paper, no water, no SPAM. If your area hasn’t shut down schools and churches and public gatherings to “flatten the curve”, I’m sure your time is coming. The governor closed our county earlier this week. All schools, non-essential retail, gyms, daycare, etc. closed for two weeks. I think it’s the right move, and I applaud the governor for taking that bold step before things get out of hand.
So now many of us are faced with two weeks of quarantine. Given that we have been encouraged to limit social interactions to help slow the spread of the COVID- 19 virus, it will be novel for a few days, but then I think it might start to wear on us. Just because we need to practice some social isolation doesn’t mean we can’t get out a bit and even do some good in the world. So what can we do with two weeks at our disposal that won’t contribute to the global pandemic?
- Go for a hike: In most places around here, Spring is well under way. Take the people you live with or already see every day and take a walk in a state park or on the Schuylkill River Trail. The weather has been lovely lately, so get out there and enjoy it. Besides, there is some evidence that viruses don’t thrive in fresh air and sunshine, so get as much as you can.
- Do a one-person or one-family block clean-up: Grab some gloves and a trash bag and loop your block or walk your street picking up trash along the way. Make a call to a friend, and you clean one side of the street while they clean the other. You can share news back and forth while maintaining a healthy distance!
- Read a book out loud as a family: When our kids were young, we read many books out loud together. I still remember our family gathering together to finish the last few pages of the final Harry Potter book before we could begin family vacation one year. Reading a great book out loud together is such a bonding experience. If you haven’t done it in a while, take this chance. Even if your kids are older, or if you don’t have kids, (reading aloud as a couple is wonderfully romantic) this is an activity you won’t regret.
- Start a garden: With Spring coming so early this year, now is a good time to dig a bed and start a vegetable or flower garden (or both!). It isn’t too early to sow rows of lettuce and peas and other early crops. It’s not too late to begin seeds inside for plants like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cabbage for transplant into the garden in May. Get online and watch or read a tutorial and give it a try this year. Don’t have a yard? Garden in a pot!
- Write a letter: Many others either are or will be doing the same thing as you are, and may be feeling the effects of social isolation soon. E-mail and social media are great for keeping us connected, but few things are more pleasurable than getting a letter in the mail. Think of someone you haven’t connected with in a while: a cousin, a friend you grew up with, an old army buddy, a teacher you liked. Take 30 minutes now, while you have it, and write them a letter. You will happy you did it, I promise.
- Pick a spot in your home and do a deep clean: Do you have some bins in the basement you have been meaning to sort through? How about that closet in the back bedroom that just keeps getting things stuffed into it? Have you put on a little weight and need to purge your wardrobe? Set aside a day and tackle that deep-cleaning project you have been avoiding. Open your windows, put on some great music, grab a cold drink, roll up those sleeves and get to work!
Things are a little tense right now, but we can make the best of it by looking for positive ways to use our time during the crisis. Remember to eat healthy food, get plenty of rest, turn off the news, and tell the people you care about that you love them. What other suggestions can you come with?
God bless, everybody!
So many new places have opened recently on High Street, I thought I’d try a few of them this past week.
The Avenue is a new Caribbean restaurant that opened in the old @107 location across from Borough Hall. I tried the Curry Chicken, Spicy Tomato Bisque, and the Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. The chicken had a rich flavor, and the fried plantains were the perfect compliment. The soup was fantastic, and my only complaint about the bread pudding is I wish it were served warm, but it was still very good.
The next day, I was about to meet someone at Connections on High when we noticed the new pub across the street, Pottstown United Brewing Company, was opening its doors for the first time. We quickly changed plans so we could be among the first to say we had tried it (but don’t worry, I was back at Connections just a few hours later…I’ll never leave you, Gotta Love Rachel, the best sandwich ever!). We only had time for a quick stop, so I grabbed a soda and a plate of the tasty jalapeno poppers, but I will be back. FYI, the PUB is not open on Mondays or Tuesdays, but I’ll be back and to enjoy some live music and fun with friends.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I have been to the new Ice Cream Cafe three times this week. I’d blame it on the fact that my mother is addicted to the peach ice cream, but it’s really just that the Banana Peanut Butter Chip ice cream is just so darned good! In my defense, one of the three times was during the FARM while happily listening to the live music. What’s a girl to do when it’s RIGHT THERE? Ice Cream Cafe is located at 250 East High Street.
Speaking of the FARM, if you read the last post, you know this was opening week of this seasonal market. FARM has relocated to the clock tower plaza at the corner of High and Charlotte, and it’s a change I highly endorse! The vendors are all closer together now, and the proximity creates a buzz and excitement that makes the market so much fun. It was great to try several products from the new vendors. I’m looking forward to June 28th when FARM will be in Riverfront Park for the 5K Run to the River. I hope to see you there!
This week marks the beginning of the season at the Pottstown FARM. What is the Pottstown FARM, you ask? FARM stands for Farm & Artisan Regional Market, and it’s an open-air farmers market held every 2nd and 4th Thursday in downtown Pottstown at the corner of High and Charlotte Streets near the clock tower.
Kick off will be this Thursday, June 14th at 5:00 pm and runs until 7:30 pm. At the market, you can purchase fresh vegetables in season, flowers and plants, locally produced honey, soaps, wine, and local meats and cheeses, among many other items. There are always fun things for kids to do at FARM, including the Two Bites Club, which allows children 12 and under to try two bites of a new food in exchange for a $5 Market Coin good for use at any food vendor at FARM during the 2018 season! Stop by the Mosaic table for that and other fun kids activities. Convenient parking for FARM is available in all the usual downtown locations.
