Reflections…

Common ground, what a lovely, lofty to-be-cherished concept, I reflected at the end of yesterday. “Why yesterday?” you must be pondering and “common ground — what on earth could have occurred to bring such a subject up in the first place?”. Yesterday afternoon was filled with good natured laughter, a respectful sharing of beliefs, and added to those wonderful actions, a lot of sweat equity also occurred, with a promise of more of the same next week. It was such a breath of fresh air, doing something to achieve an openly acknowledged common goal, sharing ideas without wondering how these ideas “might” be received and, really refreshing, NOT having conversation sprinkled with “they, we, them, us.” Yesterday afternoon was a gift that I shall long cherish.

As many of you know, I have a “dream” of some day being able to turn the old school that graces the market property into a place that gives back to the community. I have repeated “the dream” out loud to so many people SO many times, that I am sure that eyes have begun to glaze over at the mere mention of the concept. Last week, after such a conversation, but with someone who had never heard the “school story” before, a door slipped ever so quietly open a crack to let small rays of light in, to maybe give some substance, albeit small, to the ghost of the dream. Hey, lots of journeys start with baby steps. Two young women, who stopped to shop at the market, asked me about the old school which, as you all know, I can become tedious about, telling its story. I told the story, they listened, and then…they asked if there was ANYTHING they could do to help. I told them that a lot of work needed to be done on the school — just to even make it look like someone cared, to show that it had potential. They said they were ready to roll up their sleeves and get busy, in fact, eager to make their words turn into action. We got a lot done yesterday, the three of us, yes we did.

In total transparency, as some of you “may” have surmised, they are Mormon “Sisters” — and I am…well, I am me. Yesterday truly left me in thoughtful reflection — having this unexpected gift of common ground grace my day. At the end of the day, I was left wondering if, just perhaps, “common ground” could make its way into our daily lives once again and, that real listening to one another with respect and validating each other’s thoughts, even if we don’t agree in concept, could actually become a reality once again. Who knows, it could catch on. It could become as accepted as those random acts of kindness we hear about with more frequently these days that give us hope for a kinder and gentler world.

“C”

Public Service Announcement — Don’t Make Many…

…well, actually, this is my first.

For those of us who use the Twin Bridges Road bridge, it is being put out to bid — yes!! The project design is completed and bids will be accepted November 20.

For those of you who are familiar with the Raccoon Crossing Road bridge on Route 622 — IMPORTANT — public hearing about improvements to that bridge will be held Tuesday, Oct. 29 — 4 – 6 P.M. (inclement weather date, Thursday, Nov. 7) at Cedar Crest Conference Center in Green Bay.

Don Gantt on the Board of Supervisors, Leigh District, has asked me to pass along the above two items. It is important that interested citizens come to the meeting slated for Oct. 29 — so that VDOT recognizes that the citizens using Raccoon Crossing bridge really care about needed improvements, that they make their voices heard. Money has not yet been set aside for this project. In my opinion, humble that it may be, it wouldn’t hurt to add an opinion or two with regard to VDOT hurrying up and completing as quickly as possible the new Twin Bridges project because, as those of us who use it can attest, it really gets “ugly” in the winter when snow and ice coat the bridge!! Truth to tell, it could be designated as one of those extreme winter sports!!

“C”

Well….

…not a surprise, but summer produce is really, truly coming to an end, honest. This will be (odds are) the VERY LAST weekend of squash, zucchini, bell peppers, beans, and cucumbers. If anyone has procrastinated and put off putting up things like bell peppers in the freezer to be savored in winter soups and sauces, now is the time, because next week, given the forecasted temps, there won’t be any. The Amish picked bell peppers as if their lives depended on it this week. I have a HUGE box of bell peppers. You might even be able to make a deal at the market for quantities of bell peppers.

The local bison has gotten really great reviews. You, who consider it wild game, should give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised. No “bones” for soups this week, but shall have a goodly quantity next week. I will however, have some 5 lb. packages of ground going for $6.80 a lb. this weekend — not many, so if you should so desire some at a true bargain price, you should speak up. I don’t think they will be around very long.

