LCM | February 2021 | The Health Issue

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Take Care of Your

Mental Health TLC:

KPETS’ FOUR-LEGGED THERAPISTS Lancaster

RESOURCE: Osteopathic Health Foundation

COMFORT FOOD:

Chicken Pot Pie

CABIN FEVER:

28 Remedies


“I HAVE ALWAYS had the mindset that I wanted to

help others.”

- Jarod B. John, MD Neurologist

ARGIRES MAROTTI NEUROSURGICAL ASSOCIATES WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW MORE ABOUT DR. JAROD JOHN I have always had the mindset that I wanted to help others. As a youth, I was influenced by several skilled physicians and also my mother who worked as a nurse. I believe this led me to study medicine. My decision to pursue neurology was triggered by an unfortunate event in my life, my grandfather’s stroke. I dedicated myself to learn about the human brain and was struck by how complicated it was but I never back down from a challenge.

I have a deep understanding of the feeling of helplessness a patient and family can experience when dealing with a neurological disorder. My goal is to help my patients and their loved ones navigate through this confusing and scary time to come up with a successful plan to improve their lives. Fortunately, I have been well trained which has allowed me to be able to offer a variety of services to my patients ranging from medical management to procedures such as

Botox, EEG, and EMG. I also am fortunate to work with our diverse group of dedicated physicians and staff that can offer neurological, neurosurgical, and pain management care all under one roof. To reach Dr. John, or for more information on Argires Marotti Neurological Associates of Lancaster, visit their website at https://www.argiresmarotti.com or call (717) 358-0800.

OUR OTHER DOCTORS...

Perry J. Argires, MD, FACS Louis A. Marotti, MD, PhD, Steven M. Falowski, MD Brain and Spine Surgery FAANS, FACS Nationally Recognized Brain and Spine Surgery Brain and Spine Surgery Voted Best Surgeon (1st Place)

Jack Smith, MD Pain Medicine

160 NORTH POINTE BLVD., SUITE 200 LANCASTER (717) 358-0800 • ARGIRESMAROTTI.COM

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Reasons to

SMILE in 2021 THE PAST YEAR HASN’T BEEN EASY, BUT WE GOT THROUGH IT TOGETHER.

Patients like John Wagner, give us reason to smile. In his retirement, John spends his time giving back to young people in our communities. JOHN WAGNER, MANHEIM

“My gift is connecting with people. I find joy in helping others succeed.” For more than 15 years, John has trusted his smile to us. We thank him, and all our patients, for your confidence and support in 2021 and beyond. From all of us on the White Family Dental Team.

W W W . W H I T E F A M I LY D E N TA L . C O M Elizabethtown

100 Continental Dr. Elizabethtown, PA 717-367-1336

Elizabethtown

Masonic Village Elizabethtown, PA 717-366-2466

Manheim

108 Doe Run Rd. Manheim, PA 717-879-9700

Willow Street

212 Willow Valley Lakes Dr., Suite 209 Willow Street, PA 717-740-2200


CONTENTS FEATURES

5.

The Cure for Cabin Fever

FEBRUARY 2021 | VOLUME 34 | NUMBER 10

18.

The shortest month of the year always seems like the longest, so we’re providing you with 28 ways to get through February.

9.

Trees Are No Longer Just for Christmas! Is your Christmas tree still up? You’re not alone! For some, Candlemas (February 2) has become the deadline for taking it down.

17.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

The pandemic is taking a toll on our mental health to the extent that it is being called a public health crisis of its own.

18.

Natural Born Therapists

When Karen Gerth launched KPETS in 2003, pet therapy was a relatively new concept in Lancaster County. Prior to the pandemic, 450 KPETS teams were providing their unique brand of TLC to clients in 14 counties.

27.

The Kids are Not All Right

The pandemic has especially disrupted the lives of children. The Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation has become a resource families can utilize for the sake of their children’s mental health.

BE SCENE!

Visit our website, lancastercountymag.com, to learn of events planned and rescheduled for the coming months.

27.

DEPARTMENTS

10.

Uptown & Down

Michael Upton designs a weekend-long staycation-date for Valentine’s Day.

30.

Foodographer

Jordan Bush learns how to make chicken pot pie courtesy of the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company in Bird-in-Hand.

36.

Table for Two

Rochelle Shenk visits Decades, a restaurant/ bar and amusement center in Lancaster.

40.

It’s a Beautiful Day

Laura Brenner describes her idea of a perfect day in Lancaster County that involves her dog, Piper.

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ON THE COVER: Nick Gould

photographed Karen Gerth, the founder of the pet-therapy organization, KPETS, and her pack – Kylee, Kody and Zeke – at their home in Akron.


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THE CURE FOR CABIN FEVER

28 Ways to Get Through February According to a series of polls conducted by Gallup, February consistently ranks as America’s least favorite month. And, understandably so – even though it is the shortest month of the year, February often feels like the longest.

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BY KAYLEE REX he reasons mostly relate to the weather, which is often blustery, frigid and dreary. Additionally, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by reduced levels of sunlight and a disruption in the body’s internal clock, can impact our mood and levels of motivation. Being cooped up inside leads to a phenomenon known as cabin fever. It’s also

prime time for colds and the flu. Toss in an ongoing pandemic and there’s no question that we need to especially look after all aspects of our health this month. With that said, what follows are some things to do to get through February and only hope that spring is just around the corner.

1.

GET A PHYSICAL. According to Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (lancastergeneralhealth.org), routine checkups are crucial for staying on top of important health screenings and immunizations, as well as identifying factors that may put you at risk for a variety of conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month, so be sure to make an appointment for those all-important checkups. Sponsored by the American Dental Association (ada.org), the month-long endeavor emphasizes the importance of oral health.

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2.

WEAR RED. As a way to bring attention to heart health, February is American Heart Month. The American Heart Association’s women’s initiative – Go Red for Women – kicks off with National Wear Red Day (February 5). As has become customary on the first Friday in February, millions across the country will either don red from head to toe or add some red to their outfits to raise awareness about heart disease being the number-one threat to women’s health, as well as the leading cause of death in the United States. Even if you are working from home or quarantining, put on some red and post a photo with the hashtag #WearRedDay. For more information, visit goredforwomen.org.

events that will take the place of the traditional in-person celebration. Unfortunately, the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge in Kirkwood won’t be disturbing Octorara Orphie’s hibernation this year.

5.

TAKE A CRUISE. While

the pandemic has ruined most travel plans, an all-aboard staycation at the Fulton Steamboat Inn (fultonsteamboatinn.com) would make for a safe and relaxing getaway. Dine at Huckleberry’s Restaurant & Tavern, shop at The Emporium Gift Shoppe, feed the ducks, sit by a fire pit and relax in their heated indoor pool and hot tub. Outdoor recreation areas are available on a firstcome, first-served basis. Indoor recreation areas (indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center) will be available by reservation. All guests are required to wear masks and follow all social distancing guidelines.

6.

GO HIKING. February might sound

like one of the least appealing months to go hiking – the Norwegians are of the opinion there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes, so be sure to bundle up – but staying adventurous keeps the winter months

3.

4.

GO TO GOBBLER’S KNOB.

Punxsutawney Phil will be making a virtual prediction this year! On February 2, the famous groundhog will emerge from hibernation and forecast when spring will arrive. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (groundhog.org) is developing live virtual

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STREAM A SHOW from Prima Theatre (primatheatre.org), Servant Stage (servantstage.org), Sight & Sound Theatres (sight-sound.com) or other local performing art venues. The performing arts industry is struggling right now. You can help the local theatre community by streaming their content, supporting their virtual events and buying gift cards and season subscriptions. On February 12, you can tune into Prima Theatre’s Stage Brawl to see local leaders perform famous songs and scenes while competing to be Champion of the Stage. All raised funds benefit Prima Theatre. The Ephrata Performing Arts Center (ephrataperformingartscenter.com) is slated to launch its 2021 season on February 21 with Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. The show will be offered virtually through EPAC At Home. If you prefer live performances, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre (dutchapple.com) plans to resume its season on February 21 with Happy Days. The American Music Theatre (amtshows.com) is hoping to resume shows in March.

DO A WINE TASTING at

Nissley Vineyards (nissleywine.com) in Bainbridge, Grandview Vineyard (grandviewwines.com) in Mount Joy, Thorn Hill Vineyards Tasting Room (thornhillvineyards.com) in Lancaster, and Britain Hill Venue & Vineyard (britainhillvenueandvineyard.com) in Quarryville. (Be aware that Covid restrictions could affect the services they offer.) Another option is to visit your favorite wine shop – Waltz Vineyards (waltzvineyards.com), with locations in Manheim, Lititz and Intercourse, has suspended tastings but its shops are open for purchasing wine – or Wine & Spirits store and choose a selection for an at-home tasting. Although a direct link between heart health and wine has not been proven, studies have shown that the antioxidants in red wine may increase levels of good cholesterol and protect against cholesterol buildup, according to Mayo Clinic.

8.

interesting. Lancaster County has become a hiker’s paradise, offering such destinations as the Enola Low Grade Rail-Trail, the Warwick to Ephrata Rail-Trail, the Lancaster Junction Recreation Trail, the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail and the many preserves maintained by the Lancaster Conservancy (lancasterconservancy.org). Frozen waterfalls are an especially beautiful sight and can be found locally at Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve and further afield at Ricketts Glen State Park and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

7.

PERFORM A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. February 17 is

Random Acts of Kindness Day! Pay it forward at the café, volunteer at a local nonprofit or do something special for a friend or loved one that will make them smile.

9.

SHOW YOUR LOVE. Valentine’s

Day isn’t just for couples. Host a virtual Galentine’s celebration with your closest girlfriends. Send a family member a Valentine’s card. Take yourself to your favorite restaurant, park or shop. Adopt or foster a dog or cat.

10.

WATCH THE SUPER BOWL on February 7. Even if

your team isn’t playing, it’s always fun to watch the final game of the season and rate the commercials. The Weeknd will provide entertainment for this year’s half-time show. Prepare a smorgasbord of tasty appetizers, snacks and local beers for the ultimate Super Bowl experience.


17.

11.

EMBRACE THE SNOW AND ICE. Take a trip to Roundtop

Mountain Resort (skiroundtop.com) in York County for some skiing or snow tubing. Or, grab your sled and head for the highest hill in your neighborhood or nearby park and become a kid again. You could also stroll through Lititz, February 12-20. Because of Covid, the annual Lititz Fire & Ice Festival has pivoted to the Lititz Ice Walk. Sponsored by Venture Lititz, visitors will be treated to DiMartino Ice Company’s artistic ice sculptures throughout the downtown area, as well as trees hung with Edison bulbs. For more information, visit lititzpa.com.

