During evening and early dawn hours before Skippack Days, crafters, food vendors, and hawkers of assorted wares set up tent-like structures along the sidewalks and in the parking lots; modern day nomads traveling across the suburban desert and creating a temporary encampment along Skippack Pike. And following the rise of these temporary structures come people, wonderful people, actual crowds: children, families, couples, young, old, middle-aged. For a day or two at least the town acquires the human horde needed to give a much-needed boost to the local economy. To paraphrase a popular song, towns that need people are the luckiest towns in the world.
Get ready to go back to school. Way back. This weekend, Miss Hawkesworth’s one-room schoolhouse recreates the experience of attending school early in this nation’s history.
The schoolhouse is part of Washington’s Encampment in Skippack, a fun-filled annual living history event, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept 24 and 25, at the IndenHofen farmhouse at corner of Evansburg Road and Skippack Pike. This Skippack event is enjoyable for adults and children of all ages.
Miss Hawkesworth brings history alive; her classroom is engaging and interactive. She will open her schoolroom each day of the event at 2:15 pm. Please arrive on time. Miss Hawkesworth believes tardiness is a sign of poor character.
About Our School
Miss Hawkesworth’s schoolhouse is located at the Indenhofen farmhouse, the home of the Skippack Historical Society. Please, however, do not think you are stepping into a Colonial schoolhouse. Women rarely, if ever, taught school during the 1700s. That job was meant for a man. Women didn’t appear in the schoolroom until after the Revolutionary War, when people began to realize women could contribute to society. Imagine that.
Classes were held in the church or children were taught at home. Our dear President, Thomas Jefferson, had another idea — a public education for all. And so this story begins in the Federal period of our country, the early 1800s.
With this in mind, Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, formally of the British country of Wales, enters the scene, having recently arrived in her new found home in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. She is an unmarried woman of an older age who travels to schools and teaches when the regular teacher is ill or needs help. She has been to many locations over many years, whipping many students into shape.
Miss Hawkesworth’s Personal Invitation to You
Good Day young scholars. It is my duty and, yes, my joy to invite you to my schoolroom once again this year at Skippack. If you think Skippack is a backward, seemingly unpopulated town and that the small number of inhabitants includes a disproportionate percentage of Germans, you would be correct.
The purpose of my classroom is to educate your farmhands, otherwise known as your children, in the etiquette, manners, and lessons of the day so they are better prepared to receive the word of God from their Bibles. They will learn ciphering, spelling, penmanship and elocution.
I am not to be trifled with. It is my way to keep order in the school. I am hoping that, you, as parents, place a high value on educating your children and will, this year, allow them to keep to the classroom under my care. There are many swindlers out and about, and education is the best way to keep them at bay. You are dismissed.
This blog post was written by Karin Koons Stocking AKA Miss Elizabeth Hawkesworth, and edited by the Skippack Blogger.
I love Fourth of July in Skippack.
I love watching people line up along the parade route, the anticipation of fun in a small town, the beautifully restored antique cars as they roll down Skippack Pike, the optimistic music of marching bands, floats sponsored by local shops and organizations, mummers in their peacock colors, fire engines blasting their sirens and firefighters spraying the crowd with cooling water, the excitement and laughter of children.
I love fireworks at dusk in Palmer Park.
I love it all.Read More
5th Annual Shops at Skippack Square present
“JACK FROST FRIDAY”
Sponsored by First Niagara Bank
When: Friday, December 4, 9 am – 9 pm
Game Registration: FREE
Play the game for your chance to win a fabulous gift basket valued at more than $500 from 8 participating Skippack merchants! To play, just pick up your game card any time on Friday, December 4th and follow the instructions. No purchase necessary, however, you can increase your chances to win by visiting all 8 shops, including Armario, Floral & Hardy, Head Over Heels, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Copper Partridge, Mira Salon, The Body Serene and Top Shelf Cigar. You may also present your game card at Justin’s Carriage House Restaurant and save 20% off their menu of great eats for lunch or dinner.
