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The Farmers Market and Lessons on Life from the Egg Man

Updated on November 25, 2015
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

My favorite vendor....the long-bearded egg man

I know I love the idea of fresh produce and flowers and eggs. What I didnt know is how much I would love just drinking in the atmosphere of it all

Saying goodbye for another season to my little town's farmers market. All summer long, every Thursday, I wandered up the road to visit the vendors, chat with neighbors, make new friends, buy ruby red tomatoes and watermelons and just enjoy the blue skies and warm temps of an Ohio summer.

I'll miss the fresh produce and fresh, farm eggs and bakery goods and specialty soaps and all the great things available every Thursday all in one spot. I like mixing and mingling with people in a not-crowded atmosphere where grocery carts arent banging into my feet and legs and harried Mom's arent chasing their 4 year old and irritated Dad's arent scowling up and down the aisles.

I just wished the egg man, an old guy missing some teeth, with gnarled and brown-spotted hands, and a long, white beard, a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a hope that I would see him again next summer. He and I had a relationship. I doubt my husband would be jealous, but still, the egg man was someone I looked forward to seeing every week. He told me stories of what his life was like growing up on a farm and how hard it was for his parents to make ends meet. As a city gal who grew up believing that eggs and milk came from our local grocery store (chickens and cows had nothing to do with it), the folklore of farm life fascinated me and I loved his little anecdotes about life on the farm.

I never asked him his age, but if I had to guess, I would say he was in his 80s..but still strong as an ox and sharp as a tack. A tribute, I guess, to a life filled with hard work and a positive outlook. And he is nobody's fool. Another gift, I would say, leftover from a life of hard knocks and learning about people.

When I told him that I hoped I would see him again next year, he winked and smiled and said that God willing, he'd be back next year, but that at his age there were no promises. For the life of me, I cant understand why his words bothered me because I hardly know him and he was right...he IS old and for sure, there are no promises.

People pass thru our lives for a reason. Some stay. Some go. But they all impact us in one way or another.

And he is so right. No matter what age, we get no promises. I thought about that long and hard as I walked back to my car on this brisk and beautiful fall day and I sent up a silent "thank you" for this day, that old man (and his eggs!) and all that we have in this country.

Some days and some people and some things just have a way of reminding us.


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