Wednesday, November 30, 2016

UNIONVILLE: With one fell swoop

What happened to the traffic signs at the intersection of Routes 82 and 162/Wollaston Road in the middle of Unionville? A tractor-trailer knocked them down the morning of Monday, Nov. 28, and then just kept heading north on Route 82. The stop signs are back in place at the busy intersection; not so much the street signs.

TRADER JOE'S: Why not here?

A Unionville friend (need I add that she is a huge Trader Joe's fan?) asked me to mention to my readers that on the Trader Joe's website, there's a place where you can ask them to consider opening a branch near you. (It's under FAQs, "What can I do to bring a Trader Joe's to my neighborhood?") She personally thinks the vacant Superfresh store in the Longwood shops on Baltimore Pike would be a great spot for the fun, laid-back, high-quality store to move into.

PATTON: Celtic Christmas Concert

The Hadley Fund is presenting a Celtic Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in the freshly renovated auditorium at Charles Patton Middle School. Performers will be the Seasons Family Band, Two Pipers Piping, the Washington Memorial Pipe Band, and the Campbell Scottish Dancers. Admission (as for all Hadley Fund programs) is free.

FAMILIES: Imagine, dinner table conversation!

A Kennett Square friend reports that she recently got tired of her family taking the path of least resistance and eating dinner while watching television, so she insisted that they start weaning themselves from the tube. We will sit at the table and actually talk to each other, she declared.
She and her husband started out this bold initiative by playing trivia games like naming state capitols and having mini-spelling bees. Much to their surprise, their teenage son, after a few days of sulking, starting joining in the conversation. My friend said she is delighted at the increase in "family time" they are enjoying merely by turning off the TV. 

A.I. DUPONT: True gratitude

The teenage son of a gym friend developed appendicitis on Thanksgiving eve and underwent emergency surgery.
"Wow!" I said. "So much for Thanksgiving!"
"No, not at all," she replied quickly. "We were just SO grateful we were at such a wonderful hospital."
She said the surgeons at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington took her son to the operating room as soon as he was diagnosed. He is recovering so well that he can't wait to get back into the pool for swim practice.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

MOVIES: "Fabulous Beasts"

Another Harry Potter fan and I headed over to the Painters Crossing AMC movie theater on Saturday to see "Fabulous Beasts and Where to Find Them," the "prequel" to the Harry Potter saga that is based on one of Harry's Hogwarts schoolbooks. The movie, written by J.K. Rowling, is about an English wizard, Newt Scamander, who comes to New York in 1926 in search of magical creatures.
The beasts were wonderfully imagined. There was a kleptomaniac little platypus (the Niffler), a snake that expanded to fill whatever space it was in (whether a teapot or the whole of Manhattan), a rhinoceros with a crush on an unfortunate Non-Maj (what Americans call Muggles), and a temperamental green plant-like pet prone to picking locks and pouting.
The sometimes dizzying visual effects were over the top for me, but probably most moviegoers would expect nothing less. Despite the enchanting mythical creatures, there are some distinctly dark themes and violent scenes, so I wouldn't think it would be appropriate for young elementary-age kids.

CABELA'S: The outdoor life

I am probably preaching to the choir here, as most of my readers already are well aware of this, but I want to say what an impressive store Cabela's is. We visited the Newark branch after breakfast on Sunday morning (it's next to the Christiana Mall) and we had a great time browsing through the vast array of hunting, camping and fishing paraphernalia. They stock everything from crossbows and ice-fishing huts to dehydrated meals and fleece nightshirts. 
As you walk in the main entrance there's a display of life-size stuffed wildlife on a mountainside, with a real waterfall cascading past them, and you can watch seriously large fish swimming around in the huge tank. They even have a kennel where your dog can hang out while you are shopping.
The store employees were wonderful: friendly and knowledgeable but not intrusive. One even took our photo in front of the moose!