14.

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH. Stream

movies and shows by Black creators (most streaming services have a section dedicated to Black stories). Don’t miss the late Chadwick Boseman’s final role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which is generating Oscar buzz and can be seen on Netflix. Support local Blackowned businesses and Black-led organizations, like Blazin’ J’s, Crispus Attucks Community Center and A Concrete Rose Book Bar, just to name a few.

GO WILD!

You could visit the Wolf Sanctuary of PA (wolfsanctuarypa.org) and stay at the very cozy Speedwell Forge Bed & Breakfast, which is located on the property. It’s been over 100 years since the last wild wolf was known to exist in Pennsylvania, but thanks to the sanctuary, wolves and wolf dogs are being given back their dignity. Reservations are required to meet the beautiful animals and learn their touching stories. Or, you could visit ZooAmerica (zooamerica.com) in Hershey and get up close and personal with more than 200 animals native to North America, including owls, alligators, bears and wildcats.

18.

THE CHINESE NEW YEAR IS FEBRUARY 12! Already

slacking on your New Year’s resolutions? Give yourself a fresh start and new motivation with the Chinese New Year. This will be the Year of the Metal Ox, which, according to Reader’s Digest, will bode success for those who work hard.

12.

HAVE BREAKFAST IN BED. There’s nothing better on a

Sunday morning than a stack of pancakes and bacon, a hot cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice (or better yet, a mimosa). Turn off the TV and put on some music. Pair all that with your warm, cozy bed and it’s a sure cure for the Sunday scaries.

13.

INDULGE ON FAT TUESDAY. Eat as many fasnachts

as you want on February 16. Find them locally at Oregon Dairy, Central Market and bakeries all over the county. We hate to break the news, but Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Columbia, whose Holy Rollers have been making fasnachts since 1924, will not have fasnachts available this year. Now, that is a sacrilege!!! It’s also time to celebrate Mardi Gras, so put your baking skills to the test and make a King Cake.

15.

BUY YOURSELF SOME FLOWERS. Brighten up your

home and show yourself some love with a beautiful bouquet. Or, for a glimpse of spring, force open some blooms like forsythia or quince. You deserve it!

16.

BINGE SOMETHING NEW.

Get cozy on the sofa and finally tune into that new show or watch that new movie you’ve been wanting to see. With all the new streaming options available – Peacock, CBS All Access, Disney+ and discovery+ – not to mention Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more, you’ll forget the NFL season has ended.

19.

START A DIY PROJECT.

Whether it’s a home renovation or crocheting a scarf, the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a project by yourself is awesome.

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both kids and adults through Eventbrite.com. Get ideas for healthy dinners and snacks and receive personalized advice for dietary restrictions.

20.

PAMPER YOURSELF.

There’s nothing quite as soothing and relaxing as a facial or massage. The Lititz Springs Inn and Spa (formerly the General Sutter Inn) is home to the Däs Spa (lititzspringsinnandspa.com) and offers such indulgences as Red Wine and Salted Lime Tequila body polishes and Wine, Hops and Rum wraps. The Spa at The Hotel Hershey (chocolatespa.com) offers services that involve chocolate.

24.

GET AWAY. Head for a

secluded cabin in the Poconos, western Pennsylvania or upstate New York for a cozy winter getaway and spend a weekend ice fishing, cross-country or downhill skiing and relaxing by a fire. Or, rent a cottage at your favorite beach destination and spend quiet time shelling and birdwatching.

band August Burns Red. Always cognizant of mental health issues – both his and those of his fans – Jake initially founded the organization, Heart Support, which addresses mental health. Realizing that mental and physical health are intertwined, it became his goal to open a comprehensive fitness center that offers physical exercise, mental health classes, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, personal training and more. Check it out at theyourlifegym.com.

27.

VISIT LONGWOOD GARDENS. During February,

Longwood (longwoodgardens.org) will be shrouded in the beauty of winter. Walk through towering trees and contemplate their winter garden. Inside, enjoy hanging baskets and flowers bursting with color that will surely get you excited for spring.

21.

GET A HEAD START ON SPRING CLEANING. Sort

through closets, drawers, clutter and cabinets. Donate what you can and toss or recycle the rest.

22.

SUPPORT LOCAL RESTAURANTS. Dress up

and go out to dinner at your favorite local restaurant. If you aren’t comfortable with indoor dining yet, create the experience at home with take-out. Either way, you’ll be showing your love for the hard-hit hospitality industry.

23.

TAKE A VIRTUAL GROCERY STORE TOUR

with a dietician or nutritionist. Giant offers a variety of free grocery store tours and classes for

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25.

TAKE A COOKING CLASS.

Perfect as a Valentine’s date, Zest! (zestchef.com) offers cooking classes throughout the month of February, including pizza night, bread making and Southern comfort foods. You can also book a private class with Sylvie’s Recipes (sylviesrecipes.com) and choose from a variety of French appetizers, entrées and dessert options.

26.

GET ACTIVE IN A NEW WAY. Try a new activity or class

at your local gym or rec center. Explore a new trail or park. At home, give yoga a shot; West End Yoga Studio (westendyogastudio.com) has a slew of virtual instruction videos on YouTube. Also, be sure to check out Lancaster’s newest fitness center, The Your Life Gym, which is the brainstorm of Jake Luhrs, the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated metal

28.

EXPERIENCE ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE

during Chocolate-Covered February® in Hershey. Indulge in decadent events throughout the month like chocolate and wine pairings, chocolate dinners and more. Certain events have been postponed until 2022, so be sure to check their website (hersheypa.com) for the latest updates.


Trees Are No Longer Just for Christmas!

On October 25, as I was leaving a friend’s house after watching an NFL game, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Christmas trees were already visible in several homes in the neighborhood. By Thanksgiving, many homes across Lancaster County were decorated above and beyond the efforts of previous years. It seems holiday décor had become a panacea for the pandemic.

A

s Christmas Day approached, nextdoor.com members were asking how long other members planned to keep their trees up. Many responded with the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). That date came and went and again the question was posed. People didn’t want to take their trees down! Some people responded with the idea of removing the ornaments and keeping the lighted trees up for another week since they were so comforting. Still others responded with Candlemas (February 2). I WASN’T FAMILIAR with Candlemas and did a little research. Candlemas is a Christian holiday that commemorates the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary after giving birth to Jesus (an ancient Jewish law that essentially entailed 40 days of quarantine and ceremony, which for Mary culminated on February 2), the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Holy Encounter, in which Simeon proclaims Christ to be the “light of the world.” The events are chronicled in Luke 2:22-24 and are commemorated to varying extents by Christians across the world on February 2. Wait! Isn’t February 2 Groundhog Day? As it turns out, February 2 has been a significant day in the world since ancient times. The Celts, for example, celebrated what is now early February as the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In the 11th century, it became customary for Christians to honor Christ on February 2 by bringing the candles that would see them through the remainder of winter to their local churches to be blessed, hence the name, Candlemas, which signifies a sense of renewal and hope. Legend also holds that February 2 marks the first day on which snowdrops bloom. Europeans – especially those in Eastern Europe – also began a Candlemas-

related tradition that equates light to the behavior of animals. The folklore involves animals such as hedgehogs, badgers and bears, who hibernate the winter away but emerge in early February to gauge the weather for the next four weeks. (They actually emerge for mating purposes.) In Germany, February 2 is known as Badger Day. Farmer’s almanacs and books alluded to the resulting weather predictions with such ditties as this one from England:

“If Candlemas be fair and bright, come winter, have another flight. If Candlemas bring clouds and rain, Go winter, and not come again. Of course, the tradition made its way to America, where the Pennsylvania Germans lengthened the timeframe of the groundhog’s weather prognostication to six weeks. THE NOTION of keeping a tree up that spans several holidays made me think of Dr. Dennis Denenberg, whose tree that lords over his sunroom at Christmas oftentimes remains on view until Easter. Dennis typically puts the towering tree in place just before Christmas, hence its longevity. He also changes out the decorations to reflect the approaching holidays. Over the years, decorations – some handmade – have included hearts, Mardi Gras beads, Easter eggs and even dried hydrangea blooms from his gardens. “The tree just helps to make winter more bearable,” he says.

– Sue Long

Dr. Dennis Denenberg has made it a tradition to let his Christmas tree stand in his sunroom through the winter. The tree not only helps to make winter more bearable but it blocks the views of the barren gardens that fill the front yard. He changes the tree’s decorations to reflect holidays such as Valentine’s, Mardi Gras and Easter.

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UPTOWN & DOWN And All Around

Make a Date

FO R A VA L E N T I N E’S STAYCAT I ON 10

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The patio at The Belvedere Inn was made even more enchanting with the addition of climatized “villas” that provide for social distancing and add a touch of romance for dinner under the stars. Photography by Molly Schlachter.

It’s February and love is in the air. Considering the year we’ve been through, I’m sure couples are more than eager to bask in the glow of their relationships away from home. Because of the ongoing pandemic restrictions related to traveling beyond the state’s borders, you might want to consider putting a staycation on your Valentine’s itinerary.

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BY MICHAEL C. UPTON t just so happens that Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, which makes 2021 the perfect time to enjoy the company of your life’s companion with a lovely, weekend-long, staycation. Or, if Covid is a concern and restrictions are still in place, why not schedule your own Valentine’s celebration for a weekend of your choosing? I’m already hearing of people who are planning to hold Christmas and New Year’s parties in July, so why not move Valentine’s, as well? Regardless of your direction, I have found a perfect itinerary that includes a stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, which would provide the foundation for a welldeserved respite and could serve as the starting point for a weekend of love-filled adventure and commemoration.

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep. The more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.” W.S., Romeo and Juliet

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A renewed friendship with a former high school classmate who now owns a winery in the Lehigh Valley led to Rebecca Gallagher establishing a satellite tasting room and wine bar at her Historic Smithton Inn property in Ephrata. Photography by Nick Gould.

