I distinctly remember the early summer days in my youth when my parents (or my friend's parents, or my school, or whomever) would take me and a couple dozen of my closest friends down to Valleyfair in Shakopee, MN. I'd have trouble sleeping the night before in anticipation of the fun to be had. When we got there, and had traversed the asphalt desert of parking lot to the gates, it was like a cornucopia of options for how to spend the day. The pirate ship, the olde-timey photos, the water park, the arcade... the possibilities went on and on. By the end of the day, after the dusk laser show, I was never quite ready to leave. I was sure just one more ride on the Enterprise, the Corkscrew, or the Scrambler was all I needed. I'd spend the evening lying in bed, unable to fall asleep as I (my inner ear, perhaps?) could still recall the sensory memories of being flung in all different directions and eating the cotton candy and funnel cake.
I had a similar experience this morning. I had to get to the Farmers' Market before they closed at 1 P.M. I got there and parked, and the Christmas tree vendors were already setting up for this weekend. There was still, however, a single lane of produce stands lined up for the taking. I worked my way down the line - Sweet potatoes, check. Parsnips, check. The Savoy cabbage vendor also sold the cauliflower I needed, score! I got the spaghetti squash I needed and still had enough money left over for a treat: homemade soap from the lady who gives out free samples with every purchase. I was there for all of fifteen minutes, and only got half way down the aisle. As I was leaving, I felt a little guilty to be making such haste back home. I was sure there were some persimmons that I hadn't found yet - or some turnips. Maybe if I wandered further I'd find the honey guy or the meat vendor, but I had exhausted my twenty dollars, and had almost forty pounds of produce to show for it. I won't say I lay awake in anticipation, or in reminiscence, but all the same my feelings during the event were largely similar to how I felt all those years ago at the amusement park.
The farmers' market is a pleasure that is all too rare in my life - considering the fact that it's only available half the year in my town, I'd like to go at least once a week from May through November. All told, however, I only get down there with about half that frequency. So on this, what is likely to be my last visit before the snow melts in spring, I felt cheated that I couldn't linger longer, savoring the warm autumn afternoon and the fresh produce. Goodnight, farmers' market, and I look forward to seeing you again when the coming snow finally melts.