There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Traditions, in Martinsburg

My mother-in-law has decided that she wants to move into assisted living sometime before winter. Her husband passed away in December of 2010, and she has been living by herself since then. The Covid lockdown was especially tough for those living alone, I think. She has been very careful about going out, and we had not seen her since Christmas of 2019.

She has also had some major health issues come up. One of those is that she has terrible difficulties with her left knee, and she is in fact scheduled for knee surgery in early June. It is very hard for her to get around. Any amount of walking is too much.

I did some research online and requested that information be sent to her from a number of local assisted living places. She liked what she saw in the information she received from an place called Homewood at Martinsburg. So she set an appointment for us to go and see.

My husband and I met her in Altoona, which is about a 40-minute drive from where we live. There, we all got in her car and went to check out Homewood. Martinsburg is approximately a half-hour or a wee bit more from Altoona.

We looked at three cottages that were simply lovely. The kitchens in them were all Amish-made. They were spacious and airy and, to be honest, much nicer than the kitchen we have in OUR house! All had laundry facilities and each had a very nice sunroom.

By the end of our visit, my mother-in-law was exhausted and her knee was hurting. She could barely walk a step further by the time we made it to Traditions, a restaurant in Martinsburg just a hop, skip, and jump from Homewood. It bills itself as a place with "Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and baking at its finest."

Above is a photo of a mural on the wall at the restaurant. They also had quilts hanging all around, and pithy quotes written all over the walls. Things like: You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are. And: In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

I ordered a very nice open face turkey sandwich with curly fries and gravy, which cost $9.99. My mother-in-law had a cheesesteak with the most meat on it that I have ever seen on a cheesesteak, onion rings (which she gave to us to eat), and a strawberry lemonade.

My husband had a fish sandwich with two sides: macaroni and cheese (that was very buttery and nice) and curly fries. He said the sandwich was the best fish sandwich he's ever had in his life, which is high praise indeed! Even the tartar sauce, he said, was excellent.

When we finished eating, I got up to use the restroom and walk around a bit with my camera. My mother-in-law treated us to the meal for accompanying her and assisting. My husband didn't tell me until later that while I was away from the table, she insisted he pick out some baked goods to take along home, and she would put it all on her tab. He refused. REFUSED! Can you believe it? *sad head-shake*

Anyway, overall, it was a pretty good day, and we saw a lot and learned a lot, and finally saw my mother-in-law for the first time in about 17 months. I don't know what decision she will make, but I think she would be plenty happy in any of the places we looked at!

Now, some of you have already guessed what my soundtrack song must be. Of course, it is Tradition, from Fiddler on the Roof. So yeah, our soundtrack song for this Pennsylvania Dutch scene is a song from a Jewish musical. Of course, it is!

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