Stay

Built in 1763 by stonemason Henry Miller, the Historic Smithton Inn is perched just outside of downtown Ephrata, overlooking the Cloister and other historical buildings of its time. The building served as a tavern for many years and stayed in the Miller family for seven generations. The house went up for auction in the 1980s and was bought by architect Alan Smith, who fitted the building with proper plumbing and electricity for a bed and breakfast. Seven folk art-decorated guest rooms, featuring two king suites with jacuzzi tubs, are all named after colors. The Inn mixes a charming, historic vibe (think handmade Amish quilts and working fireplaces in every room) with touches of the modern through room-dedicated Wi-Fi and hardwired smart TVs. There is even a Tesla charging station out back.

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As for the presence of televisions, Rebecca observes, “For a romantic date night, you might not think of watching TV, but if you are parents with young kids, when was the last time you watched an R-rated movie?” Throughout all its old-world charm and state-of-the-art additions, one part of the Smithton stands out above all else, and that is its wine bar. Several years ago, Rebecca met up with an old friend from high school who was now running a winery in New Tripoli in the Lehigh Valley.

MICHAEL C. UPTON works as

a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington and is actively published by trade journals, specialized websites, and regional and national magazines. Upton lives in Lancaster County with his wife, Mel, and two youngest children, Halligan and Teagan. Tyler, his oldest son, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America.

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” W.S., A Midsummer Night ’s Dream

Photography by Nick Gould.

“We were going there twice a month to hang out. It was a great way to get away, see some friends and drink some wine,” says Rebecca, who eventually had a selfproclaimed epiphany to join the winery with an otherwise unused section of her inn and the Weathered Vineyards Ephrata Tasting Room & Wine Bar was born. “We opened it up in 2016,” she says of the quaint and cozy bar and tasting room that spills outdoors to a stone patio during warm-weather months. The bar atmosphere has given the inn an additional feature guests love for both convenience and camaraderie. Since the room shuts down at 9 p.m., it never becomes a bother to residents who are relaxing in their rooms. Serving Weathered wines by the glass, as well as mulled wine, wine slushies and craft beer, the bar is the perfect accoutrement for late-arriving guests to order wine and Mediterraneaninspired small plates from the kitchen. The Historic Smithton Inn, 900 W. Main St., Ephrata; 717-733-6094; historicsmithtoninn.com. (Note: The Historic Smithton has remained open and is operating with many Covid-related safety measures in place.)

We’re all family here! Keeping the family safe—our team, our patrons, our community— has always been our first priority throughout our 75 year history. In keeping with this mission, we are voluntarily closing all indoor restaurant dining until further notice. But don’t worry, you can still get our home cooked meals and enjoy them with your own family. A N N O U N CI N G

LOMBARDO’S MANGIARE at Home Our safe, contact-free take out service.

Visit lombardosrestaurant.com to see our take out menu or call to order lunch or dinner—cooked fresh and with love in the Lombardo’s kitchen, and gather around the table in your home. Please watch for updates on our website and social channels for when we will reopen. Lovingly, The Lombardo Family The all new

The all new Tuesday—Saturday 11 am - 8 pm Closed Sunday and Monday.

717.394.3749 216 Harrisburg Avenue Lancaster, PA 17603

Lombardosrestaurant.com

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Lititz Clay Studio, 307 E. Lexington Rd., Lititz; lititzclaystudio.com. (Note: Because of Covid restrictions, Date Night has been on hiatus; check the website for updates.) Nate Nixdorf, an art teacher at Warwick High School, realized his dream of operating his own pottery studio with the opening of Lititz Clay Studio. Date Night at the Studio is one of the ways in which he welcomes the community to experience making pottery.

TRUSTED CANCER CARE

IS CLOSER

THAN YOU THINK

NOW MORE THAN EVER, ACCESS TO QUALITY CANCER CARE IS ESSENTIAL.

A diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming. Locating an experienced cancer care team led by expert physicians without the added stress, time, and expense of unnecessary travel doesn’t have to add to the challenge. We offer patients the most advanced chemotherapy treatments, compassionate care, and support at our office which is conveniently located within the Greenfield Corporate Center. New patients and second opinions will be seen within 24 hours, call 717.291.1313.

GREENFIELD CORPORATE CENTER LancasterCancerCenter.com • (717) 291-1313

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Do

Creative expression joins couples at the Lititz Clay Studio during Date Night at the Studio, where they can enjoy a twohour crash course in pottery and share a wheel to throw clay. “Date Night is meant to provide everyone with an experience and allow everyone to give the pottery wheel a try. I wanted to have as many people in the community as possible try out the studio and Date Night serves that purpose,” says owner/instructor Nate Nixdorf. “The easiest way to get people in is to have them bring someone with them they like. Working on the pottery wheel can be difficult when you are a beginner, and you have to be able to laugh about it.” Two hours is the perfect amount of time for someone to get acclimated to the wheel and the clay and make something they will be able to take home after Nate glazes and fires the piece. He opened the studio three years ago because it was something he always wished he had access to when starting out in pottery as a student at Warwick High School, where he now teaches art. “The first time I ever worked with ceramics was in high school and I never stopped,” says the 42-year-old who went on to graduate from James Madison University with a degree in art education. “I want to share my enthusiasm with students and, through the studio, with the entire community.” Most Date Night participants are beginners and choose to make “simple bowls,” a small vase or a cup. Nate is willing to provide as much or as little help as guests desire. He will even snap that quintessential photo for a couple’s Instagram account. Even those who have never seen the 1990 movie, Ghost, will be familiar with the iconic scene between Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in which the departed lover embraces the artist as she works a pottery wheel. “People like to reenact that scene. That pretty much happens every Date Night. And, it’s totally fine and I am happy to take that picture for them,” laughs Nate. But not every couple coming to Date Night is romantically inclined. Nate says about a third of the participants are friends or family members just looking to enjoy an activity together. “I classify it as Date Night, but I’ll have two best friends come or a motherdaughter pair,” says Nate. “And, I’d say two-thirds of the people coming in have never worked with a pottery wheel.”


“Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an everfixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken.”

serve as the perfect alterations for new demands on dining and downright qualify as one of the most romantic venues being offered in the county. Rooftop dining has always been an attraction at The Belvedere. The “villas,” which resemble small greenhouses, take the experience to a new level by providing a climatized enclosure to enjoy some of the dishes this restaurant has become known for, like the signature grilled Caesar salad, dry-aged steak or jumbo lump crab cake. Cocktails are also a specialty at The Belvedere, including a line of creative

martinis and the ever-changing house infusion. Make sure to call ahead to book a “villa” for your perfect date-night dinner. The Belvedere, 402 N. Queen St., Lancaster; 717-394-2422; belvederelancaster.com. (Note: The Belvedere closed its outdoor dining area during the month of January. Check the website for further updates.)

W.S., Sonnet 116

Dine

The Belvedere Inn bills itself as serving “seasonal, new American fare in a homey, Victorian space.” And while this is true, the Lancaster restaurant’s recent adaptations to accommodate exterior dining are what have been drawing the most interest over the past few months. The new “villas” that are located on the second-floor patio,

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Are You Lonesome Tonight? Who knew that when Elvis Presley released this angst-filled song – “Are you lonesome tonight, do you miss me tonight, are you sorry we drifted apart … do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?” – that 60 years later it would define the feelings that so many people across the world are grappling with due to the pandemic?

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ccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the pandemic is taking a devastating toll on our mental health. Lisa Marsh Ryerson, who is president of the AARP Foundation, calls loneliness and social isolation “a very real public health crisis” and portrays them as being “worse for your health than obesity and smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” The foundation even developed a website – connect2affect.org – to address the crisis. Seniors aren’t the only age group being affected. According to a survey conducted by CBS News, 75% of respondents (ages 18-24) shared they are feeling lonely and anxious. According to Psychology Today, loneliness, which it defines as a sense of being isolated and alone, “can consume the mind and soul” and have an adverse effect on our overall health. The CDC points out that loneliness isn’t necessarily about being alone – after all, you can be in a crowded room and still feel lonely. It’s more about the lack of meaningful social relationships in your life. Unfortunately, the pandemic and its social distancing, lockdowns and other related mandates, have only magnified loneliness and other mental health concerns. Yale historian, Frank Snowden, who is the author of Epidemics and Society, maintains that social connections are “vital to human survival.” The pandemic is driving that fact home: everyone – from the youngest school children to the most senior members of society – is feeling the effects of being socially isolated

from friends and family. Being physically separated from co-workers and classmates is frustrating. Job loss and uncertainty about paying rent or the mortgage and basic bills has led to non-stop anxiety. LONELINESS DOES have physical ramifications. It can compromise the immune system. It can contribute to high blood pressure. It can decrease mental sharpness. It can lead to increased smoking, drinking and use of drugs. It can compromise the cardiovascular system. It can contribute to poor eating habits and weight gain. It can disrupt sleep patterns. It can only compound other mental health issues such as depression. It is contributing to increases in suicide. The impact of loneliness and other mental health issues is telling. In June, the CDC released the results of a survey in which 41% of the adults that were surveyed reported experiencing an “adverse mental or behavioral health issue.” Results verified that anxiety disorders had tripled when compared to the same time period in 2019. One in 10 respondents admitted they had increased their use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that only 11% of the population takes advantage of the resources that are available to help them cope. One-third of the population admits to feeling uncomfortable sharing their feelings relating to loneliness with friends and family. Scott Kelly, an astronaut who is the brother of the newly elected Senator (and former astronaut) from Arizona, Mark Kelly, finds this alarming and explains in an article that appeared in Psychology Today in support of the AARP Foundation’s new initiative, that during his 300+ days in space, NASA was persistent in keeping tabs on his mental health and required him to communicate with a psychologist every two weeks. “It’s too bad that same concern isn’t demonstrated on Earth,” he notes.

THERE ARE WAYS TO COPE. Exercise is an oft-touted approach. Communing with nature – even for just a short time each day – is another. Making an effort to connect with friends and family is very beneficial, whether it’s during a socially distanced meet-up, a phone call or Zoom session. Involving yourself in a new hobby can be beneficial. Seeking out virtual “gatherings” that address things that are of interest to you, i.e. book clubs, or even social media sites that focus on topics that are of interest to you (history, photography, home décor, DIY projects, etc.) provide opportunities to interact. Psychology Today also encourages you to adopt an “attitude of gratitude” and remind yourself what you are grateful for each and every day.

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Zeke, Kody and Kylee enjoy a sun-filled November afternoon at their home in Akron. The threesome are the stars of Karen Gerth’s social media postings on Facebook and Instagram that she calls “Karen and The Kids.”

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In addition to the three goldens, the Gerths’ farmette is home to goats and a horse.

