Community Classroom: The most peaceful time of day

Community Classroom - Emily Rancier

The walks I take down the road with my dog are often the most peaceful and contemplative minutes of my day. I slow down, take time to observe and appreciate all the little things I see along the roadside. Sometimes, I take in the fields and sky, but lately it’s the few feet near where we’re walking. It’s amazing what is still green and flowering — the jewelweed, my favorite dark purple asters, the little white aster, clover, trefoil, little baby Queen Anne’s lace, so many morning glories, a couple of distinctive plants I have no names for — and I chastise myself for not bothering to look them up and get acquainted on a first-name basis.

But isn’t that the way — time for the immediate, no time for the follow-up and follow-through. I wish I’d been more studious; I wish I’d been a better friend. I wish I’d understood more, loved more.

Autumn is the season for such thoughts, I guess so this will try to be a positive, forward-thinking column — one full of thanks and gratitude for all the people who have helped The Gathering Place be more vital every day. People like Linda who has shared her gorgeous zinnias with us all summer, and Judy who brought in the last of her blooming sunflowers today. People like Barbara, Cathy, Esther, Georgio, Sharon, Linda and Jeanette and others who have faithfully kept the Art Gallery open all summer, putting in more than 140 hours total. People like Gwen who, with Verve Vertu artists, helped create the Pocket Park, kept it alive and just today created a tasty luncheon at The Gathering Place (being the first to use our new stove and certified kitchen).

And what would we do without the help of Earl Lehman jurying and hanging the art shows, and other jurists from the art committee who have juried and entered and helped provide for the openings? Please drop by between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and see the new show, “All Creatures Great and Small.” We have some astounding pieces for you to see. In November, the Art Gallery will host a fiber exhibit, “Fiber-Functional and Fantastical.” This will hang until mid-January and will have a coordinate educational exhibit in the Paul Ford Room.

Coming up Oct. 3, Anne Stopper teaches a writing class called Tackling the Blank Page — learn the basics of creative non-fiction and fiction writing and find your voice through prompts and writing exercises, and explore memoir writing techniques. Also on Oct. 3, Rabbi Daniel Swartz will discuss the use of Sacred Chant in several different cultures and show us how chants can help us live a more mindful, present life.

Kristie Miller McMahon will bring her skills to The Gathering Place Oct. 4 and 11 to teach you the art of the Boho Bangle bracelet; use wire and beads to channel your own artistic vibe.

Appetizers with Alex Khalife will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at The Gathering Place. A new time, a new instructor, some tasty “small bites” along with wine pairings — sounds like fun!

Two noon-time talks are coming on Tuesdays in early October, “Growing Fresh Sprouts” on Oct. 2 and “Putting Your Garden to Bed” on Oct. 9.

Mahjong players will be at TGP at 11 a.m. Oct. 9 to teach the basics of this ancient Chinese pastime. Learn the skills and strategies to play this tiled-based game. Instructors bring all the materials needed.

Megan McCleary will be back on Wednesdays, Oct. 7 and Nov. 10 to talk about health issues surrounding the pelvic floor. Especially designed for women, feel free to bring your questions and be comfortable to discuss these issues in a small group setting.

Katie Foley and Katie Lane present a Drama Play class for pre-schoolers ages 2-4 and 4-7 in two separate classes aimed at children on the spectrum but open to all and designed to develop social, emotional intelligence in this age group. Choose 10 a.m. Saturdays for the younger children or 4 p.m. Mondays for the 4-7 age group.

Other classes earlier in October: Powerpoint : Beyond the Basics with Lisa Imbriaco on Oct. 15, Polymer Necklace with Ellen Beechko on Oct. 18, and Learning to Weave on an Inkle Loom with Linda Mesavage from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19.

Find out more about these classes at our website and check out what else we are offering this semester.

See you at The Gathering Place!

Community Classroom

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