This summer John and I with the help of our son, Matt, are operating two organic peach and veggie stands in south Austin. I’m as surprised as you are.
Almost 20 years ago, John and I, and for a period of time with the help of our son, Matt, managed a little motel and restaurant near Big Bend/Terlinqua, Texas. I was shocked to find myself there as well. There is a common theme and thread in both these experiences…hard physical work, with periods of rest and dormancy. Not to mention the heat.
Since June 1, I have been sitting five days a week under a canopy tent, beneath a shade tree, in a comfy chair with a cooler of water, reading a compelling novel in between serving customers who want fresh food. I place the peaches, tomatoes, squash, onions and okra into a brown paper bag and hand them to my neighbors …folks who live in far south Austin. Some of them hang around long enough to tell me stories.
I don’t need a college education to do this; no certificate, credentials, or years of experience. I just need a hat and an apron with large pockets. The hardest part is adding up small amounts in my head and making correct change. We will not get rich this summer.
Here’s the part that fascinates me: I love it. It reminds me of those glorious days in Terlingua when I cleaned motel rooms, waited tables, provided hospitality to folks who had driven a long, long way to get to us. We were out of the mainstream, out of the rat race. Time slowed way, way down.
If you have not yet tried it, stepping off the ladder and stepping out of the whirlwind, I highly recommend it. If you'd like a taste, come set with me a spell.