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Ramona’s Ramblings

Down and out in Honesdale

Ramona Jan
Posted 6/18/24

The day started with more than a half hour’s drive to Honesdale, and a plan to get something framed, pick up an order at the bike shop, mail a package, buy a spool of thread, repair a garden …

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Ramona’s Ramblings

Down and out in Honesdale


The day started with more than a half hour’s drive to Honesdale, and a plan to get something framed, pick up an order at the bike shop, mail a package, buy a spool of thread, repair a garden hose, have a bite to eat, obtain a printout, and more. The entire trip was scheduled to the minute, and I was looking forward to it. My first stop was the Natural Wood Frames Gallery on Fair Avenue. And this is where I realized I was suddenly down and out in Honesdale.

The gardens alone are worth a visit to Natural Wood Frames Gallery. Lush and primped, they evoke a fairytale wonderland. Once inside, I placed the documents I needed framed on a tall cutting table. Pauline, the framer, made suggestions by putting samples mats and corners around my congressional award. Yes, a congressional award and its accompanying letter from the Upper Delaware Council for my work with Yarnslingers.

Being at Pauline’s quaint shop surrounded by beautifully mounted pictures (presumably waiting for customer pick up) was tremendously calming until I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I was without a dime in Honesdale, down and out as they say. And here’s how that went…

I let out a loud and painful howl. 

“What’s wrong?” asked Pauline.

“I just realized I forgot my purse!”

Without hesitation, Pauline said, “Please, allow me to loan you $30.” It was take the money or drive 40 minutes home and back again. I took the loan. After all, she had my congressional award as collateral. 

Pauline’s loan was more than generous, but it wasn’t going to cover all aspects of my trip. I had to cut expenditures and instantly decided to forgo the mailing and garden hose repair. Next stop, Sawmill Cycles where you’ll find the best bike experts on earth.

As I entered Sawmill, the young man behind the counter zestfully asked, “How are you today?” 

“Not good!” I wailed. “I have not a single quarter for parking!” 

Jeff, the store manager, promptly ran out and dropped one in the meter. No questions asked. And then he gave me store credit for my goods. (Fellow cyclists know, there is no limit to the amount of accessories one can pile on their bike, and therefore Jeff knew I’d be back to pay the store what I owned, and even buy more). 

Hungrier than ever, I stopped into Nature’s Grace and asked for Jamie. I’ve been shopping there for 25 years and thought he might extend credit for a small bite. But when Serena, who works behind the counter, heard of my plight she reached into her pocket and, before I could stop her, paid for my meal. I promised to pay her back ASAP. 

Because there’s no place to buy new sewing thread where I live, I had to pick up a $3.50 spool at Walmart, which left me with $26.50. Still enough, I figured, for the print job I needed done; papers that were due that day. At Narrowsburg Union, Jerid informed me it would cost almost $40 plus tax to print and bind my presentation. 

“I only have this much,” I told Jerid as I spread Pauline’s money across the countertop.  

“Well, we could go with the cheaper three-hole punch. That would be about $30, plus tax.”

Without a word, I waved my hand like a magic wand over the cash, and Jerid, seeing the money hadn’t increased, said, “Okay, I’ll charge you $24.10 for three-hole.” However, when he emerged from the binding room, he handed me the more expensive and by far elegant spiral bound copy. At first I thought it was a mistake, but it wasn’t. I may have been down and out in Honesdale, but thanks to the compassion of many, I came out alright. I even had $2.40 leftover for an emergency chai latte.

RAMONA JAN is the Founder and Director of Yarnslingers, a storytelling group that tells tales both fantastic and true. She is also the roving historian for Callicoon, NY and is often seen giving tours around town. You can email her at callicoonwalkingtours@gmail.com.


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