Snapshots: at the farmer’s market

Last week, the local farmer’s market opened for the season.

If there is one thing that gives this city constant beauty, it’s this market.

Vendors gather along all four sides of the downtown “square” to sell glorious flowers, fresh fruits and veggies, homemade soap, hand-crafted items, and more.

Musicians cover every corner and compete for the spare change of passers-by.

Our first summer here, I grabbed my guitar and found a quiet spot near a woman named Beth.

IMG_0201It’s been my favorite venue– singing while little kids dance by, parents not far behind; the shared bond of man’s love for rhythm and voice. Perhaps my best tip was the half-eaten muffin from the teeny blonde boy, who just loved me that much.

Now that Eliot has embraced the fullness of his extroversion, he asks about the market more than once a week, and he knows that it’s a party waiting to be joined.

IMG_2860We show up and tune our ears toward the live music, and head straight to the source–indeed, music is a source of life for both Eliot and me. He sways side to side as the music plays, and he points to the cello, the violin, the guitar of the jazz quartet as they perform their last song of the set.

 

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We found our lab, Charlie, there.

I discovered Celosia, or Cockscomb, the flower that resembles a brightly colored brain– my favorite flower.

 

 

 

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Eliot discovered the bubble machine outside the jewelry store, and takes at least 10 minutes every visit to play in them.

 

 

 

The beauties found here have made this town a blessing to live in– a town where diversity brings celebration, where Saturday mornings belong to everyone:

the executive who needs a few extra bell peppers for a dinner party;

the vegan mom who wants to make kale chips for her toddler;

the exchange student who wants to experience a new culture;

the 20-something who has a weekend date for coffee and a morning walk;

the family of four who comes out for fresh air;

the 3-year old boy who has his dancing shoes on.

It’s the city that loves its local farmers and supports their work with happy hearts and generous pockets.

This year local politicians set up tables trying to buy votes with lollipops and balloons, and I get to kindly say, “We’re moving in July,” as Eliot shoves the root-beer flavored candy into his mouth and the politician’s wife smiles.

If I can spend the next 9 Saturdays in the open air of the market, I will be absolutely content. So, here’s to a house of fresh flowers and meals of sustenance, straight from the green earth.

 

For more posts from the Snapshots series, click here.

Snapshots & Fortune Cookies

“We must always have old memories and young hopes.”

I’ve written this quote by Arsene Houssaye down again, because the words still weigh heavy and pierce so deep.

After filing taxes, we went to eat at Hunan Manor– of course, to celebrate that in a month we will have some money.

This piece of paper slipped out of Trav’s fortune cookie, and he handed it straight to me:

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This, in 9 simple words, reflects my life right now.

These next 5 months will absolutely flash by,  and we’ll be gone, on to new hopes.

But, like a gardener, I want to dig my fingers deep into the soil of this life season, and see the fruit of my work spring forth.

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I’m going to write on some “snapshots” of our time here– places we’ve frequented, people we’ve adored, experiences that have transformed us.

Because I need to process, and in saying good-bye, I need closure with the place where I bore my babies and drank good coffee and ate mexican food.

It’s the place where we fell in love with neighbors as they fell for our kids, where our gardens didn’t always grow, but we still planted.

Because one day, this place will become old memories.

We will dig fingers into unknown and new soil soon, young hope in every pulse.

Old memories, young hopes.

Please join me as I reminisce; a scrapbook of the heart, a journaling of life sweetly lived.

Lessons in Processing: Facing Reality

It would be an understatement to say that we process things differently.

I digest quietly, the gears turning inside my head as I wash the dishes and stare out the window. It could be hours before I’m able to verbally express.

Travis is a bubbling brook; his thoughts flow out of his mouth here and there, dreams and convictions, new scenarios at every turn.

Every single day we are checking emails and each application’s status, hoping for news one way or the other. Every day the emotion of all of this is pushing in on us, changing the atmosphere of our family. Somehow, instead of our bread multiplying, it’s the piles of dirty laundry that seem to grow.

I look around during the day and I close my eyes at night, making a checklist of things we need to get rid of to make a move easier. Is there anything you need? Ask me. I’ve got a quesadilla maker and so much more.

With such joy we look to the future! With such trust and hope! And yet my stomach turns and aches with the unknown of it all, and for all the joy, our hearts could cave in with sadness at the thought of leaving our friends and neighbors, who have become our family.

A dear friend reminded us last week that in this next move, in this next season, we will really establish who we are. It will just be us, us and God and every ounce of small faith we can muster. Then the adventure really begins.

So there it is. We are moving. We are moving. Perhaps this is the most emotional thought of all, and the one that’s got me processing as I rock Isaiah to sleep and Travis processing in the bathtub with a book and ink pen.

I guess it’s a lot like nesting dolls, and every new realization opens a world of emotion we didn’t realize existed between or within us.

So to keep myself tethered, I will keep writing out Hebrews in hopes that God consoles and speaks.

I will keep singing and playing, worshipping and believing.

I will keep cleaning, and yes, someday every single piece of clothing in this house will be clean, if even for only an hour.

I will keep reflecting, because when I finally break down and have a good cry, it’s going to be because I really need it.

I will keep baking, because it brings me a staggering amount of comfort these days.

I’ve got to slowly say goodbye to four years, and slowly lean into the next…that is quite a process, indeed.