This week’s guest post was written by Emily, a friend I’ve gotten to know through a reading group. Raised Episcopalian, Emily now attends the same Baptist church I do, and since I love the Book of Common Prayer, I consider us kindred spirits.
My father made great zucchini bread.
For his zucchini bread, though, just regular old zucchini wouldn’t do. While most shoppers want small, manageable zucchini, my father wanted a huge one. He even made a special request to the owner of our local orchard/farmers market, and his order was happily filled.
My mother and father raised a large garden for most of my growing-up years. There was the practical side, of course—feeding a family of six—but I think that garden brought a sense of accomplishment. It was hot, tedious work, but the rewards were rich.
In my father’s later years, he moved to a small apartment. Even then, he raised a few tomato plants and herbs. While visiting the orchard kept him in touch with garden fresh produce, I think he just enjoyed the trip.
For those of you who have shopped a local grocery store on senior citizens’ discount day, you’ll know what I mean about “the trip.” I know senior shoppers appreciate the 10% discount, but have you noticed all the socializing? I have had to make a detour around some who block the aisle with their chatting. Since I’m usually in a hurry, I can say it used to annoy me a little, but as I creep closer to that senior citizen category, I’ve developed more patience.
In my retirement, I work at the aforementioned orchard. Every day I have the pleasure of seeing people of all ages. I must say, the older shoppers catch my eye.
They take their time.
They are selective in their choices.
They know just how much amounts to a “mess of” beans and how many they need to “put up.” They share their recipes and their memories.
They may say their mission is to buy a giant zucchini, but I know better. It’s also about the trip.