I decided to set up shop at one of our many local Farm and Garden Swaps which are held in rural North Florida routinely. There is a large and growing Facebook group that supports and attends these events and it's a great way to find good deals on all thing farm and garden. Some people swap, others buy and sell, some even give things away but whatever your madness, it's fun and it's a good way to meet people devoted both to rural living and to America.
For those of you who are city folk this is by no means a sophisticated Farmer's Market where you never see the guys in coveralls who raise the crops. No, sir, this is down and basic Americana where hard working folks with dirt on their boots and rough calloused hands bring a variety of items, many of which are living. Today there were chickens and roosters, goats, even an alpaca who actually got loose for a bit and created a stir. I even brought some young roosters that I didn't need. I'll tell you, if that alpaca had made it into the surrounding palmetto and pine territory catching him would have been nearly impossible. There were also jellies and jams, fresh honey, mason jars, various weaved baskets and much more. And, of course, there was barbeque for sale as well as scrumptious pork sausages and other tasty delights. Hope nobody had to have their cholesterol evaluated today.
As I talked to folks about my book and showed a series of pictures which showed my subjects, I thought to myself how peaceful and practical this environment, the complete opposite of what we hear about constantly regarding politics and the conflict, dishonesty and poor relationships that make up our government officials, both elected and appointed in Washington, D.C. You know, it wouldn't be a bad idea if some of those arrogant power mad types changed places with the people I spent the day with today. I'll bet they could certainly balance a budget and figure out a way to get along. After all, country folks have to produce a product, rain or shine, and depend at times on neighborliness to weather bad times when they come. Wouldn't that be something to watch the politicos in their silk ties and Armani suits try to figure out how to market chickens, plow a field efficiently and make sure that the tractor keeps running no matter what the weather at the time.
Alas, I came out of my temporary dreamlike state and returned to reality. And as I said my goodbyes and got in the car to return to my small farm, I turned on the radio and there it was: more discussion of how totally nonsensical our political leaders are as they circle the wagons and accomplish nothing worthwhile for we the citizens. Oh, well, it makes me certainly glad that I'm not one of them. I'll take the beauty and fresh air of my life over the fumes, traffic jams and wall to wall people that is Washington any day.
As that great old country song says: "Thank God I'm a country boy." Amen.
If you like animal and nature stories you might like Honey, We Shoulda' Bought the Ark, now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. ANIMALS: A Wonderful Gift from God.