Dear Produce Stand,
All through the cold, long winter I have cast forlorn glances in your direction as I drove by a hollow empty booth wherein no life was present. No beautiful bins of brightly colored fresh vegetables and fruits. No long wooden table of bright red tomatoes and bountiful piles of onions and potatoes. No smiling person to greet me as I step out of my car and approach your small open air establishment. Nothing but empty shelves and hollow buckets. For months I have made particular trips to specialty stores just to purchase over-priced vegetables flown clear across the world that weren’t always that great. Let’s be clear, I appreciate having a tree-ripe nectarine flown in from Chile just for me in January. I enjoy my little “Market of Fresh” with its tiny shopping carts and classical music. And I would much rather pay a little more for good produce in the winter from said Market rather than buy sub-standard veggies from a grocer who does not care one bit if my produce will begin to go bad the moment I step out of the store. But let’s face it, Produce Stand, there is absolutely no substitute for what you offer my family during the warmer months. You offer convenience. You offer excellent value. You offer the satisfaction of making pleasant conversation with the other patrons. Conversations which lead me to believe, I am not the only one in Wake Forest who loves you and your fresh vegetables.
That being emoted, I cannot convey the over-whelming elation which my heart felt when I drove past you this week to see that you were finally open for the first time. Your bins were no longer empty and hollow, but were overflowing with abundant fruit and veggie goodness. Of course I stopped immediately and pulled into your gravel parking lot.
I say “parking lot.”
It’s really just the area between you and the interesting aquarium store which is utilized as a parking area. Perhaps that is some of what I love about you. The sound my tires make as I drive over the rocks and hop out. It’s charming and very small-town. But, I digress.
I walk towards you, trying not to reveal my utter excitement to the woman behind the register. There are those trusty plastic grocery bags, hanging from a nail, blowing in the breeze. I pull one down and begin selecting my purchases for the day. (I say “the day” because I definitely came back a few days later.)
I would like to say “Thank you” Produce Stand. Thank you for making it possible to feed my husband and my unborn child beautiful, local fruits and vegetables without taking out a small loan. Perhaps I felt your emptiness more keenly this winter, as I was craving fruits and vegetables all during these last 7 months of pregnancy. But as we have known so well and hopefully do cling to in these economic times, I recited to myself this too shall pass. And thankfully, so did Winter. Welcome Back and Happy Spring, Produce Stand.