This annual event is a shoppers’ delight because it is fun to play the Jack Frost Friday game while you visit some of your favorite Skippack shops, as well as discovering new ones. At each location you will be warmly greeted and treated to some complimentary refreshments including assorted beverages and munchies. Each merchant will have special sale prices in effect just for Jack Frost Friday. Just present your Jack Frost Friday game card at each store you visit on Friday to have it validated and then leave it at the last participating store you visit during the 12 hour event. The winner of the prize basket will be notified to come and collect their winnings once all the game cards have been tallied and the computerized program randomly selects the winner of the game. It’s fun to play and fun to shop and dine in The Square at Skippack Village!
The Wooden Duck Shop in Skippack Village will host the Fox Chase Mammography Van on Thursday, October 16. Because health and happiness go together, women who participate are invited to a special reception and sale at this landmark Skippack shop, which features high-quality, sophisticated, casual women’s fashions, decorative items for the home, including fabulous Halloween decorations, and much more.
“The Fox Chase Mobile Mammography Van offers quick and convenient mammograms, thereby allowing even the busiest woman an opportunity to schedule an appointment for this important test,” explains Jane Berger, co-owner of the Wooden Duck.
To schedule an appointment or get more information, call Linda Hammel of the Fox Chase Cancer Center at 215-728-3554. Space is limited so please call as soon as possible. The Wooden Duck Shop is located at 4033 Skippack Pike, in the heart of Skippack Village.
Reward yourself: All women who attend this event are invited, before or after their mammogram, to visit the Wooden Duck for a reward of pampered shopping, special discounts, mimosas, and sweet treats.
Protecting Your Health is Not a Luxury
Skippack business owner Johanna James of Allstate Insurance is a living testament to the value of early breast cancer detection. She discovered a lump during self-examination and immediately sought additional testing.
Says Johanna, “I persisted because I was at risk; cancer was in my family.”
Johanna underwent chemotherapy and radiation sessions and has returned to a full and active life. She credits her recovery to early detection and meeting cancer head on. She feels that going through this ordeal has changed her life for the better.
“When you go through something like this, your priorities change,” she says, “My career had me on a treadmill, I had not time for the important things. Now my family and friends are the center of my life.”
Here are the facts: One in eight women will be diagnosed in her lifetime with breast cancer. Early detection of this disorder is vital and may lead to early diagnosis and a positive health outcome. The American Cancer Society recommends that women over 40 years of age get mammograms annually, especially women who have a family history of breast cancer.
Taking Care of One’s Health Increases HappinessArt and Jane Berger, co-owners of the Wooden Duck, want to promote wellness for people who live in the Skippack area and for all who visit. They have organized a Skippack Village event dedicated to promoting women’s health and awareness of the need for breast cancer screening. Art and Jane are providing a reception with refreshments inside their beautiful shop, so that preventive health measures are not only seen as a personal responsibility but also as an opportunity to have fun and smile. After all, taking care of one’s health and increasing happiness go together.
Start the school year with a fresh, fast machine. Nothing is worse than a slow computer when you are finalizing a term paper ten minutes before it is due. Save yourself and your parents the heartache of a school year hampered by computer problems. Here 10 tips to help for a year free of viruses, slow-downs, and crashes.
1. Make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date
If you have a Windows XP computer, don’t expect to keep it for the school year. Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP; this increases the likelihood a virus will destroy your computer just as you put the final touches on an important project. Most likely, you will need to buy a new computer. If your computer has enough processing power and memory, you may be able to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8; however, in most cases, upgrading is too costly to be worthwhile.
Other operating systems allow for updates. Microsoft issues operating system updates on a consistent basis. Often several updates are contained in a single update called a Service Pack. If you have Vista, make sure you have Service Pack 2 installed. if you have Windows 7, make sure you have Service Pack 1 installed. If you have the dreaded Windows 8, make sure you update to 8.1.
