I think we’ll have a bit of a cookout tomorrow.
Hey husband, stop if you see any fruit or vegetable stands on the way home. We’ll pick up some stuff on the way instead of getting it from the store.
We stop at the first place with a handmade cardboard sign. In black it says “1 dozen corn 4$”. He pulls over. No one is there. We had two-one dollar bills in husband’s wallet. And a pile of change in the console of the car. I counted out two more dollars in quarters. A table is set up with what looks like a fraction of the corn it started with. I smiled. Because on the table is a little black box, with a little lock. It’s not secured to anything. A big plastic bag full of small plastic bags hangs from a tree. I laid the money on the table and found 12 ears of corn, bagged them, then put the money in the box. When I dropped the quarters in, they landed softly. There was other money in there.
It felt so good to walk away. Someone left more than corn on that table. They left trust in others to do the right thing.
We didn’t go but another mile or so and there was a farm stand with fresh vegetables. Husband asks if I want to stop, I say yes, if they have watermelon. We could see the watermelon from the road. As we pulled in he said “I hope they take a card”.
He got out while I stayed in the car making a phone call. I could hear him talking over the noise of the car, the call and the traffic. He opened the door and said “they don’t take a card but told me to take the watermelon”. I had to talk to them. I grabbed my wallet because I knew I had quarters in there. I walked up to what I bet was a married couple. Their stand had all kinds of fresh vegetables. And two watermelons. A piece of tape on the side of the watermelon said “3$”.
As I walked up she was smiling at me and told me to take it. The man was saying “just pay us when you come back through”. I told them I didn’t know if I would be back this way in an hour or a month. They both kept talking over me, pleasantly, telling me to “take the watermelon”. I was digging in the pocket of my wallet pulling out quarters. I had two dollars. I gave it to them. They kept protesting. We were all joyfully trying to do something right and nice for the other. They looked at me and said okay, since they couldn’t give it to me they would sell it to me for two dollars and laughed. Then husband came up behind me with a dollar he counted out of the change I had left in the car console. He gave them the dollar over their protests.
I wish I had taken a picture of their farm stand.
I wish I had taken a picture of the cardboard sign selling the corn.
But I didn’t.
But I did head home. With my husband. Fresh foods.
The people and the America that I know.
America is beautiful and good and alive in the hearts of it’s people who believe in her.