Shawn and I have been at each other’s throats this weekend. It seems every comment has been misunderstood, leading to another round of heated verbiage. I suspect we are not the only couple who has experienced such a time but I am ready to end World War III and get back to the honeymoon. I made a command decision to alter our Sunday morning routine and, as I was gently waking Shawn, I suggested she dress in comfortable walking clothes, rather than church clothes. Shawn loves surprises and floated across the floor to perform her morning ablutions.
My plan for restoring our marital harmony included:
1. Buy Shawn coffee from Caribou
2. Visit the NC Farmer’s Market
Farmers. I love those people and confess my guilt at taking them for granted. Understanding their struggles can help restore my perspective. For the poor farmer there is too much rain or not enough rain. It is too hot or too cold. Thanks to Adam and Eve there are viruses and insects marching across the land, ready to devour the profits. And yet the farmers stick to it. Thank God for farmers! I know He loves them, too. They get honorable mention in His Best Seller.
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.”
James 5:7 (NASB)
Raleigh scheduled some sort of event for today. Some committee somewhere decided to block off many busy streets, including the exit from I-40 which funnels shoppers to the Farmer’s Market. According to the advisories posted on the web, the exit would close at 9AM and reopen by 1:30PM. We had plenty of time, arriving at 8:07. A Raleigh police car was already parked across the exit as the officer scattered his orange cones. Foiled again! I traveled to the next exit, turned around, and headed home as disappointment filled our car like fog from a dirty diaper (sorry for the graphic imagery).
We decided to try another exit and see if Shawn could use some combination of her SmartPhone and GPS to navigate to the market via back roads. As we stopped at the bottom of the exit ramp, I saw a small orange sign with this important message: “Farmer’s Market –>”. Thanks to the kind soul who placed those signs at strategic locations. We followed the arrows and found the Mother Lode of homegrown North Carolina goodies.
I promised myself I would buy no plants today but … my name is John and I have a problem. I am married to Shawn and she has the same problem. We collected 2 Ice Star daisies, 2 astilbe (light pink and dark pink), 1 yellow salvia I have not seen before, and a basil that has an overwhelming bouquet. I turned away from the hostas and the beautiful Japanese maples and forced myself to pull Shawn away from the plants.
We took a stroll through the vegetables and fruit. I am amazed at the stuff that comes from the dirt in North Carolina. Beautiful produce. Gorgeous colors. Tantalizing aromas. Here’s our booty. We tried to split the purchases between as many hardworking farm families as we could. I wish the market was closer to home and we could visit several times a week.
I want to encourage you to try some Farmer’s Market therapy and see if your attitude and outlook improve as much as ours did. We like the idea of supporting farmers and buying locally grown produce. If we don’t support their efforts, they may end up producing grapes for booze, tobacco for cigarettes, or marijuana once that is legalized.
Now, I ask you, are those items better for our society than healthy, robust vegetables and fruit?
Go forth and shop at the Farmer’s Market. Let us know what you find.