Sunday, October 28, 2012

last farmers market (amid scraps of moonlight)

Saturday, October 27
5:20 a.m.
Today is the last farmers market, the official end to a summer that began mid-May. It’s hardly been summer-like these past few weeks—indeed, it is barely 30 degrees out there right now and the expected high is 41—but still, “farmers market” connotes “summer” and, for the most part, the weather conforms. Of course it’s always dicey, just a bit more so in October.

The house is warm. I loaded the woodstove shortly before 4 a.m.; I’ve been awake since 2:30 or so. Buster was restless, and as he sleeps next to me, if Buster is awake, most often I am awake. I got up and took him out three times, but his restlessness continued, so I decided to move us downstairs. He’s been known to fall off the bed and there was that time he tumbled down the stairs, so being downstairs in the pitch of night seemed safer. While Buster paced (was it last night’s popcorn?), I loaded the stove. Once the fire was going, I sat in my chair and held B for a bit, then fed him, let him out again, and now, he sleeps. For a while, I too slept.

The sun will not rise until 8:30. With the cold and the dark it is tempting to stay put, to not move, to not drive an hour and a half to set up a table and a display and candles in the cold ... but it’s the last market of the season. So I must get going. And B will come with, and hang his head out the window, and today, I suppose, freeze his butt off. Or, more likely, his nose.

6:25 a.m.
Oh. It’s snowing.

Sunday, October 28
6:35 a.m.
I awoke with the nearly full moon shining in the windows making two skewed rectangles of light on the sloping wall above my head. I reached over to scratch Buster and he shifted a bit, rearranging himself. I got up, leaving him be. Downstairs, I opened the door for Elliott and he raced out.

The house is chilly. Yesterday’s farmers market was, for the most part, cold. Maybe 40 degrees, cloudy, a bit of a north breeze. I set up outside thinking it would be sunny, as forecasted, but, fooled again ... The crowd was light, not keen on browsing. Sales were about a quarter of what they were last week. Spotted a couple of people in shorts and sandals.

Pumpkins await carving at the farmers market.
Buster is snoring. Elliott raced in, ate, went back out to hunt in the last shreds of moonlight. The fire is blazing, spreading its warmth. Last night’s embers were covered in ash, but after a raking, ready to spark a fire. While making a pyramid of three logs, I felt in my bones and muscles the memory of this routine that will repeat itself most mornings now through May.

Relief that the farmers market is done for the year and that the weather can do what it likes on Saturdays and B and I and the beeswax will stay snug and warm. But also I will miss the market—the people of it, the event of it, the music, the tarts and cinnamon rolls and lemon bread (a loaf of which is in the frig), the direct sales. There is nothing quite like handing something you have made to a person who appreciates it and who, to boot, hands you cash in return.

Tomorrow I will set up at Zero Degrees Gallery (back to Marquette!), and I have two work shifts there this month. After Thanksgiving, I hope to spend a Saturday or two at the Winter Market, which this year will be at the food co-op’s new, but yet to be remodeled space on Washington Street. This time of year always seems to go so quickly, despite the droning rhetoric of an election. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and snow every day and days so short we won't even be sure they’ve happened.

{Thanks to all of my customers at the this year's market. And to all those who just stopped by to talk or ask questions. I also enjoy selling on Etsy. This week's special, starting Monday, October 29 and running through November 4, is a free lip balm with each order. Tube or tin!}