2. Make sure your virus protection software is up to date
Did you neglect to renew your subscription? Do it now.
3. Free up space on your hard drive
Did you download too many songs, books, or games over the summer? You may run out of hard drive space. Off load some of these files to external hard drives, an online service, CDs, or DVDs. But make sure you have a backup (see next tip).
4. Have a backup system in place
If you accidentally delete your latest homework assignment or, worse yet, have a hard drive crash, a backup system can save your GPA and your sanity. Several types of backup systems are available, such as external hard drives, flash drives, CD/DVD, and online cloud services.
5. Clean out dust
Does your computer sound like it is an airplane about to take off? It might be clogged with dust. A distinct revving up sound is a sign that the fans are working overtime to cool the computer. Clean out the dust from the inside out. This requires taking the cover off your computer and blowing the dust out. Be extremely careful, as you can damage your computer with one wrong move. Do not blow dust back into your computer; this could damage components on the inside. Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the dust. Vacuum cleaners create static, which can harm your computer.
6. Clear your cookies and temporary Internet files
This is especially important if you did a lot of surfing on your computer this summer,
7. Make sure you have a valid Microsoft Office program for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Many people think they have the real Office program, but find out later they just have a trial version. Don’t wait until just before you have an assignment due to find out.
8. Consider defragging your computer
Does your computer seem a little slow? You may need to defrag it. Over time, your computer places data (files, pictures, etc) all over your hard drive. Defragging optimizes where the data is stored. Most newer computers are set to defrag automatically, but this feature may be turned off on some computers.
How to turn defragging back on varies, depending on the operating system. To turn it back on in Windows Vista or 7, for example, go to the Start button, type “Disk Defragmenter” and hit Enter. In Vista, place a check in the checkbox “Run on schedule” and select a date and time that your computer will be on, but not in use. In Windows 7, instead of a checkbox called “Run on schedule”, you will click on the button labeled “Turn on schedule”. Select a date and time for the defrag to run.
9. But don’t defrag your computer if you have a solid state hard drive
You may have a solid state hard drive; a hard drive with no moving parts. Think of a flash drive: A flash drive is an example of solid state memory. A solid state hard drive is like a flash drive for your computer. If you have a solid state hard drive, do not defrag it. Defragging will cause the drive to wear out more quickly.
10. If you don’t have a sold state hard drive, consider upgrading
If you want the best performance increase for your computer, and you have not yet upgraded to a solid state hard drive, consider doing so. You will need help from a professional computer repair service to install a new solid state hard drive and transfer all your data from your old hard drive. Costs range from $250 to $500 depending upon how big a drive you want. You’ll be glad if you take this step.
Wishing you a successful school year. May your computer, and the year ahead, be free of troubles.
Written by Tom Merrick, Owner of Tom’s Help Desk in Skippack
After the parade, stay and explore Skippack. July 4th celebrations offer a great opportunity to get to know our beautiful village. After the parade, many wonderful shops and restaurants will stay open during the day to welcome visitors. Visit the following Best of Skippack shops:
Armario 11 am until 3 pm
Blossom of Floral & Hardy 9 am until 3 pm
Floral & Hardy of Skippack 8 am until 3 pm
Euro Delights LLC 7:30 am until 9 pm
Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery 10 am until 3 pm
Green Wolf’s Village Barn Shoppes 11 am until 3 pm
Green Wolf’s Elegant Junque 11 am until 3 pm
New Wave Comics and Collectibles 10 am until 2 pm
Pennsylvania Traditions 10 am until 9 pm
Wooden Duck Shoppe 10 am until 5 pm
The fourth of July in Skippack seems to be reversing the aging process. Rather than become jaded, each year, I get more excited as I anticipate this great event: The year’s beautiful Miss Fourth of July being driven down Skippack Pike in a open-top vehicle, the restored antique cars rolling down down the street; the cavalcade of motorcycles; the optimistic music of marching bands; creative floats sponsored by local shops, organizations, and folks who just love Skippack and Independence Day itself; mummers in their peacock colors; fire engines blasting their sirens and firefighters and other folk spraying the crowd with cooling water, the excitement and laughter of children.
