Category Archives: Equinox

Big News!

We have big Convivio Bookworks news to share: This little home-based business that began in 1995 is finally moving out of the house, and since the month began, we’ve been moving into our new Convivio Bookworks shop across the street from the Brightline / Florida East Coast Railroad tracks here in Lake Worth Beach. We’ve moved the Colt’s Armory press, circa 1905, that our friends Gail Gremse & David Rose bestowed upon us many years ago (it’s nice to see it again after having it in storage for 5 years), and we’ve moved type cabinets in, as well. Space to work and space to teach workshops, and a small retail shop, too. And this coming weekend, we’re having an open house and if you are local, we would be so pleased to see you there.

It’s not a grand opening, mind you. That will come later, perhaps in May, I’m thinking. No, this weekend’s open house is more about seeing what works and what doesn’t, and (let’s be honest) a chance to earn some do-re-mi to help pay next month’s rent. So far, I’ve been feeling that same excitement I feel when I set up a pop-up shop, like at Oktoberfest or Christkindlmarkt… except I don’t have to break this shop down once Sunday night comes.

Won’t you come see us? Click on the picture above to see the announcement (larger, full size), but here, essentially, is what it says: We’ll be open at our new location (1110 North G Street, Suite D, Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460) for an open house on Friday evening, March 22, from 6 to 9 PM, and on Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24, from 11 AM to 7 PM both days. The press won’t be operational yet (we’re waiting for our friend Val Lucas to come down from Maryland to help us get the thing running), but it sure is a beautiful machine all the same. There will be treats, no doubt, and good company. And our new shop will be stocked with lots of lovely items for Easter and Springtime from Germany and Sweden and Ukraine, plus my mom Millie’s hand-embroidered tea towels, our amazing new Síríus chocolates from Iceland and many other fine foods, culinary herbs and herbal teas from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in Maine, writing papers and pens from Italy, non-Christmasy pyramids and nutcrackers and incense smokers and cuckoo clocks from Germany (all authentic and all handmade), Swedish cake candles… I don’t even know what else because my mind is full and I am a bit overwhelmed but trust me: lots of good things, many of which you had no idea you would find useful and/or joyful. This is what we do.

To be sure, I’ve missed writing to you, but I’ve just had no time, so please forgive me. Be that as it may, I do hope you had a nice St. Patrick’s Day, and St. Urho’s Day before that, and St. Joseph’s Day has just passed, too. In fact, as I write this for you, the vernal equinox has just occurred, less than an hour ago, at 11:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time. All is balanced, all is light, as our Northern Hemisphere days grow longer and longer still, as they will through the Midsummer Solstice in June. Ah, but that is far from now.

Please come see us: you know we’d love to see you. Here’s the address and simple directions:

Convivio Bookworks
1110 North G Street, Suite D
Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460

From I-95, exit 10th Avenue North, eastbound. At the first traffic light, turn left on North A Street. At the first stop sign, turn right onto 13th Avenue North. Once you cross the railroad tracks, turn right on North G Street. It’s one of Lake Worth’s little warehouse districts, and we are in the second blue-roofed building on your left before you get to 11th Avenue North. Plenty of free street parking and there are eight parking spaces in our parking lot, too.

From Dixie Highway, turn west at the traffic light onto 13th Avenue North, then turn left onto North G Street just before the railroad tracks. You’ll find us on the left side in the second blue-roofed building before you reach 11th Avenue North.

We won’t be open regular hours; not yet, anyway. For now, just special events (like this weekend’s open house) as we announce them, and some occasional weekend hours, most likely. And we’ll gladly open for you, by appointment, too. Just email us to arrange a time. We’d also be happy to receive your cards and letters at the address above, and will send you something in return, promise. Georgia, our mail carrier, is very kind and so far, she hasn’t delivered one bill, but instead, she’s brought us four cards and letters over the past four days. She makes me feel very welcome, and we’d like to extend that good feeling to you, too.


Spring is here and at our online catalog right now, you may use discount code BLOSSOM to save $10 on your $85 purchase, plus get free domestic shipping, too. That’s a total savings of $19.50. Spend less than $85 and our flat rate shipping fee of $9.50 applies. CLICK HERE to shop; you know we appreciate your support immensely.

