Shady Maple

» Posted by on Apr 10, 2010 in Life | 0 comments

We’ve lived in Pennsylvania for about 13 years.  Traveling West on Rt. 322 about 20 miles, one encounters a step back in time.  Horse drawn carriages with Amish hats and simple dress, expanses of farm land with serene ponds, barns, silos, and corn fields, a scenic crop of soy beans, dot the countryside which creates a relaxing drive out of the “city.”  Kathy and I have traveled the 30 minute calm ride into the countryside for about 13 yrs each Saturday morning.  We’ve used that time to talk, refresh, and reconnect from the busy, frazzled week while listening to “Car Talk” on PBS.  Shady Maple has been a landmark in our area for a number of years.  The restaurant is gigantic and serves  literally hundreds of tourists for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.  I’ve reluctantly indulged in the expansive buffet only a couple of times.  I hate feeling like cattle in a food fight, herded through long lines where obese patrons fight to fill their plates with unlimited provisions for $14.95.

Shady Maple also has a farm market which specialized in fresh produce, deli meat, beef, pork, chicken, at a fair price, and a variety of “country offerings” including a cheap lunch for under $4.  They often offered fresh grilled chicken and bar-b-q and chips with drink.  Hey, Kathy and I were the youngest patrons in the dining area.  We felt great. It boosted our ego.

Well, the modern world has taken over and invaded our simple, country, Lancaster brand living and shopping. Where are the Amish when you really need them?

I visited Shady Maple store today and was sorely disappointed.  They’ve remodeled the entire store.  We saw this happening gradually but did not understand the full impact until today when we viewed the final product.  This time of year, we’re usually greeted by the expansive tent protecting a large variety of seasonal garden plants, flowers, and hanging baskets with Amish clerks manning the cash register.  Cash only please. The entrance has completely been remodeled, re-routed, there is no tent, there is instead a skimpy selection of yellowing geraniums and droopy tomato plants on display within the narrow entrance hall.  Yuk.  Is this progress?  I hate it.  They have completely destroyed the ambiance of simplicity and replaced it with a “modern” touch devoid of my reality, of times past and provide an inferior quality of product.

I”ve reluctantly accepted this transition, although I’m convinced it’s  a negative step headed in the wrong direction, called progress.  Why can’t we leave some things alone? Why do we feel the need to tile, rearrange, carpet, update and destroy articles of the past?  I loved the simplicity and calmness of Shady Maple dressed in 70’s attire. It was a step back in time.  Unfortunately, it’s been retooled, remodeled, reshaped, and no longer resembles anything I recognize or admire.  Why do things have to be so complicated today?

Although they still sell many items in bulk such as cumin, cereal, spices, oats, and I can find collard greens, cilantro, lemons and limes at at good price, I doubt that Kathy and I will travel the inspirational 30 minutes west on 322 as often. What’s the point?

Wegman’s, which is 10 minutes from hour home actually has better prices and higher quality produce. Their fresh baked rosemary/olive oil loaf is warm to the touch when I pick it up. It’s to die for.

I’m sad.  I feel like I’ve lost a good friend.  Good bye Shady Maple….I’ll miss you.

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