The parade starts at 11:00 am. It originates at the Skippack Firehouse on Route 113 and travels down Route 73 (Skippack Pike) through the heart of Skippack Village. The sidewalk along Skippack Pike, where many spectators bring lawn chairs, fills up early, so the Skippack Blogger recommends arriving and setting up by 10 am.
The parade is not to be missed. But Skippack has more to offer on this marvelous day. Check out these two exciting new events taking place at the Southwest Trading Post.
After the parade, the Montgomery County Honor Guard, composed of members of local chapters of the Disabled Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans of America, will perform a special dedication ceremony for a new flagpole and American flag which will fly on the grounds of the Southwest Trading Post. As part of the ceremony, the honor guard will fire a three volley salute, followed by taps. To see the ceremony, walk or ride to the Southwest Trading Post at 4039 Skippack Pike immediately after the end of the July 4th Parade.
The flagpole and flag are a gift from local chapters of the Disabled American Veterans and the Vietnam Veterans of America to Butch Kaelin, owner and manager of the Southwest Trading Post and Victorian Carriage Shops in Skippack in gratitude for his ongoing support.
Uncle Sam goes bargain hunting: The Merchants of Skippack hold a silent auction on July 4th on the patio of the SouthWest Trading Post, with bids starting at a fraction of retail value. This is an opportunity to get some amazing bargains, as well as enjoy Skippack’s fantastic parade. The SouthWest Trading Post is located at 4039 Skippack Pike. Contact the Southwest Trading Post at (610) 584-2774.
This past Mother’s Day Weekend, the Skippack Merchants held an auction to benefit returning veterans in our community. Not all of the items donated by area merchants for this auction were sold. These items must go and you can get them at great prices.
Winning bids will be determined at the end of the parade and the auction winners may take their winning items home at that time. Cash will be accepted; any winning bids over $50 can pay by charge/debit card. Money raised will benefit local-area veterans, with a portion going to help the Merchants of Skippack in their efforts to promote Skippack Village.
I am writing early in the morning, coming down from the high of a great Skippack weekend, trying to get back to a state where I can return to work calm and level headed. Spring in Skippack is something wonderful to experience, a time of fresh opportunities and beautiful beginnings.
The songs of birds start each morning, flowers poke their heads above the soil, and if one is of the mind to partake in a little romance, this is the season to “just do it.” Time to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, go out the door, and enjoy the village. Take a friend to one of our wonderful outdoor restaurants. Open your eyes to the beauty of Skippack Village.
There many wonderful events this time of year in Skippack. Still to come are: more First Fridays, Summertime Festival, the Summertime Concert Series, new productions at Playcrafters, and our wonderful July 4th Parade. But there are some more new beginnings, equally exciting, of which you may not be aware.
Farmer’s Market of Skippack
The Skippack Farmer’s Market is being revived for 2014 and now takes place each Friday, beginning at 4 pm and continuing until around 8:30 pm. The location is the same as last year, in the Farmer’s Market lot across from the WaWa, next to the mall that includes Chiaro’s Pizzeria, Skippack Pharmacy, and Lim’s Cleaners, near the corner of Route 73 and 113.
My friend Jason Brown, owner of the Love Hot Dog Company, a gourmet mobile food truck which provides weekday lunches in Skippack, is the new manager of our farmer’s market and has been working hard to create a vibrant and diverse market for 2014. He is bringing in exciting new vendors as well as some of the best vendors from last year’s market. Walking from booth to booth and learning from the vendors, and sometimes sampling their products, such as organic produce, natural honey, gelato, green smoothies, baked goods, sausages, fair trade coffee, and much more, is a treat.