Karen Gerth, who founded Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services (KPETS) in 2003, is of the opinion that “we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg” in discovering how canines can help humans from social, psychological, physical, educational and medical standpoints. The most recent accomplishment on the part of canines is undergoing training to “sniff out” the coronavirus.

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aren, who grew up in the Ephrata area, has always loved animals, notably dogs and specifically golden retrievers. “Somebody warned me that once you have a golden, nothing else will ever do,” she says. Karen and her husband, Bill, discovered that to be absolutely true and have welcomed a succession of goldens into their home, including two tripods, the most recent of which is 6-year-old Kylee. “We adopted her through the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue,” she says of the velcro dog she describes as being “a great snuggler.” As for the breed, Karen relates, “They’re just easy dogs to love and live with. They are very people-oriented and love to please.” In addition to Kylee, Karen’s pack also includes her walking buddy, 7-year-old Kody, and Zeke, who is 11. Whether it’s a pedigreed purebred or a multi-breed mutt, their humans probably feel the same way about them.

BY SUE LONG | PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK GOULD In responding to the question, “What is it about dogs?,” Karen provides a list of their attributes. “They’re just so nonjudgmental and they are always glad to see you, whether you’ve been gone five minutes or five hours,” she says. “They’re also a lot of fun – my dogs make me laugh and can turn a bad day into a good one. Dogs make you slow down and smell the roses; they connect you to the natural world – Kody and I walk on the Warwick to Ephrata RailTrail nearly every day. Dogs also help us connect to other people – because of Kody, I get to talk to so many people on the trail.”

From IT to KPETS Despite her connection to animals, Karen’s career path initially took her in a completely opposite direction: Information Technology (IT). “I enjoyed my work but it wasn’t something I could say I was passionate about,” she explains.

Additionally, she was searching for a way to “give back to the community.” She decided she could do the latter by becoming a “puppy raiser” for an organization that trains service and assistance dogs. She soon realized she would have to find another avenue of community service. Cinda, the puppy Karen was raising, failed to meet the requirements to proceed in the program and was ultimately adopted by her. “She was our first golden. It would have been difficult to give her up; I can’t imagine,” Karen says of being a puppy raiser. “It’s hard not to get emotionally attached. I admire people who can do it. It just wasn’t for me.” She soon became aware of organizations that work with human/canine teams to dispense comfort, support and affection to people who may be feeling lonely, defeated or depressed. Such work takes the teams into retirement L A N C A S T E R CO U N T Y | F E B R U A RY 2 0 2 1

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Kylee, Kody, Karen and Zeke stroll the grounds of the Gerths’ farmette on a November afternoon.

For more information, visit KPETS.org

communities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, hospices, schools, libraries and juvenile detention facilities. With her happygo-lucky goldens to partner with, Karen saw canine therapy as her way to serve the community. “I registered through a national organization, underwent the training and got to work,” she recalls. OTHER DOG OWNERS became interested in what was then a rather novel idea for the Lancaster area. That led Karen to follow her church pastor’s message of finding your vision and acting upon it. She ultimately developed her own program and initially partnered with dog-loving friends who also attended The Worship Center to offer their services to the community. The name of the group was 3CPO (Caring Christians and Canine Pet Organization). Again, word spread and 3CPO was overcome by requests from dog owners, as well as community groups and facilities that could benefit from the services they offered. “We just couldn’t keep up with the interest that was coming our way,” Karen recalls. She credits the level of interest to the fact that “people who love their dogs are always looking for things to do with them to keep them stimulated. The athletic stuff isn’t for everyone,” she says of agility, lure coursing, dock-diving and other dogsports. Karen began researching the possibility of becoming a 501-(c)3 nonprofit organization. “I also thought it would be good to develop a more localized registration program,” she explains. In 2003, she launched KPETS. For the next six years, the organization operated out of Karen’s home in Akron. “Developing a website was a huge step for us,” she recalls. Growth prompted a move to the United Way complex on Janet Avenue. In 2016, it moved to the Emerald Foundation Community Campus on Oregon Pike.

The Registration Process Zeke is the patriarch of the pack.

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Prior to the pandemic, KPETS’ roster of volunteer teams numbered 450. Visits to retirement communities, schools, libraries, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, hospices and juvenile detention facilities averaged 10,000 per year. “It got to the point where we didn’t have to go looking for opportunities. They found us. Having KPETS visit is a win, win, win,” says Karen. “The dogs love it, their handlers love it and the residents, students and staffs love it.” The pandemic has prompted a decline in members. “We’re down to 330 teams right now,” Karen notes, attributing the reduced numbers to the fact that the facilities that welcome KPETS volunteers are not admitting visitors. “It’s a shame, because now is when


they could probably use our services the most. But, safety comes first. I’m confident we’ll bounce back.” Becoming a therapy team involves a process that entails a 3-hour orientation session for the human element of the duo. Dogs must be at least 1 year old and have lived with the handler for at least six months. The teams then participate in a group evaluation session during which dogs are asked to respond to basic obedience commands. They are also evaluated on their ability to handle the unexpected: wheelchairs, walkers, loud noises, other animals and being surrounded by unfamiliar people. If they pass the evaluation, the team is given the green light to participate in two supervised visits. For those who need to work more on their manners and reactions to unfamiliar territory, suggestions are provided, including taking part in classes offered by such facilities as Oscar’s Pet Resort, Kaye Ames People Training for Dogs, Godfrey’s Dogdom and The Complete Canine Center, among others. According to Karen, the human element is just as important as the canine. “The human part of the team has to always be alert to where their dogs are, especially in retirement communities, hospitals and rehab centers, where someone could trip over a leash or get their wheelchairs or walkers caught up in one.” Once they are registered, the human member of the team is free to peruse the listings of opportunities that are available and sign up to provide their services. “We have teams that are out anywhere from once a week to two or three times a week,” Karen explains. “They decide their level of participation – there are no required time commitments.” Demand for KPETS’ services prompted teams from all over Central Pennsylvania to become registered. “We also have a strong presence in the Westminster, Maryland area thanks to teams that continue to become registered through KPETS. In total, we serve 14 counties.” While the bulk of their human volunteers tend to be older and are empty nesters or retirees, Karen notes that dog lovers of all ages are involved, including spouses who share a canine for assignments and families who view their participation as a learning experience for their children. The animal element isn’t restricted to dogs. “We do have a few cats,” Karen says. “We’ve found that the cats need to be unique – they must be comfortable around dogs, strangers and new situations.” Ten mini-horses are also on the roster. “They go through their own screening process,” she adds. Audiences love them. “Talk about lighting up a room – those horses do that!” Karen says.

Dewey Beach in Delaware is a favorite off-season getaway for the Gerths and their dogs. Noticing the town hosted beach events for other breeds, Karen reached out to the mayor’s office seven years ago and suggested they add golden retrievers to the itinerary. The project was approved and planning it became Karen’s responsibility. Dewey’s Golden Jubilee proved to be so popular that it is now held twice a year (May and September). In 2019, approximately 400 goldens participated in the May event. (Last year’s events were canceled due to the pandemic.) Tentative dates for 2021 are May 7-9 and September 24-26. Proceeds from the Dewey’s Golden Jubilee events benefit the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which is tracing the factors that contribute to cancer in canines. Participants such as Kody and Kylee will be screened throughout their lifetimes. For more information, visit deweysgoldenjubilee.com. Photos courtesy of Karen Gerth.

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How Facility Dogs Help Educationally

Four-legged Listeners and Motivators Karen is extremely proud of the contributions KPETS’ volunteers have made over the last 18 years. She’ll always remember a staff member at a local retirement community taking her aside and telling her that the dogs had helped to bring a resident out of her shell. “She never spoke to anyone before,” Karen was informed. “Now, she talks non-stop about the dogs that visit.” Partnering with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has been especially fulfilling. CASAs are trained citizen-volunteers who are court-appointed to advocate for abused and neglected children who are in the foster-care system. The CASA of a child or sibling group accompanies them to court on the day of a hearing. Often, there is a long wait in the courthouse hallway, which can add to an already-stressful situation. “It’s a distressing situation for kids and adults alike,” says Karen of the proceedings. “I think everyone takes comfort in having the dogs there.” Courthouses across the country are finding that the presence of dogs help to bring an even keel to court procedures, especially if a child is involved. In Lancaster, the “trial” stage of having two KPETS teams present – Karen and one of her dogs participate – began in February 2020. The teams are positioned in the hallway of the courthouse on designated days on which dependency hearings are held. “The pandemic has temporarily disrupted the initiative but we’ll resume with it once we are able to,” Karen notes. THE DOGS also have made an impact

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at Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital. “Dogs can bring out things in a patient that a therapist can’t,” Karen notes of the courage they provide for delving into unspoken memories. Indeed, therapists and counselors in private practice nationwide have begun to introduce canine therapy to their own patients, which has met with success and resulted in stellar patient reviews. Karen also marvels at the power dogs wield in physical-therapy settings. “They can actually motivate patients to do their therapy without them even realizing it,” she says of having patients brush a dog, walk it or throw it a ball. “Before they know it, it’s time for the session to end!” The fact that dogs are nonjudgmental, makes them valuable members of a team where speech therapy is concerned. “And, they’ve helped so many children perfect their reading skills,” Karen reports. “We have a pitbull that just loves to be read to!” KPETS has also joined the trend of going on college campuses during exam time to help students relax and de-stress. “The students just love it – some students from F&M thanked us with an incredible video they put together and shared on social media.”

