By Doris Schroeder
When I was a girl, we moved sixteen times. It was even fun to move into a new neighborhood, start a new school and of course, get used to dozens of new teachers and students. As I became older, however, I made up my mind I wanted to go to the same high school all four of my years, and my parents backed me up. College was done a few spurts at a time. Now, as John and I do his “fun venture” every week at the Hutchinson Farmer’s Market, I have to reluctantly admit it is a stimulating adventure.
I will let you in on a little secret, you who are younger than us will find when you get older, like it or not, most of you will not have as much energy as you used to. It will become almost common place that when you sit down in your recliner, you will soon fall sound asleep, whether your household chores are done or not! You will find it is easy to let your mind drift around and really not remember everything you have patiently learned all your earlier life.
The thing is, you need to find something that will quicken your mind and try to get it going again. It is different things to different people. John spent his whole growing-up years on a farm on the outskirts of Buhler, and he loves raising a garden and trying different plants…sometimes spending endless hours in his garden. Although I worked in a garden also when we did live on a farm for about four and a half years, my joy was writing and art, talking to the cows when I herded them on the wheat and I spent my spare time doing that.
It is amazing, however, to see how John takes on giant amounts of vitality in the spring when he starts his garden. Then later, we both go to the Farmer’s Market. My contribution is baking and bringing the German zwie bach we were both raised with and the sand hill plum jam we both made. He brings his garden produce and I get to take the money. But of course, being of German descent, he counts it later and puts it away!
No matter what our interests are, it is so much fun to visit with the people who come. The Market is a melting pot of people from many parts of the world and since we are in Kansas, the ones around are more of the “down to earth” type, which is what we are. It is so much fun to talk about our dreams and ambitions or our goals (even at our age!)
We have met people from all over the world…Germany, Russia, China and Japan. It is amazing how we have found common interests with many of them. This last Saturday, we met a young woman who has just graduated from some college and is from another country. She met a nice young man at the market and tried to get John and me to “double-date” with them…imagine! However, we did know our energy limitations so we declined.
During the morning I met several old friends from the past and had so much fun remembering some of the older days when life was simple and uncomplicated.
One Saturday I had four writer friends from the past and life was simply wonderful. One time I got acquainted with the daughter-in-law of a relative I grew up with…she bought some zwie bach because that reminded her of her long ago grandmother-in-law. You know, sometimes the Market is “a little bit of heaven!”
Sometimes the weather is hot, sometimes cold and rainy but since it is in an open pavilion, it stays pleasant. There are fans blowing from the open ceilings on hot days, the floor is high enough on days it rains outside so we aren’t flooded, and there is certainly a feeling of friendliness. There is free coffee and cold water if you get thirsty.
Different old-time musical groups play their instruments or sing some of the old songs from 9-11 in the morning while the smell of kettle-corn fills the air. It absolutely permeates an old-time feeling of the joy of being alive.
This year marks the 30th year of the Hutchinson Market. I’m not sure if we’ve been a part of it 8-10 years but I can truthfully say I have learned a lot from it. Several years ago we had a vendor who specialized in raising and painting gourds, something I had never done. Anyways, I noticed the painted gourds at the Kansas State Fair so thought I would try it and bought some and painted them for the fair. I have been doing it ever since. I have them almost ready for this year’s fair and enjoy it so much. You can guess, however, what that does to my house cleaning!
Anyways, come down to the market and get the feel of it. You will be glad you did, I promise! Perhaps it will bring back a dream you had and you can bring it back to life! At any rate, it will put some spring back in your step. God planned a great thing for us to enjoy when he made the Farmer’s Market possible. Why not come and enjoy it, too!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]