Last week, Jason brought in some excellent live entertainment by a talented young musician named Tyler Hunsberger. Tyler sings and plays country music with a warm, down-to-earth feeling that is perfect for a Farmer’s Market. Tyler is planning to return for future farmer’s markets.
With my friend Jason at the helm, the Skippack Farmer’s Market has the leadership it needs. It will emerge as market worthy of Skippack Village, with that special mix of small town genuineness and creative spark that defines our local events.
Little Ducklings Baby Boutique
This is also a time of exciting expansion for some of our well-established Skippack shops. The Wooden Duck has opened a new boutique for the youngest members of society: Little Ducklings Baby Boutique. Located inside the existing Wooden Duck Shop, the Little Ducklings Baby Boutique is open for business. It features unique clothing styles for newborns through 12 months, accessories, bedding sets, books, and one of a kind baby items not found in big box stores.
The first months of a child’s life are a magical time for parents and grandparents and the enchanting items available at Little Ducklings will make that time even more special and memorable; gifts worthy of the preciousness of new life.
Skippack’s landmark gardening shop, Floral & Hardy, has grown enough to spin off a new sister store called Blossom. which opened for business May 31. Blossom is an entirely separate entity housed in the same building as Yarnings, which is located at the bottom of the Floral & Hardy parking lot, at 4007 Skippack Pike S.
“It’s completely different than Floral & Hardy,” explains Lowell Steinberg, who owns both shops, “it offers indoor and outdoor home decor, with a garden theme, but no live plants.”
When you think about serious gardening, think Floral & Hardy. But if you want home decor or gifts with a green or floral flair, think Blossom.
Lowell explains that some gift and home decor items, such as jewelry, have moved from Floral & Hardy to the new shop. Floral & Hardy in turn has room for more items associated with hard-core gardening, such as bird feeders, garden tools, and garden equipment.
Shoppers who visit Blossom may see some familiar faces; Catherine Green, former co-owner of Hearts Desire, a beautiful Skippack shop now closed for business, and Christina from Floral & Hardy will be running the new shop.
Each time I walk to Floral & Hardy, I gain a new appreciation for the loveliness and serenity of the this Skippack landmark. If Blossom is anything like its mother store, it will indeed be beautiful.
Village Wine Cellar
This summer, the Village Wine Cellar will expand to become a full restaurant. Owner Tara Shiffert is adding a commercial kitchen and a brand new dining room where a tapas-inspired menu will be served.
“We hired an experienced chef who is very excited to work for us,” explains Tara. “He’s creating the menu himself. He gets an opportunity to use his creativity to the fullest. The kitchen is new so he gets to arrange it himself and work with all new appliances.”
The Village Wine Cellar will be serving lunch, dinner, and late night snacks. The menu will include beef, pork, fish, pasta dishes, and many vegetarian options. And, of course, all dishes pair perfectly with wine.
The Village Wine Cellar is located at 4038 Skippack Pike,in a home-like structure with a beautiful wraparound porch, also home to After5 Gifts, another store owned by Tara. Sitting on the porch and enjoying a light meal with a glass of wine as the evening falls is destined to become one of the great delights of summer in Skippack.
Great events, expanding shops and restaurants, Skippack spring is in full swing: the only addition we need is you, your uniqueness, your personality. Come to Skippack this spring and summer and make it more special.
April is a time of both endings and new beginnings. Although spring officially begins in March, this is the month when we say goodbye to cold weather, and begin settling back into long, warm spring days. Sunshine, spring colors, dining at outdoor tables, and flowers in bloom now become part of the Skippack landscape. We get ready to embrace the joy of the months ahead. But first, we take a moment to reflect upon what was lost during the winter.
In recent months, we’ve had to say goodbye to some wonderful Best of Skippack shops.
A joyful shop which featured nostalgic toys alongside more sophisticated gift items, Heart’s Desire has closed its doors. I can remember when this store first opened; so much love went into the renovation and display. Shop owners Melissa and Catherine always went out of their way to be helpful. It was here that I discovered books by The Green Lantern Press, beautiful reproductions of nineteenth century children’s literature.