Loving on Lititz One of KPETS’ most challenging cases involved a contingent of volunteers traveling to Lititz in the aftermath of the horrific car crash that occurred on the edge of Warwick High School’s campus in late October 2018. The crash claimed the lives of two students and injured another. “We just wanted to be there for the students and staff,” says Karen. “We had 14 teams in Lititz for two weeks. We also went back to provide assistance following

According to the Warwick School District, the facility dogs are helping students in a myriad of ways, including: • Increasing communication skills • Fostering trust • Reducing anxiety • Easing stress • Reducing feelings of isolation • Reducing feelings of loneliness • Providing joy and affection • Improving self-esteem and feelings of self-worth • Improving socialization skills • Increasing attentiveness/engagement • Learning skills of acceptance and being nonjudgmental • Reducing inappropriate social behavior Recognizing that not everyone is a “dog person,” Warwick has designated “dogfree” zones in the offices and other areas throughout its buildings. In addition, the district now has medical information cards that specify if a student has an allergy to animals/dogs, which is relayed to teachers. Source: Warwick School District another tragic student loss.” It had long been a goal of Warwick’s superintendent, Dr. April Hershey, to introduce a facility dog program to the district. The presence of the KPETS dogs helped to crystalize the benefits such a program could provide and the project was put into motion with the support of the Warwick Education Foundation, which launched a fundraiser to get it off the ground. The $30,000 goal was generously supported by area businesses and residents, enabling it to reach $41,383. Thanks to the community’s support, the goal was made even more ambitious: providing every school building with its own facility dog. That goal has been achieved. Wendy Jordan of Dog Sense in Conestoga oversees the training of Warwick’s facility dogs. The district also launched a schoolwide initiative called Warwick Strong Day, the first of which was held on November 25, 2019. At the high school, the day began with a breakfast for first responders and


continued with a lunch for volunteers, including the teams from KPETS. A food drive was also conducted. “That was such a nice event for our volunteers,” Karen says. The 2020 event saw students gather supplies that were donated to the local pet pantry. “Our district has such a love for dogs,” says Public Relations Coordinator Jackie Yanchocik. “Students across all our buildings are always wanting to help and find ways to donate or give back to the facility dog program.”

Staying Pawsitive Of course, the pandemic has put a halt to most of KPETS’ activities. “I know my dogs really miss it,” Karen says. “When they put their vests on, they know they’re going to work. Kody especially misses it. The other day, I took him to the bank with me and when we went inside, he was so excited to see people!” Fundraising has also been impacted, although the $27,000 raised through the Extraordinary Give surpassed KPETS’ goal, for which Karen is very grateful, noting, “People in Lancaster County are so generous.” When Covid forced shutdowns and restricted attendance at social events, KPETS’ largest benefit, Tails of Comfort, which was scheduled to be held at the Lancaster Country Club in March, was postponed until fall. Due to ongoing restrictions, it pivoted to an online auction that will be taking place through February 1. “We have some amazing items!” Karen says. LIKE MOST “dog people,” Karen has parlayed the love for her goldens into other ventures. She and Kody were certified as a team for National Crisis Response Canines. She started to dabble in social media through Facebook and Instagram (@Karenandthekids). Karen, Bill and “the Kids” love to head to Dewey Beach, Delaware, for week-long vacations in the spring and fall. “I noticed

Children facing medical issues love the special brand of TLC that dogs provide. In this area, Penn State Health helped to pioneer pet therapy in a hospital setting 15 years ago, when it welcomed organizations such as KPETS to visit with patients at the Hershey Medical Center. Mini-horses have become welcomed visitors at local retirement communities. KPETS has 10 mini-horses on its volunteer roster. Prior to the pandemic, KPETS’ 450 teams averaged 10,000 visits per year to schools, hospitals, hospices, libraries, rehabilitation centers, retirement communities and juvenile detention facilities. Because of the pandemic, participation has declined. Karen is confident that once normalcy returns, so will volunteer participation. Opposite: Dogs are especially helpful in schools and libraries, where they assist children in perfecting their reading skills. Karen notes that some dogs just love to be read to and provide children with the confidence to read aloud. Photos courtesy of Karen Gerth.

they had events for greyhounds, doodles and chihuahuas on the beach every year in the off-season and thought, ‘Why not goldens?’” she explains. She made some phone calls and received a response from the mayor of Dewey Beach, saying she loved the idea and handed the reins of planning it over to Karen. The event, called Dewey’s Golden Jubilee, launched seven years ago and has proved so successful that it is now held twice a year – the second weekend in May and the last weekend in September. The event has grown to include a parade of goldens through a part of town, contests, a Blessing of the Animals ceremony, all sorts of swag to buy and, of course, hundreds of goldens cavorting on the beach and in the surf. “In May 2019, we had something like 400 goldens running free on the beach,” she recalls. “It was something to see!” (Last year’s events were canceled due to Covid.)

The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which is sponsored by the Coloradobased Morris Animal Foundation (morrisanimalfoundation.org) and was funded in part by the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Now in its ninth year, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind being conducted in the United States. Its aim is to identify the risk factors – nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic – that contribute to cancer in dogs. The golden retriever provides the perfect case study, as 60% are impacted by the disease. Kody and Kylee are among the 3,000 goldens that are being screened throughout their lifetimes. As for Karen and Bill, they’ve been using their Covid downtime to enjoy staying home at their six-acre farmette. “We have our dogs, goats and a horse. Life is good,” she says. L A N C A S T E R CO U N T Y | F E B R U A RY 2 0 2 1

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Adopting a Dog

What if you’re late to the party and have now decided to adopt a dog? Petfinder.com urges you to consider the decision rationally and not impulsively. Things to consider include: YOU: A pet is a long-term responsibility. You will be responsible for this animal for the next 10 to 15 years. Where do you see your life going over that time span? Will a dog fit into your long-term plans? THE FIT: Do your homework and research breeds that fit your lifestyle. If you’re a couch potato, a breed such as an Australian shepherd, a border collie or cattle dog would be miserable in your home. On the flip side, small breeds such as Yorkies and toy anythings probably wouldn’t be up for 10-mile hikes. If you’re adopting from a shelter, pay attention to the mix of breeds that make up the dog of your choice in order to gauge his or her activity level.

The Gerths adopted Kylee through the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue, which is based in Denver and is home to a unique facility called the Lynn Glennon Sanctuary, whose residents are senior-aged goldens and puppy mill survivors. The home-like facility prepares such dogs to make the transition to new homes. For more information, visit DVGRR.org.

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curious thing happened as the pandemic made its presence known in the United States: people began adopting dogs and cats in record numbers. For the first time in their existence, many shelters found themselves in a precarious position – the strain wasn’t due to overcrowding but to a lack of four-legged residents available for adoption. Also, for the first time, people were embracing the concept of fostering animals in record numbers. According to Newsweek, in both Los Angeles and New York, two Covid hot spots, fostering has increased by 70% as compared to 2019. Shelters received so many applications and had so many success stories that some applicants were never given the opportunity to help. While the adoption and fostering programs have met with unprecedented success, dog lovers like Karen Gerth worry what will happen once life returns to normal. “Yes, people have all the time for their pets now, but I worry what will happen once normalcy returns. I’d hate to see them end up back in shelters,” she says. Veterinarians and trainers are fearful a rise in separation anxiety and other disorders will occur once a dog’s human family members return to work and school on a consistent basis. With a vaccine now in our grasp, Karen suggests that you should start taking the time to acclimate your pet to what your routine will look like once you return to the office and the kids are back in school full-time. “I have a friend who has begun the process by having her dog go to doggie day care once a week,” she explains of the familial-distancing ploy. Another option is to start leaving your home for stretches of time so that your pet becomes accustomed to having some alone time.

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ALLERGIES: Certain breeds are natural triggers for allergic reactions, while others are hypoallergenic. Do your homework. ARE YOU A CLEAN FREAK: If you can’t deal with flying fur, accidents, drool and deconstructed toys, maybe you should rethink your plans to adopt. KIDS: Yes, the kids may be begging for a dog and promise to take charge of its daily needs but be realistic and know it’s an adult who will probably become the primary caretaker. Petfinder.com also suggests that you not bring a puppy into your home if babies and toddlers are part of the family dynamics. BE REALISTIC: How much time will the dog be alone? How much time do you have for walks/exercise? TRAVEL: It’s not an issue now but once normalcy returns and you get back on the road for work or pleasure, will the dog travel with you or be boarded? THE EXPENSE FACTOR: Pets are expensive! Their minimum requirements include regular veterinary care, food, treats, grooming, supplements, flea/tick treatments, collars/leashes, licensing and toys. Just as with kids, emergencies can and do pop up.


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Shanece Bowman, who is the programs manager at Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation, and her six-yearold son, Royce, often have open conversations about the events of the past year, including the pandemic, the election and racial inequity.

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The Kids Are Not All Right The events of the past year have created a ripple effect, reaching nearly all aspects of our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the ways we go about our lives, including how we gather, learn, communicate, work and so much more. It has been a challenging time as an adult; one can only imagine how difficult it has been for children. BY KAYLEE REX | PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK GOULD

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he pandemic has caused drastic changes in their routines. Most schools transitioned to hybrid or virtual learning. Kids aren’t able to socialize and play with their friends and classmates like they once did. Milestone birthdays, graduations and holidays pass by, deprived of the proper togetherness and celebration they deserve. In the age of constant information and greater access to screens, a seemingly never-ending flow of scary headlines and polarized debates inundate their feeds and notifications. For some children, having the whole family spend more time at home means a higher risk of abuse, as well as potential food and housing insecurity. Childhood experiences create a foundation for lifelong physical and behavioral health. The events of the past year are out of our control, but we can help to steer the youth around us towards habits and resources for mental wellbeing. How children learn to cope with hardship can stay with them throughout the rest of their lives. Now more than ever, it is crucial to check in on the mental health of the children and adolescents in our lives and offer resources and guidance for when they need help.

Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation (LOHF) is one such resource

for families in our community. Their vision is for all local youth to experience mental well-being. They strive to make behavioral healthcare and mental health services accessible for every family in the county. Treatment and care for mental health-related issues can vary depending on the nature and severity of a person’s mental condition, their physical health and the type of treatment that is needed. The most common services include outpatient, hospital inpatient and, due to the pandemic, telehealth care. LOHF helps local families access these services, mainly through their copay assistance program. Programs Manager Shanece Bowman works directly with eligible families and providers to lower copays to $10 per visit, which allows families to continue services without having to worry about the financial strain or burden. Thanks to a Lancaster Cares grant, LOHF was able to expand eligibility for their copay assistance program to any Lancaster County resident whose income was affected by COVID-19. LOHF will be continuing this expanded eligibility throughout the duration of the pandemic. In total, LOHF has seven programs to help families access behavioral healthcare, provide training and certification services for aspiring behavioral healthcare workers and distribute grants to local nonprofits that are working to make lasting changes in the system. Before joining the LOHF team, Shanece worked as a behavioral health assistant, L A N C A S T E R CO U N T Y | F E B R U A RY 2 0 2 1

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Creating a supportive environment for children to express their thoughts and feelings is crucial for their mental well-being. Shanece encourages parents to have open and honest conversations about mental health with their children.

which introduced her to issues within the field that she is passionate about fixing. She sees her position at LOHF as an opportunity for enacting change. “At a micro level, we can help individuals and families; at a mezzo level, we can work in communities; and at a macro level, we can help change policies in human services,” she says. “I learned quickly within my position at LOHF that in order to be impactful, you have to work at all three levels.”

