I have never really been a huge fan of summer. I mean I am a persistent allergy suffer, and being outside is always messing with me. Still, there are some parts of summer that, like it or not, I get so excited about every year. The main part being, the Farmer's Market in Raleigh opens up again.
I do love the Farmer's Market!!! I love the way the place looks in the summer. It is literally bursting with color!! Beautiful flowers! Tasty treats! Sweet temptations! It is a dream from which I am well woke! I love that everywhere you turn, someone is offering something to you. Watching people is a big pastime of mine, and the Farmer's Market is no exception. These people trade their wares and dedicate their summers to bettering the community, and, as a new agriculture student, it is beautiful.
Raleigh is a city. It is a big city compared to my hometown in Mayberry. Typically, you are hard pressed to find the country mixed into the city, but Raleigh is magical like that. Josh and I can drive about five minutes out of town and be on a dirt road driving through the fields. We can be cruising to a restaurant in Cary, and just as easily pass a cattle farm, or a pumpkin patch. Fortunately for two country bumpkins, the country is tucked into Raleigh. It is like being away from home, but never too far away.
In today's society, it seems that everyone is out to screw someone. That is a cold, hard truth. But in my hometown, it doesn't always feel like that is the case. Sometimes it feels like we are all still tied to one another, and we never left the Depression Era. "Reciprocating altruism," to quote Dr. Tom Hatfield, is something that is still alive and well in Mayberry. I mean, we have out share of problems, but no one place is perfect. I like to people watch at the Market because, to me, this is the very definition of community.
At home, everyone goes to C&J Produce. It sounds like a stand, but it is a little more sophisticated than that. They have a pool table, and Junior knows everybody! We have one gas station. "The Superette" was recently purchased and turned into "Jake's Gas N Go," but that name will only stick with the new generation. It will be a sign of the times. Just like "Cain's Exxon," which is now a vacant store, or "Davis'," which doesn't really exist anymore. It will be a marker of how long we have been around this town. I am old enough that I constant call "The Grill" the "Sandwich Shop!"
I guess the whole point of this post is to discuss community. Everyone dreams of that small town feel, whether they have experienced it or not. We all wish we lived in Mayberry, where you sit on a rocking chair on the porch after dinner or you watch the night come alive with lightening bugs. I like the Farmer's Market because it has that kind of feel. The people. The community. I want to go home afterward and cook to my heart's content. I love the experience of the Farmer's Market! It feels like summer has come to Raleigh again!!