Also closing its doors is Amelia’s Accents, a gift shop which has been in Skippack for more than 35 years, offering unique home decor, artisan crafted jewelry, fashion accessories, and gift items. Amelia’s served our village well, a smooth-running shop with a large selection, and will be missed.
Many nights when I would walk by Amelia’s Accents; I would see through a window the glow from a lamp which burns inside; it always gave me a good feeling. For now, Amelia’s Accents still occupies its lovely, red, home-like structure with a water-wheel garden. The inventory is much diminished, but the last time I checked there were some great buys. As of this writing, Amelia’s Accents intermittently opens for an ongoing 70% off sale. Call 610-584-4999 for information.
Sharp Unique Gifts for Men
Of all recent store closings in Skippack, none affects me personally as the closing of Sharp Unique Gifts for Men. I loved this store; a thinking man’s gift shop. Every time I poked about, I found something that inspired my curiosity and interest. I enjoyed many wonderful conversations with the owner Jack and his wife Eileen. It was here I was inspired to collect fine writing tools with cutting edge designs which now display in my library.
Sharp Unique gifts for men is hold a going out of business sale, with 50% off an awesome stock of cool stuff thru April 30. For information call, (610) 584-1818.
We have the pleasure of welcoming several new shops and shop owners to the Best of Skippack. Here are three new Best of Skippack shops I visited recently:
This gem of a Skippack shop is now under new ownership and has been fully redesigned. Walk inside to see a classic example of a beautifully-maintained, wonderfully-stocked Skippack gift shop. Elegant, eclectic and a bit-removed-from-the-ordinary-but-still-tasteful, items are lovingly displayed, like delicacies at a feast. Like All Skippack shops, this store is individually owned and run day-to-day by the owner. Come in and introduce yourself to the owner, Deb, and her mom, Linda, who incidentally is one of my neighbors.
This new luxury retail and resale boutique carries top designer and name brand fashions and accessories. All items are personally selected by the owners, Carolyn and David. In addition to clothing, you’ll find designer pocketbooks, jewelry, sunglasses, and shoes. All items for sale are authentic; some are brand new, some are pre-owned in like-new condition.
All the merchandise in this store is lovingly displayed; the environment is uncluttered and relaxing. Here are some labels you may encounter while browsing: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Anne Klein, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent, Coach, Juicy Couture, Cynthia Rowley, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Prada, Tory Burch, and more. Few things in the sport of shopping are as much fun as snagging designer goods at a great price. Now that fun comes full-force to Skippack.
A metaphysical store has found a brick-and-mortar home in Skippack. Merry Meet, LLC offers herbs, oils, candles, tools, customized shaman staffs, brooms, charm pouches, and more. Wiccan supplies are available here. It sounds edgy and mysterious, but walk into the shop and the owner Tammy quickly makes you feel at home. She is a friendly, welcoming, and down-to-earth woman who enjoys interacting with customers and explaining what her unusual new addition to our retail landscape is all about
This out-of-the-ordinary store is set up for meeting and socializing. A table in the center provides a space for Tarot Card readings and other activities. Merry Meet will be hosting regular events.
Some New Innovations
And new stores aren’t the only thing new this year in Skippack. Out shop owners are always renovating and rebuilding. For example, I recently visited URBANfusion and there is a newly-designed section of the store dedicated to jewelry, including the popular Pandora line. Check it out; it is an elegant space. And Floral & Hardy of Skippack will be opening a new satellite shop for display of garden and floral gifts. This new branch of a Skippack favorite will be called Blossom of Floral & Hardy.
Set aside time this spring and summer to visit Skippack and explore new offerings and longstanding treasures. And when its time to purchase that special gift, let it come from a special place. And remember to shop local and shop small, so that in the years ahead, during spring in Skippack, we will have more hellos than goodbyes.