Community Classroom: The Gathering Place enjoys last blast of color

Community - Classroom - Emily Rancier

Just a week ago, I was rhapsodizing (in my diary) about the remaining color in the countryside. Amidst the dried out and spent vegetation of the summer and fall, beautiful color still abounded, made even more beautiful, I suspect, because it’s so fleeting. But for the moment singular sights were spectacular — lemon-green honeysuckle leaves, tamarack needles a blend of orange and green, horse chestnut leaves both deep rust and bright yellow. Out along the patio and trailing up the sluiceway, brilliant red euonymus was slowly fading to delicate pinks.

The fields of dried corn stalks shifting stiffly in the wind were a color I call “dun” — not fully descriptive of this “light” emanating from the dark earth, but certainly beautiful on its own. And, in this season, there is the contrast of emerald green mowed fields — new grass coming up in November. By the doorway, even the Anthony Waterer put forth two quarter-sized pink blooms — a reminder of life deep in the branches and roots.

The Gathering Place, too, had its last blast of color and activity before the winter sets in during the Grand Opening Weekend. Our thank-you party for sponsors and donors doubled as Opening Night of the Art Gallery. Tons of people came through the doors all day Saturday to see the art, listen to the music, engage in children’s activities, buy chances on the raffles, and leave suggestions for the future of The Gathering Place’s. And the food! It was festive and fabulous, much of it prepared by our wonderful volunteers.

So many people became “Friends” of The Gathering Place, helping to sustain our everyday operation. A few special friends pledged money for the kitchen stove, flooring for the kitchen, a children’s table and chairs, and hanging cupboards. There are still many smaller items on the wish list. You may want to check out that list on the bulletin board the next time you are at TGP, and see where you might be able to help.

Still to come in November – the Shop Local Art Market set for 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 — where you can find all kinds of locally made arts, crafts, and food for that housewarming present or holiday gift.

Jeff Kuchak makes beautiful hand-carved spoons that are unique and useful. Maria Sol returns with its one-of-a-kind jewelry of metal and stone. Debbie Zegalia brings Serenity Soaps and Fiber Arts, ecoprint scarves, and a host of holiday items created by her friend Grace.

Clum Family Honey and ASP chocolates will satisfy your sweet tooth. There will be baked goods and soup for sale.

Felt hats, hand-dyed silk scarves, handspun and vintage linens are specialities from Creek Valley Farm. Kristina Laurito will be back with her stunning knitted and crocheted items as well as her lovely handspun art yarns. Pendants, bracelets and earrings are Eileen Healey’s creative offerings; framed tiny paintings become charming necklaces and earrings in her hands.

We are very happy that Kick the Bottle craft will attend, bringing candles and other astounding crafts it does with recycled bottles. All in all, the Art Market on Shop Local will be a fun shopping event you won’t want to miss. Expect a few surprises,

Our last class this semester is Genealogy at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Register by calling 570-563-2402 or just dropping in that day. Cost is $10.

Look for a talk and movie on Dec. 6 (still in the planning stage), the Memory Café on Dec. 8, Game Night Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.and a Blood Drive on Dec. 29 organized by an Abington Heights student for her senior project.

The Art Market on Dec. 9 will include a Yarn Swop and fiber tool sale, Gifts that Give Back, paintings by Phyllis Rennie, arts and paper goods from Verve Vertu Art Studio and a host of other goodies for your enjoyment and last-minute gifting.

Now is the time we start planning our class schedule for the spring. So now is the time for you to go to our website — — and let us know what you want to see happen in the Community Classroom next semester. Perhaps you would like to share your expertise or art or craft with your community. You will find an instructor application form there to download and send (by snail mail) to us. The sooner the better. See you at TGP!



Emily Rancier

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at