Ah, vacation. The weather was beautiful (on the cold side), and I learned to ignore my sniffles and coughs until the end of the trip. Now it’s back to reality (ugh) but thankfully back to keeping up with my blog. I was getting a little WordPress homesick!
On one of those beautiful days we decided to take a ride down the wavy mountain roads (much to my stomach’s chagrin), and climbed a rather steep hill to the strange, the odd, the very random 84 Country Store. Upon reaching the top of the hill, we were immediately greeted by this:
I had no idea Shrek hung out in the Poconos! I’m sure there’s plenty of good eats out there, though. I was very impressed by his size, and the likeness is impeccable! And one of our friends caught view of him before we were even up the hill…
Behind Shrek we found even more handmade items, such as a giant pig whose back opens up for barbecuing, a bull (who was extremely lifelike right down to his…ahem… ) that doubled as the same, and the purple cow’s matching calf.
The cowboy equipped with his gun was one of my favorites; and the praying mantises were a reminder that I should edit that damn short story.
As we moved inside the store I was overwhelmed by all the scents that met me at the door. Apparently candle-making is very popular in the Poconos (as we learned in a candle store later in the week; literally wall to wall scents), and they had all the smells of Summer, Fall and Winter mingling in one room.
Among the candles were all the usual
wooden signs adorned with “Live, Laugh, Love” and roosters and hens, painted in golds and reds and tans and ready to be hung in someone’s kitchen or bathroom. Then there were more cows, some Halloween decorations, and a nifty bracelet made out of can tabs that I just couldn’t resist. (The owner told me a woman makes them locally.)
The woman running the store had a thick New York accent and was sipping on a vintage bottle of ginger-ale as we walked in; she was also very warm, very friendly. Her father rocked on the rocking chair by the front door, cane in hand, and her daughter shyly followed us around as we explored some more.
Before taking off (we had lunch meat and beer to buy!) we checked out the Pepto-Bismol-pink shack that sat on one side of the hill.
Jackpot. This is where Mike and Frank would have a field day. Don’t let the dust hit you in the face on the way in: old (empty) bottles of Gin. A black-and-white portrait of a family no one knows. A rusty Schwinn. A dirty baby doll. The history
overwhelmed me. It was also a strange feeling to go from the bright pink exterior to the chilly, dark, damp interior. (But I would pick the inside of that building versus its ugly outer paint job any day.)
I also had the pleasure of running my fingers over this little baby:
Very cool, amIright?
We ran around in the tee-pee outside, and said our farewells to the homemade hot sauce and bars of oatmeal soap. If you ever find yourself in the Poconos, visit the 84 Country Store. Friendly staff and plenty of decorations for any Americana-style living room.
So now it’s back to writing, back to finishing this prompt for an October 20th deadline, back to figuring out what Joe and I want to be for Halloween. Oh, and deciding what samples to bring to the Push to Publish conference on Saturday!
And in other news: today is day one of my attempt at The Master Cleanse. Bring on the cayenne pepper and maple syrup…and lots of willpower (and lack of taste buds).