the farmer’s market

 

When we visit my dad, Sunday mornings are my favorite part of the weekend. I get up early to be sure that I don’t miss the chance to tag along on his trip to the park with the boys. We’ve developed a routine. We stop at the coffee shop on the way – not the deli that he prefers, but the one with “that froufy coffee” that he knows I love. I try to buy my coffee. He gives me ‘the look’ and makes me put my money away. It’s what we do.

And then we head to the park to walk the dogs then perch for a while on a bench overlooking the harbor. We talk. We hug. We sit. We watch the boats and listen to the water lap softly against the rocks.

This weekend, we got to my dad’s on Friday night. On the drive down, I couldn’t contain my excitement. “I’m so happy we’ll have not one but TWO mornings there,” I told Luau.

When we arrived, my dad said, “It’s late. You sleep in in the morning.”

“Um, not a chance,” I said.

He promised to wake me if I didn’t come down on my own.

Before bed, Katie told me that she’d be getting up too. “I want to come,” she said. I loved the idea but as a mom of a teen, I was skeptical at best. I told her it sounded great but had there been a gun to my head, I would have bet money that she’d be playing Sleeping Beauty come morning. Thankfully there wasn’t a gun to my head.

“Mama!” she stage-shouted sometime around 6:45 am, “Papa’s up! He’s making noise downstairs. We have to get up!” You would have thought it was Christmas morning and she’d just heard clanking by the chimney.

I kissed my girl’s cheek, then ran downstairs to make sure he wouldn’t leave without us.

When we got to the park it was bustling with activity. The weekly farmer’s market was in full swing, every stall offering something more inviting than the last. We ogled the honeys, jams and preserves. We drooled over the freshly baked breads and pies and marveled at the vibrant colors of the fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

My dad took the boys straight to the butcher, where he goes every Saturday to stock up on the spicy meat sticks we all love and “the real salami, not that crap you kids eat.” He handed Katie the scraps that the butcher holds aside for the boys.

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{image is a photo of Katie giving meat scraps to my dad’s dogs, Flash and Gordon}

Remembering how much she loves the pickles he keeps in the house, My dad sent Katie over to get a quart fresh from the barrel.

Meanwhile, I walked around with my camera, snapping pictures of the colors, the people, the dogs, the sunshine, the water. Collecting scraps of fabric from which I would later fashion a quilt of memories for me, for my girl, for my dad.

The photos are presented in no discernible order. They are, like life, unfiltered, unedited, raw. They aren’t perfect, but they are my record of the stunning, chaotic beauty of a perfect morning on a perfect day in a desperately, horrifically imperfect time.

For Noelle.

You are so dearly missed. 

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{image is a photo of purple onions at a vegetable stand}

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{image is a photo of a sign listing prices for homemade preserves and spreads, mustard and tapenade}

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{image is an array of honey, preserves and jellies. I brought home the peach jalapeno jam. It was ridiculously good.}

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{image is a photo of bright red plums ….}

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{… and yellow ones too!}

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{image is a photo of bunches of carrots, which apparently come in lots of different colors. Who knew? Did you know? I did not know.}

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{image is a sign advertising the From Scratch farm. I’m guessing the sign is from scratch too.}

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{image is a photo of an adorable toddler who was apparently an employee at the For Scratch Farm stand. Don’t we have laws against child labor? (sarcasm)}

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{image is a photo of freshly baked breads, which I highly recommend with the goat’s milk cheese and a healthy dollop of peach jalapeno jam. You’re welcome.}

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{image is a sign advertising hand stretched fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, and burrata. They had me at hello.}

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{image is a closeup of pickled tomatoes in the barrel.}

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{image is a closeup of bright red cherry peppers in oil}

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{image is a photo of olives, sun dried tomatoes, and cherry peppers marinating in yumminess}

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{image is a photo of two dogs hitching a ride in their lady’s bicycle basket. I basically stalked them until she let me take a picture because I just couldn’t take the cuteness.}

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{image is a photo of another dog. He’s hoping his person is heading to the butcher next. Or maybe just he’s wondering why his friends are in a basket}

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{image is a photo of some really pretty flowers that I can’t name. I mean, I could. Oh, heck, let’s. I’m going with Fred and Ethel.}

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{image is a photo of bunches of sunflowers near Fred and Ethel}

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{image is a photo of wildflowers at the same stand}

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{image is a photo of watermelons in a wagon}

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{image is a  photo of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries}

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{image is a photo of the backdrop to all of this .. the harbor}

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{image is a photo of the American flag on the park’s Vietnam memorial waving in the breeze off the water}

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{image is a photo of my dad saying hello to a golden doodle at the park}

Finally, both my dad and Katie tuckered out. While I wandered around stalking little dogs and toddlers, they went to find a bench in the shade. The dogs took their places beside them. They talked, They laughed. They watched the boats and listen to the water lap softly against the rocks. And I snapped a photo of a perfect moment on a perfect morning in a desperately, horrifically imperfect time.

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{image is a photo of my dad and Katie sitting on a bench facing the harbor.}

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{image is a closeup, just in case you couldn’t see Gordon’s little face peeking out of the bench. You’re welcome.}

5 thoughts on “the farmer’s market

  1. You’re so right that it was a perfect moment on a perfect morning in a desperately, horrifically imperfect time.

    Love you,
    Mom

  2. I kept wondering if you had a secret set of boys that you didn’t talk about (sexism in action, maybe)? until we got to the part about the scraps the butcher saves for the boys :-).

    Sounds like a wonderful morning. Have been loving learning about your father. I honestly believe that when you trace back many stories of success, redemption, hope you find a teacher (a mom and a dad, yes, but also, a teacher, who didn’t have to believe in you, but did).

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