Fixing the System High copays and financial strain aren’t the only issues facing local families seeking behavioral healthcare. Access to services is often encumbered by long wait periods, lack of diversity in the workforce, unawareness of resources and stigma surrounding mental health. Through their programs, LOHF hopes to eliminate these barriers. One of Shanece’s top priorities is working to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness, which often discourages people from getting help. “If you have a broken arm or a headache, it is so easy to go to the doctor and tell them what is wrong. But, how often do we go to the doctor and tell them about feelings of loneliness or negative thoughts? Getting mental health services should be as easy as it is to go to your primary doctor for a checkup,” Shanece laments. “That comfortability is just not there.” In order to reduce the stigma, Shanece believes that we must change the way we talk about behavioral health. When someone is struggling, we need to address, understand and validate their feelings, rather than sweeping them under the rug or reducing them to just being “crazy.” Changing the stigma can start with our own children; giving them the resources and tools to speak about their behavioral health can set them up to lead healthier and happier lives. The demand for youth behavioral healthcare is already high

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and will most likely continue to rise as our society works to change the stigma around seeking help. Investing in a stronger and more diverse talent pipeline is crucial for the future of the industry. Obstacles like supervision hours and funding for training or education often stand in the way of aspiring clinical professionals and social workers getting licensed. LOHF offers several programs to help remove these barriers and create a larger workforce. Due to the lack of diversity in the field, minority communities are not represented effectively. When seeking services, most people want to find a provider they can relate to or else they may not feel completely comfortable opening up. “In my position and as a minority myself, I want to be visible to the minority community, to the mothers and to the young individual who feels like nobody looks like them,” Shanece explains. “I want to be that person who can empathize with those who have suppressed mental health issues and allow them to break the chain of silence.”

Talking to Children About Mental Health The past year has brought up a lot of difficult conversations for parents and children, revolving around public health, racial inequity and politics. A mother herself, Shanece understands how hard these conversations can be; she’s had many with her 6-yearold son, Royce. Explaining to a child that they can’t go to school or see their friends or family is not easy. Even harder yet is explaining the heartbreaking stories on the news or the uncertainty of when things will go back to normal, if they ever do. “Just be honest and have those difficult conversations with your children, because it is going to affect the way they communicate with you in the future,” Shanece says. Creating an open and supportive environment for children to express their thoughts and feelings is crucial for their mental well-being.


Signs that a child may be struggling mentally include low energy, lack of enthusiasm, sleep issues, asking difficult questions, intrusive thoughts or worries and loss of appetite. Shanece recommends addressing these behaviors as soon as you notice them. “Don’t brush it off as a bad day or an off week,” she says. “You have that gut feeling as a parent that something is off or going on.” If your child seems to be struggling, Shanece recommends getting on their level both physically and mentally and simply asking if they are feeling all right in their mind.

Shanece wants to be visible to the minority community, to other mothers and to young individuals who feel like nobody looks like them.

Tips for Nurturing Children’s Mental Health BE HONEST. Shanece emphasizes the importance of being transparent with children while having these important discussions. In the midst of the uncertainty, allow yourself to say that you don’t know what will happen. It’s fine to not have all the answers; being able to listen and give the best answer you can is what’s important. VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS. “Allow them to say, ‘I don’t like what’s going on.’ Because that’s okay. I don’t think anyone does,” Shanece notes. A lot of people are struggling. Reassure them that they are not alone in how they feel. CREATE HEALTHY HABITS. Help kids develop outlets for maintaining and relieving stress. We all need to have hobbies, interests or activities to take our minds off the weight of the world. These habits can be as simple as getting outside for daily walks or cooking a favorite recipe as a family. ENFORCE LIMITS ON SCREEN TIME. Increased exposure to social media or news broadcasts can fatigue children’s minds. In regard to her own son, “I want to allow him to know what’s going on, but I also don’t want to overwhelm him with such negativity. There has to be a balance,” Shanece explains. CREATE A ROUTINE. Routines can promote a sense of control for kids, which can help reduce anxiety. While their school and social routines are disrupted, try to create a new schedule with them. REASSURE THEM THAT THEY ARE SAFE. Remind your child that there are good people out there – doctors, nurses and other frontline workers – who are working tirelessly to take care of others and help bring an end to the pandemic.

Getting Help COVID-19 has made access to mental health services more challenging but Shanece emphasizes that there are indeed resources out there for families struggling with the effects of the past year. Telehealth and other remote services are available as the pandemic persists. LOHF is one of many organizations in Lancaster County that are dedicated to advocating for mental health services and accessibility. These organizations can help connect you to providers, offer financial assistance or create space for you to talk with others experiencing similar challenges.

Shanece’s ultimate goal as a mother is to instill morals and respect for all others, no matter the differences they may have.

Learn more about LOHF and their services on their website, lohf.org, or by calling 717-397-8722. For more information on mental health services in Lancaster, visit letstalklancaster.org. In the case of a mental health emergency, contact Lancaster Crisis Intervention at 717-394-2631.

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FOODOGRAPHER Comfort Food

The Benefits of

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN BUSH

Chicken Pot Pie This Lancaster County staple is often the “money-maker” for area fire companies that sponsor benefit dinners. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover it’s also what helps to bring a community together. For the most part, the pandemic unfortunately caused the cancellation of these timehonored benefits during 2020. As we welcome a new year, many companies are hopeful that they will be able to get back on track. One company that vows to carry on with its fundraiser – in one way or another – is the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company in Bird-in-Hand, whose chicken pot pie dinner has become legendary.

To be honest,

I have always considered chicken pot pie to be somewhat dull. The pastry is often overcooked and mushy (or undercooked and rubbery), the chicken flavorless and seasonings wanting. As a result, despite being a local, I never understood what the hoopla over chicken pot pie was about. That all changed three years ago, when a friend waxed poetic about having the “best chicken pot pie of her life” at Hand-inHand Fire Company. Feeling the meal was undeserving of such praise, my eyebrows furled. However,

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over the years, I’ve learned to trust her opinion (she’s usually right – just don’t tell her I said that). So, I added the 2019 Chicken Pot Pie dinner to my calendar and decided to check it out.

She Was Right!

My moment of reckoning came on an overcast February morning, during week two of what would be a three-week-long battle with something akin to bronchitis. Cold, tired and under the weather, a hot, hearty meal was just what the doctor ordered. Because of being sick, my first experience at

Hand-in-Hand’s chicken pot pie event was their drive-through option. A family-style dinner and buffet are offered inside. A drive-through for a fire company event? Yes, I, too, was surprised that such a convenient option existed. My fiancée, Jessica, and I were met by young, enthusiastic members of the Amish community who stood at a tiny wooden shed selling tickets. With some hesitancy on the part of my driver, I purchased four quarts of chicken pot pie and handed over the dough. Our car moved along the queue and eventually arrived at a table stacked high


with piping-hot containers of chicken pot pie. With a gallon of the goods in hand, and on the verge of being hangry, Jessica and I headed home, eager for a hearty, stick-toyour-ribs feast on a dreary winter’s day. THE RETURN TRIP to Ephrata seemed notably longer as our mouths frothed like ravenous beasts at the delightful aroma that filled the car. Settling in at home, I split a quart between two bowls. Pepper cabbage and buttered bread made for perfect side dishes. To my delight, never had I devoured chicken pot pie with such robust flavor. The pastry was tender but not mushy and vaguely tasted like chicken, stretching the flavor of meat into lesser ingredients, similar to a proper bowl of jambalaya. Uncommon quality was carried throughout the piping-hot bowl – even the potatoes were cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. With one quart swiftly consumed, two more went into the freezer, while the fourth made it to the fridge for the next day. (After a 24-hour soak, the pastry had absorbed the rest of the chicken stock and completed its chrysalis-like transformation, so I added my homemade chicken stock to elevate it to its previous liquified state.) This was exceptional, a perfect winter meal. I needed to know what made it so delicious but had to wait another year to find out.

The sign outside of the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company is the final of many that lead the way to the annual event that is held the Saturday after President’s Day each February.

The Backstory

In February 2020, I reached out to Hand-in-Hand Fire Company, whose members invited me to spend two days with them as they cooked. I learned that the annual family-style dinner started in 1994, when the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau (now known as Discover Lancaster) approached the fire company with the idea of having them prepare and host a chicken pot pie dinner as part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Food Festival, an event designed to entice people to visit Lancaster County during what was then a slow season for its members. Proceeds would benefit the fire company and the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg. To prepare for the endeavor, two incognito fire company volunteers scoured the county in an effort to taste-test chicken pot pie and determine how much would be needed for the proposed event. Closer to the event, they bribed the Today Show’s Willard Scott with shoo-fly pies and fire company T-shirts in the hopes he would plug the dinner during one of his weather forecasts. Willard obliged, enticing visitors from as far away as Virginia and Ohio (and

Above: Locally raised chickens are cooked in 40-gallon kettles a week in advance of the dinner. Below: Cooked chickens are rapidly cooled outside in the frigid winter temperatures.

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Pastry for the chicken pot pie is made on-demand on the day of the dinner. Hand-rolled balls of pastry (top left) await being rolled out (middle left) and then hand-cut (bottom left). Above: Chicken broth is captured in food-grade buckets and then is chilled outdoors in a specially made trough through which cold water moves. On Saturday morning in February 2020, the ambient temperature is in the teens, enabling the broth to quickly cool. Below: Cut rolls of pastry are tossed into the 40-gallon kettle to complete the chicken pot pie.

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Quart containers of hot, savory chicken pot pie are filled for pickup and drive-through take-out.

surrounding states) to make the trip to Bird-in-Hand over President’s Day weekend.

