"To market, to market, to buy a fat pig; Home again, home again, dancing a jig."
He sat on his little stool in front of a strawberry stand playing an old, beat-up, steel-string guitar, right foot tapping out a bass rhythm with piano hammers hitting the strings of a sawed off cello, left foot hitting a cracked symbol, a voice that belonged on a Texan front porch warbling some ho-down country relic that was popular before he was born, sounding like an honest-to-goodness Soggy Bottom Boy. I could have stood there all morning, bouncing Noa on my hip and giving Liam nickels to throw in the open case in front of him.
There's magic in the culture of a farmer's market; poetry catching waves of breeze laden with fresh produce and manure and perennials and I feel like I've stepped within the pages of a southern Country Living magazine.
"Berries! Get your berries here! Going fast! Don't wait!"
"Salami! Pastrami! We got meat!"
"Organic Soap Berries!"
Sign in the kilted, dreadlocked, Rastafarian fiddlers case: "Thank you for supporting my musical education."
After taking Liam through the small animal barn ("Whoa - dat's a weally big wooster!") we began to weave through grassy aisles adorned in tented tables boasting treasure that nobody needs but everybody wants. Action figures for a dollar. Gorgeous hand-made jewelry. George Harrision records. Hand-painted signs. Tea cups. Wooden Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Books and books and books.
The cows made Noa cry. A "no, you can't have a pony ride," made Liam cry. But they both liked the native man and his flute and all the free strawberries different vendors put in their hands to convince us that theirs were the best berries on the block.
Antique Alley was awash in beautiful things of aged patina and extravagant price tags, old toys, old tires, a box of old Barbies that I wanted so much it hurt to leave them behind.
We left with the undercarriage of our stroller comfortably stocked (books, trains, candy, father's day gift, ninja turtle...) and our tummies full of fresh berries and me wishing I had the space and gumption for a beautiful garden.
"To market, to market, to buy a fat hog; Home again, home again, jiggity-jog."
Check out KEADY MARKET here