That Support Tastes Like a Dipped Cone.
One sticky afternoon while I was the nanny for a 4 year old living in Manhattan, we were tramping through Central Park looking for the Alice and Wonderland sculptures. Correction: I was lost in Central Park, dragging a whiny child while desperately searching for the fun I had planned for in our mid-summer adventure. She was tired. I was tired. She ended up on my back for what I'm fairly certain was 57 miles. I was sweating.
And then, a shimmering oasis. Just beyond a carefully trimmed hedge, alongside a row of worn benches, was the saving grace we'd awaited. Not the two pointed ears of a rabbit or the oversized mushrooms I had imagined, but indeed a sight that brought sweet, sweet refuge to a pair of pathetic salty wretches. The ice cream man.
After stuffing several---waay too many several, but I did say it was New York---dollars in that blessed man's hand, he gifted me and my little charge just the pick-me-up we needed. A vanilla cone for the little lady and a swirl for me, and I know you can imagine how easy they went down. Did it matter afterwards that we never did find our intended destination? No. After reminding ourselves we were more than a pair of dripping, hot-faced monkeys driven by the quiet rage of those who will have fun, we actually did have fun. All it took was stepping back a moment with the reminder that, "Hey, it's not so bad."
Plus, sometimes a little sugar goes a really long way.
Which is exactly how I felt after reading Martha Nziramasanga's blog post.
It was just the pick-me-up I needed after a few weeks of feeling like soon enough, the suntanned people of coastal Texas would rise up and say,
"Enough! That's enough! NO MORE OKRA! NO MORE BASIL! NO MORE SWEET POTATO GREENS! DEAR GOD, NO MOOORE!"
...and then we'd be through. See you in November.
But no. Even with the hungry gleam of looking for something non-okra-ish in their eye, the customers still stick around. So far, y'all are willing to wait it out and eat what we bring to you from what the seasons bring to us. No one's forgotten why we all believe in this whole thing. It's beautiful.
In Martha's case, she's flaunting her fandom through her camera lens and typing skills. Her killer photos and enthusiastic coverage of Galveston's Own Farmer's Market was the encouraging dose of sugar and support that I didn't even know I needed to hear.
This summer in Texas has taught us a lot, and one of those valuable lessons has been that it's very hard to farm, in summer, in Texas. We have so many loyal customers who show up to the farmer's market in the nasty heat ready to buy our limited produce, and I can't convey how grateful we are.
We know that everyone is ready to fade the summer goods and move on to broccoli and kale chips. We are too.
And so, as McFarmer and I have felt a little deflated by the length of summer and anxious about how long our good luck and okra will last, it's just the perfect thing to know that people still like us. Support is just like ice cream. When you're feeling punky, nothing beats a healthy bowlful.
Thanks, Martha. Thank you, family and friends. Thank you, fellow growers, makers and vendors. Thank you, market shoppers and restaurant chefs. You really deserve an ice cream.