Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Buckets of Beans

I got a minute this evening to run over to the Columbia City Farmer's Market, which is nearby, but just far enough away that I don't get to go weekly. It's such a tightly packed little market, squashed into a too-small parking lot, but chock full of such wonderful vendors. I always end up bringing home way too much food, more than a gal can possibly eat in a week, but who can pass up the incredibly beautiful buckets of every kind of string bean imaginable?

The selection is tremendous there - as it probably is at the other Seattle markets that I almost never get to visit on the weekend since I'm off selling suds somewhere else. But we've got several cheese booths, dairy, fish and bakeries. European pastries. An Italian guy selling fresh pasta and ravioli (we had the pumpkin for dinner, yum). So many gorgeous tomatoes. Peaches to die for. And they've still got berries - the blueberry flats are so darn cheap right now, and tasty as can be.

I have no idea how I'm going to eat it all, but I can't resist the beauty and freshness of all that organic loveliness. With a small little baguette.

Sometimes I'm just so taken with the simplicity of it all. And wish I could set up my little booth like they do - just a flat table with a little checked cloth. A few rusty buckets. And a few little piles of soap bars, fresh from the kitchen. I think it started out that way for me at the Tacoma Farmer's Market, oh so many years ago. But I almost can't remember that far back.

And somehow it got to be so much more complicated. With ribbons, and decorating, and cute curtain panels. Merchandising and marketing. The pressures of being professional, creative, a cut above, etc. Just to swim with the big fish.

It's a constant tug of war, really. The desire to be a big fish, with the desire to stay just a small fish that can swim away whenever I want. Deep down somewhere I still like to pretend that I can just walk away from it all and do something else whenever I want. I don't have some vast company and team of employees that I'm beholden to. It's just me, and I can close up shop and run off to the Greek Islands when the going gets too tough, without having a mountain of responsibilities. Of course it's all a fantasy . . . dreams and big ideas.