We are sometimes rewarded for merely getting out of our comfort zone, taking to the road, and exploring life beyond the well-worn path between home and work. If it’s high time you got out of your Hobbit hole to go on an adventure, here is a suggestion, especially if you live in the Mid-South.
The Berlin Store is a feast for the palate. We no sooner walked in the place than we were faced with a huge banquet table filled with pies, fudge, coffee cakes, and cookies. The four of us, my brother, niece, my youngest son, and I, the mere driver of the brood, swarmed the dessert table like an army of ants. I almost missed the home-grown tomatoes and had to go back for them. I’m pretty sure the cashier thought we had a weekend pass from the workhouse. But she was nice.
I had my eye on some ultra-red just-picked Bonnie Bell tomatoes from a nearby garden, the kind that look like apples until you get up close.
This time of year there’s nothing better than a turkey sandwich with lettuce, Duke’s mayonnaise, and a thick slice of red, ripe tomato.
Unless its chocolate chess pie. The staff was friendly, the air conditioning system successfully chilling the air, the customers all smiles. But my youngest had his eye on a single slice of chocolate-chess pie wrapped neatly but buried among the other treats.
We packed a picnic basket because we had heard about a little park with a cave spring beside the store. The park had picnic tables, a pavilion, and a rocky trail leading up and over the cave. My niece walked up to peer over a ridge and found hundreds of slender, black and neon green dragonflies known as darners. While we explored the creek bank, dozens of construction and electrical crews pulled up to eat lunch at the store. I’m fairly certain my eleven-year-old swiped the last of somebody’s favorite pie, but we were amidst the dragonflies by then, all evidence of pie-eating returned to the utility vehicle.
People by and large keep the park clean. There are no trash cans, and most people take their trash with them instead of leaving it to others. If you’re looking for someplace a bit different, a taste of a simpler time when we knew who made the food we were eating, a shady oasis in the cacophony of living, Berlin Springs (with emphasis on the first syllable) is a great destination. Nearby Cornersville has a nice bed and breakfast known as Lairdland, and Lewisburg is close by if you need a Wal-Mart or a Walgreens.
The Berlin Store and Spring are on Highway 431 just north of Lewisburg.