Take me home country roads…

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Woodstown Doors Quilt

My past few posts have mentioned me helping my momma recover from some surgery.  Spending time in hospitals and rehab facilities isn’t fun under the best of circumstances, so every day I tried to take a mental health break to get outside and explore…

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Atom Heart Mother Jersey style

When my parents moved to South Jersey there was more livestock and farmland then people.  Woodstown was the closest ‘real’ town with a pizza place, a diner, an underwhelming grocery store, and not much else­. I couldn’t move away fast enough.  Fast forward a few decades, coupled with a few days spent wandering the town with a fresh pair of eyes, and I now have a newfound appreciation for where I grew up…

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Any kid from the northeast can tell you about growing up surrounded by history, which we take for granted.  150-year old churches, schools, and homes are the norm (and often not even considered old).  Woodstown has certainly been around long enough to have earned its history-cred, with many of its oldest homes and churches listed on the South Woodstown Historic District and the National Register of Historic Places…

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Do you think they decorated for fall in 1770?
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Victorian trim
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A Tom Sawyer picket fence
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A notable brick and clapboard home at N 39° 39.111 W 075° 19.673
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Bona fide Old

I’ve driven by these homes thousands of times but never stopped to see them up close. Can you imagine all of the renovations which have made over time so an 18th century home is still be habitable in the 21st?  I often think I’d like to renovate and older home but in reality I know that’s my HGTV habit talking.  The historical requirements and zoning regulations alone would overwhelm – or bankrupt – me.  I was really happy to stumble upon a renovation by someone less faint of heart than myself…

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1818 Phoenix Rising

I loved being able to walk around Main Street, checking out the various mom-and-pop stores selling everything from handmade pens to floral arrangements to quilts.  I spent a lot of time in Ms. Mary’s Quilt shop, and had a long, lively conversation with her about life, sewing, parenting, spirituality, travel and everything in between…

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Quilted pillows from Main Street Quilt Shoppe
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From opera to talkies to tires in 100 years
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1904 Opera House Playbill

Growing up, I rarely ate in town except to grab a pizza or hoagie. This visit, I opted to try Woodstown Diner and was pleasantly surprised by the delicious, fresh, and sheer variety of reasonably priced food.  I enjoyed homemade crab bisque, followed by antipasto and baked gnocchi, and finished up with strong coffee and a slice of very rich ricotta cheesecake.  When in Rome (or Woodstown) mangiare…

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Who knew they went away?

On the last Saturday in September, the town comes together for the annual Woodstown Fall Festival.  Before the big day, the entire community is encouraged to enter the scarecrow competition with the winners announced during the festival (see the 2017 winners here).  I arrived too late for the festival but still got to enjoy many of the ‘crows during my daily strolls.

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‘God’s Messenger’ and Grand Prize Scarecrow

 

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‘It’ was the Mayor’s Choice
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Wawa Wally and his Never Sheetz Crow 

If you find yourself in the South Jersey area with some time to kill consider spending a day exploring Woodstown.  Take a self-guided walking tour of the historical homes and cemeteries, enjoy a delicious meal at the diner,  hunt for treasures at the local antique stores, and then grab some snacks from WaWa to enjoy while you get lost exploring the local backroads On the Way to Cape May‘.  There are worse ways to spend an afternoon.  Happy travels…

*Take Me Home AgainJohn Denver

P.S. You can request a 24×36 printable version of the ‘Woodstown Doors Quilt’ in the comments section.

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