Way back in the beginning of my blog-life, I talked about having synesthesia. It’s a weird little phenomena where your senses scramble and you can taste color, touch sound, and see fragrances, at least that’s how it works for me. In scientific terminology, it’s where the sense modality you are experiencing is translated by another of your senses. For example, I can be smelling lavender and experiencing a tactile velvet sensation. While less unusual than scientists originally thought — it’s not something that comes up in lots of conversations.

So today here in Gettysburg was sensory overload of the most wonderful kind!!

While most think of the town primarily in terms of the American Civil War — it has a vibrant historical and cultural heritage. For many years, Adams County has been a tremendous agricultural force in the state of PA. Like many of the local residents, the girls and I got up this morning and visited the local Farmer’s Market. I thought of one of my sisters-in-law as I passed the hand-loomed yarn display, and my friend Jenn as I passed all the handcrafted soaps bursting with flowery, herby smells! It’s strawberry season here and the berries are gorgeous — so red, they almost burst with juicy-ness at your approach. “Buy me, eat me,” they plead, while the almost ripe apricots taunt you with promise, “come back in a week, we’ll be luscious.” We’re good — the mini fridge is full of berries already, we pull them out at night and paint our fingers bright & sticky as we share them after being out in the heat. We settle for apples, homemade pretzels and beautiful chocolate chip cookies to bring on our picnic tomorrow!

Then I tell the girls, “it’s adventure time,” which usually means I want them to get excited about something they wouldn’t have considered if mommy didn’t drag them. That’s how we ended up today for 4 delightful hours at the PA Lavender Festival at Willow Pond Farm. Oh wow!!! First, I have to commend the organizers — they have this thing running like clockwork — from the shuttles, to the admissions, to the snack booths — it was 1st class. First, I let my little ones “cut their own lavender,” the farm provided the secateurs and there were rows of lavender from which to make their own bundles. I’ve imagined romping through the lavender fields of Provence — so this was an amazing homegrown substitute. The air was humid and the fragrance lay upon it velvety and enveloping. The girls kept smelling and cutting, “just a few more” and it was sooooo joyous listening to them laugh in that verdant perfumery. After we left the gardens, we discovered that the bundles mixed with the rose arbor created an entirely new sensation. 🙂

We got to make a lavender wand, taste lavender sugar cookies, lavender tea and lavender lemonade (the lemonade was a better mix than the tea — tannins and lavender seem to have the same undertone). There was a gentleman playing banjo who treated my young ladies as serious musical appreciators, which of course they are. So he played their many requests including, Rocky Top, You Are My Sunshine and as he put it, “the depressing tale of Clementine.” Wandering through the craft tents I saw an incredible mortar & pestle hand-carved from PA wood, watched a basket-maker weave the way my mom did, and bought a small father’s day gift for someone and found some lavender honey — so good in Lemon Lift.

Enjoy — celebrate — revel in your senses…. days like today are to be savored!!

Drop the top, open the sunroof, roll down the windows and listen to Sheryl Crow (Live it Up), Kasey Chambers (You Make Me Sing) or Ben Harper (Steal My Kisses)

My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been. –> Diane Arbus

Take care,

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