The weeks speed by. We look forward to whatever routines we can hang on to. Saturday mornings used to be breakfast at one of two local diners followed by the Farmer’s Market. It didn’t matter what time we arrived at the market as long as you weren’t too late in the morning, you could still get what you wanted and there was no restriction on how many people could gather to shop, listen to music, buy prepared food and just sit and eat with others on the lawn or one of the benches. Then along came COVID and for a time, even the market had to shut down. When it reopened, it was with safety measures in place, such as a modular fencing that had been used only for special events held once a month in the summer where alcohol could be purchased with food and music provided. The fence now controls the entry into the market, manned by volunteers that keep count of how many have entered and how many have exited. Then orange dots were painted at 6 foot intervals on the sidewalk outside the fence to help remind people to social distance while waiting. At the request of some of us seniors, the first hour was designated for pre orders and the over 55 crowd, but that seemed to put a lot of responsibility on the young volunteers to “police” the line and was ignored by some people.
This week, there were two lines 6 feet apart, one for the pre orders and over 55 crowd and one of others. Being there just a few minutes before they opened, so queued outside the fence until opening time, the Market manager walked the line and asked if you didn’t appear to fit the age requirement if you had pre orders and several folks were moved to the other line. It felt safe. I was in the first group of 25 to enter, was able to quickly pick up our weekly goods and return to the car. Being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, several vendors were not there, and the students for the most part have left the area as theyare on campus semester ended last Saturday and they will have a week vacation, a week of online class, and virtual exams, followed by winter break, so they are out of the town until at least mid to late January unless school continues virtually for the spring semester. As people realize the early hour is for the older folks, I expect that our market experience will be less stressful for me now.
After the market, we now do drive through breakfast in the car, sit in the parking lot and eat, not what we used to do, but still somewhat carrying out a routine.
Yesterday, I placed my curbside order at Eats Natural Food store. The form you use suggests ordering by scoops, cups, or a similar measure as ordering by weight is difficult to envision. Four cups of oatmeal weighs much less than 4 cups of beans or rice for example. I needed oatmeal, so I asked for 4 cups (a quart) and was amused when I opened my bags at home to find this instead of a plastic bag.
A “quart” of dry oatmeal. At least the container can be returned, sanitized and used again, much preferred to a plastic bag.
This suddenly seems silly and irrelevant as I just found out my youngest first cousin who fell ill 2 weeks ago, passed away last night, leaving a husband, two sons, their wives and a young grandson. This is on top of having lost a young niece earlier this month that left a husband and 4 year old son. May their families find peace.