Summer memories

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This summer seems to have come to an end. Suddenly the temperature has fallen and the leaves are beginning to color. It is hard to think of all the things I love about summer coming disappearing. It was a good summer with lots of warm, sunny days. Good food from the garden and the farmer’s market. The relaxed Saturday mornings we spent at the Norfolk Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair. The evenings in the country with fresh vegetables, bread and good wine in one of our favorite places on earth. I hate to see it all conclude.

The farmer’s market was a very pleasant place to spend Saturday mornings. As the weeks passed, we got to know our neighbors at the fair and became part of the group. We had our favorites. Chubby Bunny Farm was our favorite name and they seemed like a nice family with little kids and a puppy along with parents and grandparents manning the booth. There were many others and I loved saying hello and chatting with them. Some weeks were hot and sunny and sitting in the warmth made me so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open. Other days were less sunny, but we avoided any major rain outs. That was lucky.

We got into a rhythm and process for the morning. Up early, we would load the car about 8 and head to Norfolk around 8:30. My booth was almost always in the same spot and we could pull close in to unload and get out in time before we blocked our friends from Chubby Bunny. Jim came with me almost every week. One week I did it alone, but usually I had a helper. Peter came a couple of times. Lifting the table was tough. It is very heavy and bulky. I can do it, but it was nice to have someone else do it.  The most time-consuming part of set up was putting the earrings on the racks. Jim got pretty good at it and having his help certainly cut down on the time.

It always felt a bit like the circus in the morning as people arrived on time or a little late and began the process of unpacking and setting up. About 9:30 things were really bustling with everyone intent on the tasks at hand. By 10 we were open for business and people were arriving. It always seemed they came in waves. Busy moments alternated with quiet times. After a couple of weeks you could recognize the people and their dogs and it was fun to see them week after week. Sitting at the booth watching people go by, chatting with customers and then listening to snippets of conversation made for relaxing entertainment. There was always some sort of live music and it could become quite dreamlike at times.

Some weeks business was good, some weeks it was not so good. My best week was one when Ellie was with us. I had just declared I thought that I would have a goose egg of a day when things got busy. I sold a couple of baby sweaters, a baby bib, earrings and covered costs with a nice little profit. Emphasis on the word little. I even had repeat customers. The one woman who bought socks for her sister. She came back the next week and said her sister loved the socks so much she wanted to frame them. Her daughter bought a baby sweater for a present. I enjoyed the feedback on how the things I had crafted were received.

Each week we packed up and headed home for some lunch. It was usually about 1:45 when we got home. After lunch we crashed. There was something about sitting in the sun and fresh air which just wiped us out. I had some amazing naps–the kind that take quite a while to wake up from. That was pretty much the day for Saturday.

We usually ate our favorite foods from the fair for Saturday dinner. Fresh corn from Ford Farm, german potato salad from the Suessenuesse booth, fresh bread from Pittsfield Bakery. Each week we bought a dog biscuit from Better Baking by Beth. Dakota got so he knew that biscuit was coming when we got home and he was a pretty happy pup about that.

I know I would never want to live in a place with one season no matter how delightful. But I am in mourning for the warmth and sun of summer, the flipflops and shorts, the fresh herbs and produce. Of course, with the first chill of early fall, one’s thoughts do turn to wool, the reunion with favorite sweaters, cool evenings and the colorful leaves. I guess summer wouldn’t be quite so wonderful without fall.

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