As has happened for the previous three years, my friend Bill Hicks invited me to join him to attend a Bucknell basketball game and use one of his season tickets. Bucknell is doing quite well this year, so I chose the January 25 date against American University. I use these visits as an opportunity to visit my brother Jim and sister-in-law Diane and my sister Marcia.
I departed at 10:40AM on Tuesday from DIA on Southwest Airlines and arrived in Philadelphia on time at around 4:20PM. Because I carried my bag on, I was able to pick up my Chrysler Town and Country minivan and left the parking lot by 5:45PM. It was very mild for Philadelphia with a high temperature around 54 degrees, and I witnessed a gorgeous scarlet sunset in the western sky as I made my way toward Lititz, Pa. to stay with brother Jim for the night.
I entered the wrong lane at the turnpike plaza and had to pull to the shoulder and walk back to get a ticket and avoid paying the highest fee for going from New Jersey to Ohio. I made record time and arrived at Jim’s house by 6:30PM. Diane was out to a birthday dinner with friends, so Jim and I had a delicious dinner at the Country Cupboard. The baked lima beans and cranberry relish were Pennsylvania Dutch treats.
On Wednesday morning Jim and I had breakfast at the Tomato Pie Cafe in Lititz and then took a drive north to the Middle Creek State Wildlife Area. We took a short hike and snapped some pictures by one of the many lakes in the area. Next we did a big circle around the wildlife area and returned to the Hammer Creek and stopped at a covered bridge and took some more photos. The clear streams and mild weather made me wish I’d taken my fishing gear along.
Next we covered some more country roads and stopped briefly at a Mennonite school house to take another picture. Finally we crossed Lititz Run and parked at the special regulation area and once again inspected the stream. Jim needed to be available by noon for his school bus driving gig, so I packed up my things and drove to Harrisburg to the Pennsylvania Automobile Association offices of Bill Hicks. Bill’s office is right next to the Susquehanna River in a pretty location. Bill and I departed from his parking lot and stopped at a casual restaurant for some lunch before driving north on route 15 to Lewisburg, Pa.
Our first stop at Bucknell was the site of our old KDR fraternity house which is now a vacant lot seeded with new grass. Next we drove up the hill behind TKE to the newly constructed KDR. The new facility is a vast improvement over the old house with a striking view of the new campus extension and the Susquehanna River. We left KDR and found a parking space in downtown Lewisburg and browsed the Barnes and Noble Bucknell book store. With a hour or so on our hands prior to meeting Ken Hafer and his guests at the Hotel Lewisburg, we stopped at the Smiling Chameleon and enjoyed a craft beer. The Lancaster milk stout I ordered was quite tasty.
At 5:15PM we joined the Hafer party at the Lewisburg Hotel and had an enjoyable dinner while catching up with Ken and his business ventures. After dinner we hustled to the Sojka Fieldhouse and sat down in time for the tip off. Bucknell managed to overtake American at the end of the first half, then expanded the lead to as much as 15 during the first ten minutes of half two. American scrambled and fouled and began making three point shots to close to within four late in the game, but Bucknell began making free throws and held on for a 66-61 win. After the game Bill and I returned to his home near Hershey, Pa.
On Thursday morning I awoke to light rain and drizzle, but no freezing rain as had been feared. I had breakfast with Bill, visited with his cat Dexter, and copied a couple music CD’s to add to my collection. I departed at around 9:30 for Landis Store and arrived at sister Marcia’s house at around 10:30. Marcia and I chatted for a bit and then headed out the door to her favorite natural foods store, Echo Hill. Marcia is only working two days a week, and she has taken up making her own granola mixtures. I bought some raspberry trail mix, and we proceeded to Fleetwood where we ate lunch at a nice little lunch spot on Main Street.
After returning to Marcia’s house, we chatted a bit more, and I jumped back in the rental car and departed for the Philadelphia Airport by 3PM. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time and my return flight was on time and brought me home by 9PM.