A Community Effort

While the festival is no longer held, the chicken pot pie dinner has become a cornerstone of the support that keeps the volunteer fire company running. (The dinner is now held the Saturday after President’s Day.) Sales of chicken pot pie help to provide the fire company with equipment and training essential to safely serving the community. The fire company has been instrumental in conducting searches for the still-missing Amish teen, Linda Stoltzfoos, who disappeared while walking home from church services in June 2020. Conducting the search required a significant and diverse use of non-firefighting resources. From printing posters to utilizing their large commercial kitchen to feed volunteers, the fire company’s facilities served as a hub for countless activities. Like many such dinners, Hand-inHand relies on the community to help prepare and manage its chicken pot pie dinner. In Bird-in-Hand, the majority of the volunteers for the dinner are Amish. (They also comprise a majority of the company’s first responders.) Volunteers from the

English community are also plentiful. The volunteers do prep work, cook, set up the dining areas, greet visitors, direct traffic and contribute such items as homemade bread and desserts (the pies are amazing!). According to Tim Hoerner, president of Hand-in-Hand Fire Company, “It’s the community’s way of doing their part, enabling firefighters to take care of everyone.” Tim was a volunteer in the early years of the dinner, picking up the boxes of peeping chicks from the post office and delivering them to the farm where they’d be raised. PREPARATIONS for cooking the chicken pot pie largely take place over two days and start a week before the dinner, when, at 10 p.m. on Friday night, five volunteers arrive to cook the chicken throughout the night, with many more hands arriving early Saturday morning. Typically, 325 locally sourced, pastureraised chickens are cooked overnight in 40-gallon kettles. For food safety, the chicken and broth must rapidly reach temperatures under 70 degrees in less than two hours and below 39 degrees in under four hours. With such a large volume of food to prepare, it’s a feat made possible through utilizing frigid, winter weather and the addition of fans. On this particular morning, the temperature is in the teens, allowing the

chicken to begin chilling immediately. The broth is captured in food-grade buckets and chilled outside in a specially built trough with cold water flowing through it. Impressively, in a mere 45 minutes, the broth’s temperature drops from near boiling to 60 degrees and falling. When the meat is chilled, it is separated from the bone by hand and refrigerated. Wisely, the skin is retained and sent through a grinder, a magical ingredient adding richness to the broth. Indeed, “local” is what helps to take the fire company’s chicken pot pie to another level. In addition to the chickens, the herbs and botanicals used to prepare the chicken pot pie are also locally raised. When it’s available, locally produced organic butter is used. Dinner rolls are supplied by a local bakery. A week later, Saturday’s dinner starts to unfold. In a kitchen filled with gas stoves, a group of women prepares the potatoes and side dishes, including a crowd favorite, pepper cabbage. An assembly line of men prepares the dough for the three, 40-gallon kettles rolling with broth and the makings of chicken pot pie. In a previous year, the volunteers prepared the dough two days in advance of the dinner, only to be dissatisfied with the quality it yielded. Therefore, nearly 20 large batches of dough will be rolled, cut and cooked on-demand with amazing proficiency. L A N C A S T E R CO U N T Y | F E B R U A RY 2 0 2 1

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The drive-through pickup is fast and efficient. Cash-only sales of tickets are purchased at the head of the line and exchanged for freshly made, packaged food. (Note: The sign was digitally altered to remove out-of-date pricing for the dinner.)

A Greater Cause

Along with many other individuals, Tim introduced me to Jacob King, a former firefighter who helps make pot pie and knows his way around the kitchen. He was especially warm and welcoming, recognizing my interest reached out beyond cooking and into his community. Quite touchingly and unexpectedly, Jake’s interest was reciprocated in learning about me. As we conversed, a few others quietly listened in while working, and I couldn’t help but wish we had time to gather over a meal. However, in a sense, that’s exactly what was happening. From one week to the next, talking with Jake was what I anticipated most. Discussing values and world views while he and many others rolled dough, it was delightful to converse while watching many helping hands contribute, prompting Jake to point out, “The fire company is not named Bird-in-Hand Fire Company, but Hand-in-Hand Fire Company.” It was a poignant reminder as to why they invest long hours preparing this food. There is a familial sense among firefighters, but their cause is even greater. When many come together for a common purpose – in this case, serving and protecting the

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community – the synergy of individuals bringing unique gifts to the table creates something beautiful. A community united with the goal to serve one another – without expectation – can make a difference. I WAS ONE of the few English among them, working alongside them in my own way. On the surface, how we live our lives is vastly dissimilar, from basic attire to how we travel and engage with the modern world. This gap includes my profession as a photographer, which for this story, could only represent the community through “helping hands.” However, seeing Amish and English working together reinforced the notion that faith, values and a sense of shared community can transcend social norms. That fact was made obvious when, at the end of the day, vans and emergency vehicles shuttled volunteers home, which was neat to witness. Self-described by several young Amish volunteer firefighters, their service is a door that helps them to keep one foot planted in the modern world and the other planted in their heritage and values. They regularly sacrifice time away from growing families, farms and businesses in order to look out for their neighbors. “I want to help my neighbor; I want to be a part

JORDAN BUSH is a commercial photographer. His work has allowed him to discover and document cultures and food across five continents. A graduate of Garden Spot High School and Millersville University, Jordan and his fiancée, Jessica, reside and cook together in Ephrata.

of something,” are sentiments echoed throughout the room, commitments both genuine and loving. It is up to us to define our role in the world in which we walk, what we stand for and what we fall for. Looking for and building the bridges that unite us, we can all, and should, find ways to walk hand-inhand. I intend to do so with gratitude for the best chicken pot pie of my life!

February 20, 2021 As of press time, details for this year’s dinner were still being worked out. For more information, visit the fire company’s website at bihfire.com; its Facebook page at Bird-in-Hand Fire Company; or call 717392-0112. The fire station is located at 313 Enterprise Dr. in Bird-in-Hand. Hours for the dinner are typically 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (or until sold out).


The D I N I N G G U I D E HONG KONG GARDEN CHINESE RESTAURANT 1807 Columbia Avenue, Wheatland Shopping Center, Lancaster. 717-394-4336. Our chefs have been serving Lancaster Countians their favorite entrées for 40 years. To add variety, they are always creating new and exciting specials. Vegetable entrées and children’s menu available. Hours: Sun., 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m; closed Mon.; Tues.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 12-10 p.m.

Enjoy the best of both worlds... FINE DINING or CASUAL LITE FARE.

LOMBARDO’S RESTAURANT 216 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster. 717-394-3749. Lombardosrestaurant.com. Family owned and operated since 1946, Lombardo’s serves beloved Italian recipes and warm hospitality. Newly renovated, Lombardo’s includes a wine room, piano lounge, renovated décor, and good things cooking in the kitchen – including fresh pasta made daily, pizza, and other delicious Italian favorites. See the menu at lombardosrestaurant.com. Group dining facilities are available for business meetings, celebrations, and more.

THE STOCKYARD INN 1147 Lititz Pike, Lancaster. 717-394-7975. Stockyardinn.com. The Stockyard Inn is a Lancaster County tradition of dining excellence. Built in 1750, the original Inn was once owned by President James Buchanan. Specializing in prime rib, steak (cut in-house) and fresh seafood. Business meetings and private party facilities available.

Take-Out and Indoor Dining Available for Your Romantic Dinner.

1147 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA www.stockyardinn.com (717) 394-7975

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, we’d suggest you visit restaurant websites/social media for updates on hours/service, etc.

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TA B L E

for

TWO

DECADES

The former Stahr National Guard Armory, which dates to the 1920s, is now home to Decades, an amusement center and bar/restaurant.

Bowl Over Your Valentine Open since March 2019, Decades combines amusement, food and drink and a bit of nostalgia. This boutique six-lane bowling alley and arcade boasts a full-service restaurant and bar and makes its home in the former Stahr National Guard Armory building. BY ROCHELLE SHENK | PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK GOULD

“WE

knew we wanted to be in downtown Lancaster. There’s a lot of art, theater and restaurants but not a lot of amusement-type places. There aren’t a lot of buildings downtown that can accommodate a bowling alley, so we were glad we found the armory. We walked in here and knew that we found the place,” says Chris Trendler, a partner and Decades’ general manager. Other partners include Jonathan Yeager and Adam Ozimek. If their names sound familiar, they are the team behind Joycat Events, which is best known for Lancaster Craft Beerfest, which is tentatively slated to return on August 28 after a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic.

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The building was constructed in two phases in the 1920s and ‘30s and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The National Guard left the space in 2010; it served as the performance venue for Theater of the Seventh Sister for several years. Today, the space is filled with the sounds of bowling balls colliding with pins, laughter as guests challenge one another at arcade games and the conversational buzz of guests sharing food and beverages. “In our unique space, you have an interesting experience even before you order food,” Chris says. The venue’s name, Decades, is intended to instill a sense of nostalgia. The ambience is high-end and on-trend.

Crystal chandeliers hang over the seating area in the bowling lanes but there’s a bit of an industrial feel with the exposed black metal beams and lofty wood ceiling. Natural light filters in from windows on the wall containing the large bar. It’s not a sports bar, but there are two TVs near the bar. “We want to encourage people to interact with one another but we also know that some people like to keep up-todate on their team’s score,” Jonathan says. The mix of experiences – bowling, arcade, food and drink – was part of the partners’ vision from the onset. “It’s a very social experience,” Jonathan notes. “Decades is a great place for couples as well as groups of friends. People have come


From Decades’ breakfast takeout menu: Donut Breakfast Sandwich (glazed donut, fried egg, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo and a choice of sausage, bacon, Canadian turkey bacon or veggie tempeh bacon). Below: The Vegan Breakfast (scrambled tofu, hash browns, veggie tempeh bacon, sautéed onions and peppers, griddled tortillas and vegan ranch).

Jonathan Yeager is one of the owners of Decades, along with Chris Trendler and Adam Ozimek.

The arcade area features 30 games.

to think of us as a fun date place – the games are a great way to break the ice.” THE REGULATION-SIZE bowling lanes use string-set pins – Jonathan says they’re easier to maintain and are what most entertainment venues have in place. Scores are tallied on digital screens above the lanes. The COVID-19 policy is generally to use every other lane. As for the arcade, it features a variety of 30 retro arcade games, which operate on a token system. (A token machine is available, so there’s no need to bring quarters.) Video games include Donkey Kong, Centipede, Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. “Adam and I grew up playing video games,” Chris explains. “When we decided to do Decades, we had a wish list of the games we wanted to find.” There are also some basketball hoops and Skee-Ball, which Chris says is popular

and a favorite of nearly everyone no matter their age group. He also reports that the #12-ranked Skee-Ball player in the U.S. can sometimes be found at Decades rolling a few games. THE MENU has shifted a bit during the pandemic and now focuses on fare that does well for both take-out (including breakfast) and dine-in (when permitted). Wings (including vegan wings) and Decades’ signature smash burgers (beef burgers that are prepared in a different way than traditional burgers) are popular items. The menu also includes harvest salad, brisket chili, skillet cornbread, vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles (also available as a vegetarian entrée), pimento mac & cheese and hand-cut fries. As for dessert, blondies or beignets (with a chocolate coffee reduction)

are on the menu. Bar selections include sommelier-selected wines (Chris’ area of expertise), 24 microbrews on tap and some fun cocktails. There’s also a kid’s menu. While children are welcome, those under 8 must have adult supervision at all times. Jonathan also points out that Decades is a great space for business and team-building events, as well as other social events. Decades is located at 438 North Queen St., Lancaster. Hours have shifted during the pandemic – check the website or Facebook for the most up-to-date hours. Take-out food is available and can be ordered via the website. Pickup can be made at the restaurant or through delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash or Grubhub. Reservations for dine-in can be made on their website. Call 717-282-1421 or visit decadeslancaster.com or Facebook.