I still have some swiss chard and spinach market packs available at the market, and I may even plant a bit of it myself.

It’s almost the end of October and that means Thanksgiving is only a blink away. Anyone desiring a turkey for Thanksgiving/Christmas needs to let me know SOON. There is a limited number left.

Last, but not least — Amish wedding month, November, translates to no guarantee (after next week) of lovely breads for a month. They will be baking extra bread and rolls next week, so I would suggest stocking up and popping some into the freezer. Wedding season is kicking off early this year — the first wedding being all the way up in Illinois on Monday. Thanksgiving day seems to be an especially popular day to get married in the Amish community!!

Hope to see you this weekend.

“C”

Gratitude

Morning,

I try to start every day mentally ticking off what I am grateful for in this life. If the day before did not end well, it reframes the day I am about to start. If, like the last couple of days (feels like years), it is dreary outside, it gives me a sunny place to go. I usually save commenting on what I’m “especially” grateful for when I’m sitting at the dining room table on Thanksgiving Day,waiting for the turkey to be carved. However, I wanted to take this time to say a VERY special thank you to four people — for their acts of kindness — Al and Darlene & Drew and Jen.

Al, I can’t say enough about the wand you waved to make the dumpster show up at the market and all of your and Darlene’s extra efforts to help me with a “fall” cleanup. Al and Darlene have days filled to the brim with to-do lists in an extremely busy life. Yet, they took the time from their busy schedules to give me a hand up. Cleanup is never something anyone wants to put down as their first choice on a volunteer sign-up sheet. The market is beginning to shine — even in all this dreary weather!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Drew, you have been outed!! Someone close to you shared that it is not a coincidence that you seem to show up on Thursday nights to help me unload what I have collected from the Amish. I now know that on those Thursday nights you are just coming back from Roanoke, after having dealt with taming and blending multiple computer systems into a harmonious blend or the previous four days. A lot of those Thursday nights, I am sitting on the back of the truck counting how many MORE trips with boxes of stuff I will have to make from the truck with what I have collected that day, when as if by magic, Drew drives up. Before Drew, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be eating dinner at midnight on Thursdays!! Jen, you helped the market over the hump in this market makeover when you helped redo “market presentation” last Saturday.

However, I would be remiss if I did not say “thank you” to all my faithful customers who continue to show up every week, sometimes, even when I don’t. Yes, the honor system thrives. So, to that end, I will close this “long thank you note” with some paraphrasing from an old Irish blessing. I wish you enough…enough joy to get you through your sorrows, enough sorrow to appreciate the joys and enough friends to lighten your sorrows and embrace your joys.

I Wish You Enough,

“C”

Bison & Shitake Mushrooms

Several notes of interest — food for thought, so to speak…or literally, your choice.

Thanks to Annieoaks Bison Farm in Chase City, the market is again graced with locally grown, grass-fed bison. At this point in time, only ground bison is available, but there is the possibility of “special request” items. Some of you have been asking about the availability of locally grown bison and I’m HAPPY to say “it’s here!!” — truly I am.

Starting next week, there will again be oysters, coming from the same place as last year, so there will be quality oysters available. Most of the oysters will be by the pint, freshly shucked. You can get a bushel of oysters — but they will have to be ordered in advance — one to two weeks. They will be delivered to me on Friday mornings.

Shitake mushrooms, hurry on down for some really beautiful mushrooms while they last. This is an experiment of sorts by someone local who,quite frankly, just likes to see if he CAN grow things. He tells me that the mushrooms are just starting to come in.

The sweet potatoes are most definitely in. I moved 1500 pounds of sweet potatoes from a trailer to the truck and then from the truck to the long table at the market. I baked a few this morning and I can say with authority that the wait for the sweet potatoes was well worth my time as well as the complaints from muscles I had forgotten I had!!

Look forward to seeing you soon.

“C”

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