The Reluctant Mermaid

one woman unwilling to swim in the same direction as the others


Farm Stand

When I was a little sunburned girl,
We had these little white paper envelopes that held treasures.
The large ones were heavy and bumpy with shiny brown, smooth as anything beans.
The little ones were vessels for powdery, perfectly round peas
And the ones of sizes in between were filled with hard bright corn,
Teeny, almost insignificant carrot seeds,
wild flowers, purple beans, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers.
and then there were the tomatoes...
Tomato plants with a ripe crisp green scent and prickly stalks.
Tomatoes were my fathers favorites.
I was partial to the peas.

And so the summer was filled with clean dirt,
and the "chick-chick-chick"'s of the sprinkler that was nailed to a lofty stick
Raining down on it's rapidly growing kingdom.

CKCJ Farmstand was open for business.
The sign painted with white, leftover from the summer before when we painted our porch.
"Caryn, Katie, Chris and Josh's Vegetables" practically ran itself,
With it's coffee can honor system and it's baskets of tightly wrapped corn.
Our neighbor across the street, Mr. Smithson sold big crayon colored zinnias.
For less than 5 dollars, the passing motorists could have dinner and a bouquet.

I don't know when the farmstand ended.
I can't remember the moment that my feet no longer sunk into the warm, soft dirt of the newly tilled garden.
I don't recall when I stopped having to check for tomato bugs, or to see how big the summer squash was getting.
It just stopped. One summer it just was too much...
and then the next summer it was like it never was.

I will probably never share the actual act of sowing seeds, watering peas or checking the ripeness of the corn with my children.
Not on this scrappy, sandy, shady piece of mossy land we live on anyways.
But I have to remember to TELL them about it... to tell them what a fresh little green bean tastes like right off the vine,
what filling up a whole bucket of the reddest, redder than red strawberries feels like to your soul,
how many tomatoes you can sell in an afternoon...
they'll know that at least, once I- their mother knew...
and knew enough to share that with them.

My dad still grows tomatoes... it's in his blood.
Just like remembering these summers is in my blood.


Mom101 said...

This is beautiful. My daughter too is partial to the peas.

(And thanks for the blogroll mention, mama)

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, what beautiful summer memories.
It's a shame when you think of the difference these days, isn't it?
I sometimes wonder if the future generations will even use a kitchen to prepare food anymore.
Cutting up veggies, etc.
Kitchens are getting smaller and smaller and seem to be used only for a microwave in so many homes.

Audri said...

Check this out, you can have veggies delivered or pick up. Put in your zip and see what you find. :)

Amana said...

People should read this.