Spring has arrived but we know that sometimes winter is slow to go. Here is a short bedtime story for a chilly night that I recently read for Stay Awake: Bedtime Stories for Kids & Sleepy Adults, from the Jaffe Center for Book Arts. It’s called “The Magic Porridge Pot,” and you’ll find this story (Episode No. 11) and nine others in the Stay Awake Library at the Jaffe Center’s Vimeo Channel. If you like what we do there at Stay Awake, please consider following the series on Instagram @stayawakebedtimestories … I do love this storytelling project, and it would be awfully nice to see the project get to a hundred followers, at least! Thank you!

It’s Laetare Sunday, and Mother’s Day in the UK, Father’s Day in Italy

It’s Midlent: The Fourth Sunday of Lent, and halfway through our Lenten journey we get a Sunday whose color is rose, the color of joy, rather than penitent purple. A little break, a small reprieve, in celebration of being midway through. The day is called Laetare Sunday, a name derived from the first few words of the Mass for this day, in Latin: It is Isaiah 66:10: Laetare Jerusalem (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”). It’s the day when folks in the United Kingdom honor their mothers: Mothering Sunday, they call it. And this year, Laetare Sunday happens to fall on St. Joseph’s Day. San Giuseppe, sacred to Italy, where today is Father’s Day, in honor of the saint who was foster father to Jesus.

I apologize for not writing more this past week, when we honored St. Patrick, of course, and one day before that, St. Urho, whom the Finns know as the saint who drove the grasshoppers out of Finland. Either St. Urho has not gotten as much publicity as Patrick, or he is completely fictional: we’ll leave that up to you. Of St. Joseph, though, we can be certain, and we can be certain, too, that it is a day to find a good Italian bakery and some zeppole to enjoy with your after-dinner espresso tonight. We Italians consume zeppole in great quantities on this day, and there is nothing quite like being in an Italian bakery on this feast day and witnessing the rolling racks filled with zeppole: delicately light pastries filled with custard and garnished with cherries, or their lesser known cousins, sfinci, the same delicate pastry filled not with custard but with sweet ricotta, like cannoli. These things make us swoon this one day each spring. We are a dramatic, operatic people and the Festa di San Giuseppe is one of our annual highlights (and surprise: it revolves around food).

And by Monday it will be spring by the almanac: Balance comes to this old earth Monday, March 20, at 5:24 PM Eastern. Day and night roughly equal from North Pole to South, for just a short time, and then our Northern Hemisphere days grow longer than our nights as we make our way toward the Midsummer Solstice of June. The constant rearrange, so subtle we barely perceive it until we sit back and ponder it in the blocks of time we call seasons. These things will never cease to amaze me.

It was last summer that we were going to have our annual Wayzgoose at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts –– an online video event featuring the fabulous letterpress printer Jennifer Farrell of Starshaped Press in Chicago with music by singer/songwriter and recording artist Patty Larkin and me as host –– but Patty Larkin suffered a terrible accident before we could film the Wayzgoose last summer. It was obvious to me that we had to wait for Patty to recover. “No Patty Larkin, no Wayzgoose.” She had a long road ahead of her, but she did it. Patty’s been touring again, and earlier this winter, she recorded her Wayzgoose concert for us. In the meantime, I recorded my interview with Jen Farrell, and still these past few weeks I’ve been filming and editing, and the last edits will be coming at a more furious pace these next few days, all so we can have the Wayzgoose ready for its March 25 World Premiere. Won’t you join us? You can watch from anywhere in the world, and if you join us at 7 Eastern on Saturday, you’ll be part of a worldwide wave of viewers celebrating good print and good music. Click here to learn more and to watch on Saturday at 7. (The premiere takes place at the Jaffe Center’s website.)