This years vendors include: Gladiolus Farm of Elverson, Grumpy’s, Stonekeep Meadery, Stony Hill Farm, New Bee Ranch, Snouts and Sprouts Farm, Ethel’s Artisan Vinegar, Kaiya’s Naturals, Blue Zen Wellness Collective, KenCrest self-grown and handmade items, Scentual Gardens Soaps, Brook’s Flowers, Sew Bee Mine, Candle Krazy, Geneva’s Joy, Words of Art by Ali J, Tale of a Snail, Chef’s Duds, Beverly’s Pastry, and Balanced Living.
On Thursday, June 28th, FARM will temporarily relocate to Riverfront Park for the Run to the FARM 5K race. Information on registration for the 5K can be found on the Special Events section on the Pottstown FARM website, Pottstown FARM.
FYI – Pottstown FARM is not the same thing as the recently reopened indoor Farmers Market on the Southeast corner of the same intersection. Watch for a future post about that exciting new venture, but in the mean time, join your friends every other week at the FARM!
(Photo credits: Patti Klein and Audra Ross)
The Positively Pottstown blog is back! From 2010 to 2013 the blog actively promoted the people, events, businesses and organizations doing positive things in the Borough. Then, when I got a full-time job teaching at The Hill School, I could no longer keep up and Positively Pottstown quietly stepped out of the conversation. I have since moved to Maine, where I continue to teach and write, but I have always hoped that Positively Pottstown would come back to life in some way or other. There are lots of wonderful things going on in Pottstown every day, so I was ecstatic to hear from Tracy Purdy a few months ago about her interest in taking over the blog.
Tracy brings a wealth of knowledge about community development and urban planning to Positively Pottstown, along with years of experience working in nonprofit organizations with youth and adults, including in Pottstown, where she is active with Mosaic Community Land Trust, Pottstown Housing Coalition, the Pottstown/Boyertown Home Garden Contest, and Pottstown FARM. I’m so excited that all that Pottstown has to offer will be amplified by her voice. Please join me in a virtual cheer to Tracy for undertaking this volunteer role for the benefit of Pottstown!
Creator of Positively Pottstown
I am beyond pleased to announce the return of Positively Pottstown, a blog about all the GOOD things happening in and around Pottstown!
Watch the blog for regular posts about the positive things going on here. If you have a comment, a suggestion for a post, a restaurant review or upcoming event, please let me know via the Contact tab above.
Please share with everyone who might be interested, and keep an eye out for our first new post next week!
The Hill School is holding a girls’ basketball camp next week from Tuesday, June 17 – Friday, June 20. Head coach Sue Repko and former St. Pius X, Phoenixville and PAC-10 Coach of the Year Michele Dunleavy will run the camp with Hill’s varsity team.
Girls entering grades 4-9 are invited to learn more about the game in a fun, positive setting. The camp fee of $235 includes lunch, a t-shirt, option for daily swim, and loads of drills, competitions & prizes, and insider tips on how to up your game!
You can find the camp brochure here.
But instead of mailing your registration, please hold onto it until Tuesday morning, and in the meantime, send me an email a firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your daughter’s participation. Thanks!
By Official Proclamation Pottstown Presents
Bobby Rydell Organ Donor Awareness Day
The Legendary BOBBY RYDELL
The Unmistakable –
Also featuring the #1 “Girl Group Revue”
FIRST LADIES OF ROCK AND SOUL
SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014
Davenport Performing Arts Center – Pottstown High School
750 North Washington Street • Pottstown, PA 19464
Show Starts 6pm
Reserved $55 General Admission $45
PURCHASE TICKETS NOW:
By Phone: 610.853.6776 OR 610.306.9361
By Mail: P.O. Box 912 Pottstown, PA 19464
Check Payable to: Tom Coyle
Credit Card: http://www.FirstLadiesofRockandSoul.com
Eileen Schlegel, the Pottstown Parks and Recreation Director since 2008, passed away suddenly last Saturday. Those wishing to pay respects and honor her life may do so at a viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight at Warker-Troutman Funeral Home at 726 E. High St. The funeral will be at the funeral home on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m.
According to Evan Brandt’s Mercury article, Eileen grew up on Queen Street and graduated from St. Pius X High School. She started working for the Parks Department in the early 1990s. I will always remember Eileen for being the go-to person for so many community activities and events. She oversaw a department that was responsible for all of the Borough’s parks, the spray park, Trilogy BMX park, Riverfront Park, the Bark Park, and year-round recreational programming for all ages. She and her staff could be counted on to provide the chairs, sound equipment, power, games, hot dogs and hot chocolate at parades, 4th of July festivities, the Polar Bear Plunge, the Funky Santa 5K, the Volleyball Rumble and so much more. Eileen Schlegel had a hand in all this, in the life of the community, and in the seasonal rituals that become traditions and make a town a home. She will be remembered for many years to come
Memorial contributions in her honor may be made to Helping Hands Inc., 415 Hoffmansville Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505. For more than 30 years Helping Hands has been serving individuals with developmental delays and mental and physical challenges.
Calvary Christian Center, located at, 426 Laurelwood Road Pottstown, PA
Feel Free to call the church at 610-343-0480 if you have any questions.