Sunday, September 19, 2010

Farmers Market

One of my favorite things about living in this small town turned suburban sprawl community is the Farmers Market. Every Saturday morning from May through September there are white tents put up on the square and vendors bring in their wares.

Whenever I'm in town I walk over to the market to pick up what looks best to me. That's how I start my menu planning and grocery shopping for the upcoming week. This week I found a beautiful eggplant, rich and full. Haven’t decided how to use it yet. A basket of tomatoes, waiting to be sliced into some of the last lettuce-bacon-tomato sandwiches of the season. Peaches to be sliced onto ice cream, put into my lunch yogurt, or onto a bowl of cereal in the morning. Perhaps all three in the same day! I won't have that chance again until next summer, after all. Absolutely luscious Asian pears. When we sliced one for lunch today as soon as it touched my lips I literally squealed in delight! If I’m early enough I always buy a dozen eggs. So much better fresh from the farm! Thankfully, I was early enough this week.

Farmers Market makes me feel at home here. I’m close enough to be able to walk over. Doing so makes me feel so connected to the market and so to the people there. I become familiar with the vendors. They greet me as a regular customer. Even if we don’t really know each other, it makes me feel as though I belong here, transplant that I am. I enjoy talking with the young Amish gentleman who expounds on growing food organically. I laugh along with the man I buy eggplants and peppers from. Perhaps a form of flirting. He seems to view his vegetables as such voluptuous entities.

There is a friendly feeling to the market. People walk their dogs, bring their children, visit with neighbors. It’s always easy to start a conversation with someone looking at the same produce. Except, of course, when the berries are almost sold out.

It’s sad to think that there is only one market day left this season. Especially sad because this time of year has some wonderful produce. Of course, some is on the wane. But those coming in now are so colorful; pumpkins, gourds, squash. Foods that provide comfort to simply be home at this time of year. All week I’ll think about what I might purchase in an effort to tide me over until the market opens up again in the spring.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Grand Canyon

My sister will turn 50 next June. That is amazing in so many ways!  She decided some time ago that to celebrate her birthday she wanted to hike the Grand Canyon with some friends. Six of us are fortunate enough to be able to go in May - Mother's Day no less - to celebrate with her. 

The trip should be good in so many ways. The Canyon is one of my favorite places on Earth. I've been fortunate enough to visit it several times now. Thinking about it, many of those times seem to be passages for me. As a wife in a still maintainable marriage. (Fact is, trips is what we did best together!) As a friend within an adventurous couples group. As a mother to a young boy. That trip was by far the most frightening, albeit the least physically difficult!

Getting ready for the trip is a focus for me. Although it is about 8 months away, I figure I'll need those months to be physically ready for the challenge the Canyon has in store for me. After all, when I was there before I was considerably younger. Not to mention the fact that I weighed less than I do now. Sigh. My training will include yoga for strength and flexibility. And of course for the spiritual strength and endurance yoga provides. Weight training. Hiking and walking - but the central Indiana area isn't exactly known for canyon-like traits! The thing I look forward to the least in the training is the treadmill or stair master type training. But a person must think with the goal in mind!

The goal this trip provides for me is one of the most exciting things about it. This is a year of transition for me. D will graduate from high school in a few short weeks after the trip. I'll be a single empty-nester then. I certainly have to have something else to think about in these months than that!