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The B U S I N E S S A D V A N T A G E

HALDEMAN MECHANICAL INC. Service Since 1939 PLUMBING HEATING COOLING

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Farm Supply BRANDT’S FARM SUPPLY, INC. 601 E. High Street, Elizabethtown. 717-367-1221. Brandtsfarmsupply.com. Founded in 1954, Brandt’s is now owned and operated by Herman and Susan Zeager. Brandt’s offers the Elizabethtown area the customer service of a simpler time, while managing the products of the future - from their line of Kalmbach feeds to the robotic automower from Husqvarna.

NEXT TO NEW FINE CLOTHING

February 6-13

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HANDBAGS, SHOES, CLOTHING, JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

1920 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster. 717-299-2924. Next-to-New.com. Consistently voted one of the BEST consignment shops in Lancaster County year after year, Next to New Fine Clothing Consignment has something for everyone’s style, taste and budget. This one-stop shop offers women’s apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry and more. Sizes 0-3x and maternity. Closed Sundays.

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STEPHEN M. DANIELS ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS, INC.

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1855 Columbia Avenue, Wheatland Shopping Center, Lancaster. 717-393-3001. Certified Carpet is the complete carpet and flooring center for home and office. We feature a full line of name brand carpet, hardwood, ceramic tile and luxury vinyl tile with friendly, personalized service from a highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. “When it’s Certified, you’re satisfied!” (#PA024067)


GALEBACH’S FLOOR FINISHING, INC. 202 Main Street, Landisville. 717-898-9680. Galebachsfloorfinishing.com. Galebach’s Floor Finishing, founded in 1924, is the oldest floor finishing company in Lancaster County. We specialize in residential wood floor refinishing and have extensive experience with historic restorations. Our dust containment system keeps your home as clean as possible while our workers are on-site sanding and finishing. (#PA019030)

Lancaster’s Flooring Experts. www.certifiedcarpet.com

HERITAGE FLOORS, INC. 60 N. Ronks Road, Ronks. 717-687-7906. Heritagefloorspa.com. Flooring plays a major role in the look and feel of your home. Whether you want hardwood floors for your living room or you need the perfect carpet for your bedroom, Heritage Floors can provide you with the installations you need to enhance the overall look and appeal of your home. With many years of experience, they offer carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl plank, hardwood, area rugs and shades. Heritage Floors takes pride in their service and your satisfaction is their number one goal. Get in touch for a free estimate! (#PA062387)

Hair & Nail Care ATTITUDES HAIR & NAIL SALON

Flooring • Cleaning • Mats

798A New Holland Avenue, Lancaster. 717-295-0836. “When It’s Certified,™ You’re Satisfied!” For over 20 years, our mission is helping you LOVE your hair and nails! We specialize in trendy and traditional hair design, refreshing color, brightening highlights and perms for added style. Rejuvenate your hands and feet with relaxing manicures and pedicures. THANK LancCoMagAd_Nov2020.indd 1 11/17/2020 9:15:29 AM YOU for trusting us to help you look and feel your best and voting MOUNTAIN REALTY, LLC us ‘Among the Best’ salons in 2020. Call us to schedule your appointment. 2938 Columbia Avenue, Suite 602, Lancaster. 717-390-8701. Mountainrealtyllc.com. Offering superior real estate service to anyone relocating to or moving within the garden spot of Lancaster County. The people of Mountain Realty, LLC are extremely knowledgeable about the HALDEMAN MECHANICAL INC. county and would love to share their expertise. You will find them Founded in 1939, Haldeman Mechanical Inc. has been providing pleasant and friendly, but totally professional. plumbing, heating, cooling and water conditioning services to residential and light commercial customers for three generations. We are a certified Rheem ProPartner offering sales and 24-hour service as well as service agreements to keep your equipment running at peak efficiency. Free estimates are available by calling 717-665-6910 or THE GROVES visiting our website at haldemanmechanical.com. (PA#007777) 103 West Main Street, Ephrata.717-733-2040. Thegroveshome.net. The Groves is a personalized retirement home offering community independence and peace of mind. Housed in an elegantly restored Victorian home, The Groves accommodates a limited number of LUSK & ASSOCIATES SOTHEBY’S residents who prefer to not reside in a large retirement facility. Full INTERNATIONAL REALTY personal care at independent living prices with no entrance fee! Anne Lusk represents the area’s finest properties and gives unmatched customer service for all your real estate needs from start to finish, ensuring a smooth transaction every time. Call Anne and her team at 717-291-9101, or stop by her office at 100 Foxshire Drive, Lancaster, PA 17601. Annelusk.com.

Plumbing & HVAC

Retirement

Real Estate

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Photo by John Martin

It’s a Beautiful Day

WITH LAURA BRENNER AND PIPER

Imagine Covid doesn’t exist and you have a day off from work. You are free to spend the day doing exactly as you please. Inspired by U2’s It’s a Beautiful Day – “It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away” – we asked Laura Brenner to describe her perfect Lancaster County day.

About Laura

Growing up in West Lampeter Township, Laura always dreamed of living the farm life. She’s come close through buying her own horse at the age of 16 and becoming the communications coordinator for Lancaster Farmland Trust. Laura is also a fan of communing with nature through running, hiking and biking – in any season and on any surface. Laura’s latest adventure (November) took her and her dog, Piper, to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia. Laura is a graduate of Penn State University (B.A. in political science, with a minor in agronomy) and earned her master’s degree (communication) from Perdue University. She also volunteers with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Lancaster Recreation Commission.

About P iper

Before Piper – aka The Queen of Lemon Street – Laura’s family fostered a Plott Hound, a 60- to 70-pound dog bred to hunt bears in the hills of West Virginia and other mountainous southern states. The dog was ultimately reunited with her family after a few months. “That was all [the experience] we needed with that breed to want another just like her,” Laura explains. “My parents found Piper, then named Chole, through an online listing at a rescue in northern New

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Jersey. They listed her as a Plott Hound, which we assumed meant she was ‘all’ Plott Hound. Six months and 20 pounds later, we realized she was not the dog we originally anticipated. But, it’s true what they say: good things come in small packages. Nearly nine years later, Piper is my best friend and greatest partner in crime. She’s followed me to three homes and on several vacations. She even comes to work with me and serves as our unofficial office mascot … and official lunch moocher.”

In Her Own Words: Laura (and Piper’s) Perfect Lancaster County Day It would begin around sunrise with a few puppy snuggles. Piper is not a fan of the cold. She loves to sleep under the covers; it can take some time for her to leave the warmth of our bed. I love breakfast, and today’s needs to be a hearty one. Don’t tell Piper, but I’m planning a romp through the woods later in the day. Depending on what I have stocked in the fridge, I make breakfast at home or order from one of our favorite spots in the city. One of the things I love about living in Lancaster city is not needing to drive everywhere – so, you can bet on Piper and me to pick up our breakfast order by foot. Even when dine-in is an option, I usually opt to get take-out and eat at home with Piper this time of year.

After we fill our bellies, I need to discreetly pack a bag for hiking. Piper has a keen eye for when I’m fiddling with my running or hiking gear. If she senses an adventure is coming, she becomes my shadow, which makes packing and prepping a bit more of a challenge. Even if I manage to pack and change stealthily, Piper loses her chill once I grab the keys. She bounces across the kitchen towards the door, barking as if to say, “Let’s go, Mom. You’re taking too long!” We are lucky to have so many hiking and trail-running options in Lancaster County. One of our favorite spots – and perfect for a mid-week day-off – is the Conestoga Trail. You can access one end of it at Kelly’s Run – that’s where we are heading. The trail follows the Susquehanna River toward the Pinnacle Overlook, then on to Tucquan Glen. Though the trail continues to House Rock and Wind Cave before dropping trekkers into Pequea, Piper and I will take a snack break in Tucquan Glen and then head back towards our car. There’s nothing like a good, hot meal after a winter hike. On our way home, I’ll call a friend and ask, “Want to grab a bite somewhere?” With sleepy Piper snuggled under a blanket on the sofa, I’ll walk downtown to meet my friend and enjoy a hot meal and a couple of drinks. Follow Laura and Piper’s adventures on Instagram or on the blog, laurambrenner.com.


Soup’s on! At Lancaster Central Market.

There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of hot soup. Unless maybe it’s a cup of bone broth. Either way, both can be found at Lancaster Central Market. So whether you’d like to take a container of ready-made soup home for dinner, or pick up some stock to make your own, we’ve got you covered. Come in for a visit this week – get to know us, and let us get to know you. Above are Drew and Kate from Crowded Kitchen. TUESDAY, FRIDAY, AND SATURDAY 6 AM – 3 PM • 23 NORTH MARKET STREET OFF PENN SQUARE • 717.735.6890 •

CENTRALMARKETLANCASTER.COM


I LOOK LIKE A NEW PERSON! My experience at Weierbach Prosthodontics was incredible. From the second I walked into their beautiful office and was greeted by their friendly team, I quickly realized they truly are the best at what they do. I had my smile transformed by Dr. Weierbach. He and his team were not only encouraging throughout the process, but they were very pain conscious and made sure I was not in any discomfort. I lived my entire life being self- conscious of my teeth. Now I get complimented on my smile daily. I couldn’t be any more grateful for Dr. Weierbach and his team. An American Dental Association (ADA) - recognized specialist in restoring and replacing teeth for a timeless display of confident beauty and a Fellow in the American College of Prosthodontics.

160 North Pointe Boulevard Suite 203 / Lancaster, PA 17601 717.560.9190 YourClassicSmile.com

- LUIS SANTIAGO Government Contract Specialist

Specialist in Cosmetic, Restorative & Implant Dentistry


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