Category Archives: Autumn

Carriage House, or Your November Book of Days

November has thrown us for a loop this year, but here, finally, is your Convivio Book of Days calendar for the month. It’s autumn, and it has just today turned a bit cooler here in Lake Worth, and that may explain how we have finally gotten the calendar published for you. Things suddenly feel in sync. We are in the midst of the days when we remember those who have passed before us, making it a very beautiful time of year. Cover stars for the calendar: Carriage House and Maple Tree at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Maine. The Carriage House predates the Community itself, which was established in 1783. It’s a graceful old building that stands next to the grand barn, the barn that to stand in it makes you feel like you are in a cathedral of sorts.

If all goes as planned, I’ll be writing again to you tomorrow to remind you about Martinmas, also known as Hollantide. It’s a time important to winemakers, and it concludes our annual sojourn with the dead, and we turn our sights toward winter. Speaking of: before things get way too Christmasy out there, the Advent season will begin on the First of December. We’ve got traditional Advent calendars from Germany and handmade daily Advent candles from England to help you mark the season and keep things at your own pace. Now happens to be a great time to order. Free domestic shipping when you spend $50 at our catalog; if you don’t make it to $50, it’s a flat rate of $8.50, which is also not at all bad. Or come see us at these November events; there are more coming in December––I’ve included the first one here:

Saturday November 23 from 11 AM to 3 PM
at First United Methodist Church
625 NE Mizner Boulevard in Boca Raton
A traditional Swedish Christmas with dancing round the tree and Sankta Lucia in a crown of candlelit evergreen. We’ll be there with our traditional artisan made Christmas decorations from Germany and Mexico, plus our new Christmas collection from Sweden, as well as Shaker herbs & teas and my mom’s famous handmade candy wreaths, as well as German advent calendars and candles.

Sunday November 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM
at Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road in Boca Raton
Follow the blue & white MAKERS MARKETPLACE signs on FAU campus roads to Historic Building T6. Free admission, free parking, live music with Rio Peterson and the Lubben Brothers, and lots of great local makers. Our boutique will include all our Christmas artisan items from Germany, Mexico, and Sweden, plus Shaker herbs & teas, German advent calendars and candles, and my mom’s famous handmade candy wreaths.

Saturday & Sunday December 7 & 8 (2 to 9 PM on Saturday; 1 to 8 PM on Sunday)
at the American German Club
5111 Lantana Road in Lake Worth
Convivio Bookworks will be part of this old time German Christmas market in suburban Lake Worth. At our booth you’ll find traditional handmade German Christmas items, and we’ll throw in some other handmade items from our Swedish and Mexican collections, too, as well as Shaker herbs & teas, some letterpress goods, and my mom’s famous handmade candy wreaths.

More markets to come beyond this, too!



Autumn, and Your October Book of Days

Welcome to October. Here’s your Book of Days Calendar for October. Cover star: a swamp maple in New Gloucester, Maine, with ruby red leaves, pure essence of autumn. This is something we just don’t get much of here in Lake Worth. So if you are in a place where this happens, enjoy fully.

Here in Lake Worth, the weather has taken a definite shift. It’s not so much cooler as it is less humid, and this is nice, this is our version of autumn. There are pumpkins in the market, not the ones that grow here, but the ones that have to be trucked in from the North. Our pumpkins are delicious but not much to look at; sometimes green, sometimes beige, they’re called “calabaza” and they taste a lot like a butternut. I’ve sent pictures of our calabazas to friends up north who grow pumpkins and typically the initial response is a gasp. “That’s a pumpkin?” We love them all the same, though it’s true, our calabazas cannot hold a candle to a big Connecticut Field jack o’lantern pumpkin or a red Rouge vif d’Etampes or a ghostly blue green Jarrahdale. And so a hearty thank you to all the farmers who send their beautiful cucurbitas here to South Florida. We appreciate it. Really. For while we don’t get your beautiful foliage, we do enjoy the pumpkins.

We’re shifting into high gear here preparing for Dia de Muertos, beefing up stock and adding new artisan goods from Mexico, too. We have lots more to add to the website, but if you’re ready to start shopping, know that we offer free domestic shipping when you spend $50, and even if you don’t, our flat rate shipping is only $8.50, and that’s not so bad, either. Here’s a quick link to our catalog. Enjoy!


Balance, & the Ember Months

I go through all the months of the year, content enough and present and engaged, but once we reach September, I perk up a bit more and grow really excited. These are the months I’ve long called The Ember Months, for they end that way in English: September, of course, and November and December. October counts, too; it’s not quite an “-ember” but still concludes in “-ber” and that’s close enough for me. Anyway, October may just be my favorite month of them all. These are the months that bring ripening pumpkins and apples, chestnuts and pomegranates; the months that hold my favorite days: these are the months of autumn. And in these earliest dark night hours of the 23rd of September, at 3:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, autumn officially arrives by the almanac, as our planet reaches its moment of equinox, bringing autumn to the Northern Hemisphere and spring to the Southern Hemisphere.

It is, as well, a time of balance, bringing pretty much equal lengths of day and night to the entire globe for a few days. These are auspicious days for someone like me, who strives for balance but can never quite attain it. My problems attaining balance are based, I’m sure, on an inherent flaw within me: a seeming inability to say “no.” But I envision this great big earth we live upon, spinning on its axis on its elliptical orbit around the sun, and it is a great inspiration: if this great celestial being can attain balance, perhaps so can I. And certainly there is no harm in the striving. And even for Earth, the balance is fleeting: by tomorrow, night will be longer than day in our hemisphere above the equator. Soon, old friends will emerge in that longer night sky, like the constellation Orion, harbinger of winter. It’s always good to see him. And so I say welcome, old friends. Welcome, autumn. Welcome, Ember Months.

We begin popping up a lot throughout South Florida these last few months of the year. Here’s where you’ll find us next month. More possibilities are in the works for October… to be kept apprised, follow us on Instagram or Facebook: @conviviobookworks

Sunday October 6 from 11 AM to 3 PM
History Fort Lauderdale (inside the historic New River Inn)
231 SW 2nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale
We’ll be there with a mini pop up of our traditional Dia de Muertos artisan goods.

Sunday October 20 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton
Live music, family fun, and lots of great local makers. We’ll be there with a big boutique of traditional Dia de Muertos artisan goods, Shaker herbs & teas, Seth Thompson’s Royal River pottery, and maybe even a little advent calendar preview.

Friday October 25 from 2 to 6 PM
Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University Libraries, Boca Raton
It’s a special edition of the Jaffe’s popular Real Mail Fridays letter writing socials, this one with an All Hallow’s Eve theme. Expect good old fashioned autumnal fun plus a mini Makers Marketplace. We’ll be there with a selection of our traditional Dia de Muertos artisan goods.


Image: A depiction of the constellation Orion from the Prodromus Astronomia, volume III: Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, 1690.