I have a suggestion for your Saturday viewing party: Fix yourself and for those watching with you a steaming plate of waffles. I’ll explain why at the Wayzgoose. The Wayzgoose traditionally falls on Bartlemas, St. Bartholomew’s Day –– a very quirky day in the Round of the Year if ever there was one. And when it came to rescheduling this Wayzgoose, I chose the 25th of March for similar reasons. Trust me: make the waffles, serve them with maple syrup or with ice cream, then sit down with us at 7 on Saturday evening to watch. You’ll love the work of Jennifer Farrell and Patty Larkin’s concert will have you beaming… and you will appreciate the waffle connexion.

So many good wishes for you this day and this coming week!

COME SEE US! Find us on Saturday April 1 at JOHAN’S JOE in Downtown West Palm Beach from 7 AM to 3 PM for a little Springtime Market that Johan’s Joe and Convivio Bookworks are hosting together. We had a Christmas Market last December and it was so much fun and we met so many wonderful people, we’ve decided to collaborate again for Easter. We’ll have all our handcrafted goods for spring and Easter there from Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine.

SAVE ONLINE! At our online catalog, save $10 off your purchase of $85 or more, plus get free domestic shipping, too, when you use discount code BUNNY at checkout. It’s our Zippin’ Into Springtime Sale, good on everything in the shop, now through Easter (and probably a bit beyond, too). CLICK HERE to shop! And don’t forget to use discount code BUNNY at checkout if your order is $85 or more.


Zeppole e Sfinci

Images: Zeppole and sfinci, above. The zeppole are more popular; the sfinci at this bakery are identified by green candied cherries. Top: “Stasera Zeppole” translates to “Tonight Zeppole.” The photograph of a baker’s storefront window was taken by Giovanni Dall’Orto in Syracuse, Sicily.



Symmetry is the Way Things Have to Be

… at least for today. Balance of a celestial sort: this is what we receive today, across the planet, on this day of equinox. Autumnal Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere; Vernal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. The constant rearrange will bring, in the next few passing days, nights that are longer than days to our hemisphere, and days that are longer than nights to the Southern. But for today, all is practically balanced, no matter where we stand. Hence the name equinox, Latin for equal night. It brings a symmetry to our planet, best discerned in roads that run due west and due east. If you have straight east/west roads like this in your town, the scene at sunrise and at sunset today (and for a few days) will be just like that in the photograph above, with the sun rising or setting directly ahead of you, straight as an arrow. This photo was was taken in rural North Dakota, but it is the same everywhere now, for a few days… and this won’t happen again until the next equinox in March.

The moment of equinox, when the sun passes over the equator, this year is at 9:03 PM here in Lake Worth, which is currently in Eastern Daylight Time. It happens at the same moment around the globe, adjusted for your time zone. It is the start of autumn by the almanac, or, for those who reckon time in the traditional manner, autumn’s height or midpoint. For once that moment passes, the shift sets us more firmly on the path toward winter, as each passing night grows longer and darker on the approach to the Midwinter Solstice in December.

For now, though: balance. A good time for centering ourselves as we prepare to welcome the beauty and abundance of the season.

The pop-up market season begins soon! Our first big event is OKTOBERFEST at the American German Club, 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth FL 33463. Two consecutive weekends: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday October 7 through 9, then again the following Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, October 14 through 16. Convivio Bookworks will be there in our big new 10′ x 20′ tent, and right next door in a normal size tent, you’ll find my mom and sister, selling Mom’s hand-embroidered Millie’s Tea Towels. You need to purchase tickets in advance for Oktoberfest; it’s rare that tickets are still available at the gate. Click here for tickets and more information. It’s a wonderful event, and we plan to have our full line of handcrafted artisan goods from Germany there, for all the seasons of the year: not just fall, but spring and Christmas, too.

For the next 2 weeks or so at our online store we’re offering $10 off your purchase of $85 or more, plus get free domestic shipping. Just use discount code AUTUMN22 at checkout. We’re adding new items this time of year almost daily! You’ll find new items from Germany for Hallowe’en and Christmas, plus new Advent calendars and candles are coming this week, and we’re getting ready for Dia de Los Muertos, too. Lots to see! CLICK HERE to shop!

Image: Sunset on North Dakota Highway 5 on the 2021 Autumnal Equinox, near Columbus, North Dakota. Photograph by Masterhatch, Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.