Now that my wife and I have both settled into a somewhat mellowed but still as active as in wanna-be retirement mode, we love to do a lot of ‘casual browsing’ as well as strolling or driving through nature with no set schedules, as long as I can find a snack and a bathroom. These ‘spur-of-the-moment’ senior adventures (of which we all have our own nifty favourites) usually come after chores, morning medications and checking our emails or sticky notes, and then depending on our degree of difficulty or exertion, we may end up with a massage or a long nap to re-invigorate before supper.
One of our favourite early morning outings has been a visit to the friendly farmer’s and public markets throughout Central Alberta. It is here that one can find everything from really fresh fruit and veggies to delectable baked goods, toys, games, hobbies, clothes for all sizes and shapes, plants, unique items from master craftsmen and a whole lot of surprises and totally amazing knick-knacks that are available along the rows and rows of jam-packed display tables. These markets are also a great place to browse at your own speed and visit with old friends, and for those who skipped breakfast, one can also grab a quick coffee and a ‘cholesterol fix’ of perogies, bacon, sausages, eggs, and whatever else these congenial early morning chefs can throw together on the grill and stuff in a bun, of which they will even give us a tasty sample in advance.
It is really great to chat with the friendly vendors, who are always competitive but fair, as well as so proud of these products that they have grown in their fields and greenhouses or created in their own workshops or homes. If they can’t fulfill your request this week, they will be sure to try and get it for you next week, or will have the courtesy of letting you know who has what each valued customer wants. Our markets also have space available to encourage groups who are selling tickets or products for special community causes and projects. During the peak of the growing season, all of the keenest customers are looking for all the freshest products every week, and then at ‘canning time’ there is always a frenzy to grab the biggest bags of this and that, along with all that is required to get them into the jars and into the cupboard to be enjoyed on the coldest of winter days. By the way, it’s only once a year that we hubbies get to shell peas and peel garlic for brownie points.
Another unique and tantalizing summer treat for everyone are those wildly painted food trucks that can be found hanging out on the street corners, at the beach, around the ball diamond or at many community events. This can be the perfect excuse for the whole family to dare to toss out the regular menu, let loose, and partake of heaping plates of garlic parmesan or buffalo fries, all those ridiculous flavours of ice cream and drinks, mini-donuts, poutine, corn on the cob, giant corn or hot dogs, and so many other unique culinary adventures that come complete with a million side orders of whatever.
Just a little bit of fun that we can relate to
*I was addicted to the hokey pokey but I turned my self around.
*Between two evils, we will always pick the one that we’ve never tried.
*I’m still hot…..but it only comes in flashes now.
*Do you remember when the original ‘Play Station’ was in the backyard and included two old swings, a tetter totter, a slide that had to be painted every spring, and a big old tractor tire full of sand?
Stop in at the Ponoka Agriculture Fair Aug. 19 and 20 at the Legion, and have a great week, all of you.