Returning to your Roots

Train tracks in the morning

Every once and awhile it is good to have a reminder about what brought you to this point. For me, the best reminder is a trip home to spend with family and good friend. The main purpose of this trip is for two baby showers, my friends are awesome enough to plan the same weekend so travelers only have to make the trip once.  

The drive from Ithaca to Home, PA is beautiful. Yeah, I am actually from Home. Look it up on a map it is called the Village of Home. So when I say I’m going Home I really mean it.  This drive was extra beautiful due to clear skies, a beautiful sunset, and the rise of a blue moon.

I start my weekend with a long run down a country road to the local park of Blue Spruce.  During this run I don’t see one car but I do have some encounters with a goat. Why did the goat cross the road? Because I was running down the road silly.  As long as we both stay to our own sides of the road everything will be ok.

Running helps me see things from a new vantage point.  This is the same road I took the 4-wheeler on more times that I can count but I never stopped to watch the fog lift off the cornfield. Blue Spruce is the same park I fished in, had multiple birthday/graduation parties at, the park I went to when I skipped school, the hill I learned to drive a 5 speed on, but the beauty was never more apparent to me until I visited with the eyes of a runner. The eyes of a runner sees the water flowing a small creek, the bees in the wild flowers by the side of the road, and the reflection of the trees on the water. This run was truly amazing, and I felt strong till the end. My last mile was actually my fastest!

One of the best things about going Home is mom’s cooking and baking. My post run recover is a raspberry and blackberry muffin with a large black coffee.  The raspberries were picked that morning from the backyard and the blackberries came from two enormous bowls in the basement. My father had been blackberry picking the day before.

The farm to table phenomenon is so popular now, also the foraged food movement. While many will look at this as a progressive foodie movement, it just makes me nostalgic and feels like home. Everyone didn’t grow up with a garden full of veggies? Everyone didn’t eat kohlrabi from the garden raw? Everyone didn’t have jars upon jars of homemade spaghetti sauce on the basement? Everyone didn’t at one point question what kind of meat was coming out of the pot on the table? This could be why I love the food in Ithaca so much.

After baby shower number one we took a trip out to the local farm stand, Yarnick's Farm Market to pick up the fixin's for the ultimate summer meal of corn on the cob. The stand is only accessible through a fully restored covered bridge.  The newly renovated market has a meat freezer in the back with all locally sourced meat.  My mom also told me they now have some sort of harvest party with live polka music once a year. Maybe there is a little Ithaca at Home. My favorite part of the farm stand was the stack of cassette tapes of polka music beside the register. Oh Yeah. 

I love to hang out in the kitchen when the food is being prepped. On this occasion we had some cocktails. Both my mom and I tried our hand at some fancy drinks with Hendrix Gin and St. Germains. My moms had basil, jalapeno, and cucumber. I was scared of the spice of the jalapeno but the drink was delicious. Mine had blackberries, lemon balm, and cucumber; all drinks were amazing however I am a bit bias to mine.

To finish off the evening I met with a non-pregnant friend at a local bar, The BP Inn. As we walk in together all 10 heads turn and seem to be asking the question of were did we come from. We try to check out the beer cooler to see if any microbrews were hiding in a corner. The lovely bartender informed me the darkest beer they have is Magic Hat #9, great I'll take one. We stepped out on the deck to catch up. Upon reentry we discovered the treat of live music. The music was being played by a barefoot Larry the Cable guy look alike on an acoustic guitar. He rocked it, even played some Old Crow Medicine Show along with some boot stomping country classics. At one point we also saw a show of some live line dancing by a dude in a man bun. If there is one place country music is meant to be heard it is your hometown bar with a side of Yuengling.