Today was one of those days--rare but becoming more common as the slower pace of summer allows--when I do feel connected to this place where I've lived for not quite a year.
My neighbor/friend B and I headed to the town just North of here to investigate their farmer's market, and to drink some tasty java and nosh delicious scones at S--my favorite local coffee shop. To back up, yesterday I rode my bike all the way to the S--(about 5.5 miles one way) only to discover that it was closed! Egads! My visions of scones and hot coffee after a long hot/cold ride (hot sun, cold lake breeze). But, M was there and we had a nice chat before I biked back. Well, today the owner of the S--wanted to make it up to me so he gave me some beans for home.
Then, we went to the farmer's market in our town, which was Krazy (tangent...I really dislike cutesy spellings like that) because of a big sidewalk sale fiesta. I talked to some of my favorite vendors and artists, ran into a few colleagues, and had an overall great time selecting my goodies for the week to come: spinach, lettuces, cherries (from my Michigan!), mozzarella balls. Add this to the broccoli I purchased at the strawberry farm yesterday and the peas from M's booth at the other market and I'm set for a week of good eating.
I then "helped" a new colleague move--more like visiting with said new colleague and spouse plus my colleague/friends because the truck was already unpacked!
After a delicious farmer's market lunch of roasted organic yukon gold's (from the Holland, MI market last week) with rosemary (chez dharmagirl); mixed lettuces with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper; omelet with spinach, garlic, peppers (supermarket, I confess), chives and parsley (from B's portion of our shared garden space) AND mozzarella...I headed back downtown to investigate the sale.
The library book sale was winding down, so a bag of books cost $1 and a box $3. I bought a few faves to add to a raffle basket I'm putting together for a campus fundraiser, and then a stack of harlequins, some relatively recent and some from the early 90s. The latter are fascinating for their covers, which feature women in big shoulder-pad suit jackets. Hmmm.
I stopped by my favorite cafe for a big coffee and chatted with the owner, stopped by the Natural Foods store for some yummy greek yogurt, and then found some treasures at an Artique shop--full of vintage goodies and artistic creations. I bought a few gifts for my friend S's bday, and an adorable lamp for myself. I chatted with the owner, and then made my way home to deal with all these strawberries...
So, as much as I may rail against this town and this place where I now live, I am starting to make connections and starting, ever so slowly, to feel at home. The summer weather and the Lake, my Lake, my clearest connection to Michigan, helps ever-so-much.
And now, before I dig into one of those retro-romances, I'm off to eat chocolate strawberry shortcake, the perfect ending to a lovely day.