We've been in Calgary for almost 6 years now, after living in Edmonton for most of my life (university and grad school being the exception). We've made ourselves a very nice life here, one we have no intention of leaving (are you listening, Grandma and Baba?). But sometimes it is just necessary to connect with loves from the old life in Edmonton. Sure, we go up there far more frequently than we would probably like, but we spend all our time driving between family that we never get to spend time with our old friends. So even though they had to stay in a hotel because of our renovations, some old friends came down for the weekend, just to hang out.
And hang out we did. The four kids ran around with hoses and jumped on the beds while my girlfriend and I nursed gin and tonics. Yes, we are that kind of a mom. We chatted non-stop and it felt like the days when we used to sit on the porch of our old place and watch the world go by. Except now the world was full of screaming toddlers instead of drunk university students. So really, not that different.
Yesterday we drove South to Millarville to the farmers' market. We've been going to the Calgary Farmers' Market so long that I really had forgotten what a true farmers market can be - actual farmers selling from a table in front of an open truck. It truly was a shock to my system after nearly 6 years at the Currie Barracks.
So much is being said about the Calgary Farmers' Market. Honestly, I'm staying out of the fray. We do enjoy going there on Sunday mornings, and do buy most of our groceries from there. I talk to the regular vendors that I shop from, catching up on their gossip and getting the latest from the fields. And I'll be honest, we spend a lot of time at the bouncy castle - my kids are the ones hogging it and being so damn cute that all other parents stop to watch (well, that's the way it seems to me). As I've gone from daughter to student to adult to mom and seen the evolution of my market goings the Calgary Farmers Market seemingly works just fine.
Then I went to Millarville yesterday and my comfort all got blown away. Seeing those trucks and the dirty hands counting out my change reminded me of all that is good about the market. The direct farm to consumer relationship, the open air, and even the crowds fighting for samples of something new and interesting. I've been treating our weekly market trips as a good family outing, but also like only a bit more than a trip to a really friendly supermarket.
I've decided that for the rest of the summer I'm going to visit more markets, more parking lots filled with trucks, tables, and farmers. I'm going to see what we can discover and what new people we can meet. And I'm taking you along.
It's summer, let's eat.