Many Saturdays I have the job of keeping the six and three year old from causing irreprable harm to themselves or others. So far I have succeeded. I usually try to find other children of similar ages and pen them up together with plastic bags and other appropriate toys. This morning the near by friends were otherwise engaged and I couldn’t find any broken glass. I was forced to improvise. I decided we’d have a forced march.
I wanted to go to the winter Farmer’s Market to get some root vegetables and eggs and I wanted to tire the children out so that they would be good and cranky later. I tried to sell the march as a “walk” or “stroll,” but these distinctions were lost on the two yoots (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpNgONH2ncI&feature=related). They opted to use a scooter and a pedalless bike and thus turned it into a forced “pop runs behind us hollering” to town.
The farmers’ market itself was lovely. There was an two-piece ol’ timey band with a gentleman playing claw-hammer banjo and an excellent flat-picking guitar player.
The variety of produce is really quite astonishing for this time of year. Lots of just picked greens and a fair quantity of well-stored vegetables: beets, onions, carrots, potatoes, turnips and more. I also saw beef, chicken and lamb. I stuck to some root vegetables and eggs, but I was sorely tempted by some delicious cheese and apples. The yoots got some muffins and when I wasn’t looking stole armloads of pretzels from a gentleman trying to sell salsa and dips. I castigated them severley and ate the pretzels.
For our return trip we took the now not so new, but still rather exciting bike path home.
I was recently made aware of the folks trying to establish a green way along the Mill River. I had spent part of this morning looking at awesome pictures on their website. Inexplicably, they have chosen the name Mill River Greenway (http://millrivergreenway.org/). One of the great resources on their website is a bunch of historic maps of our lovely town. Several of these show the course of the Mill River when it went along what is now the bike path just north of south st (which runs west to Easthampton). I figured that we could have an especially unpleasant walk home if I tried to point out historical features and the like.
What I didn’t think about is the fact that there are no cross streets (well one) so the children needn’t slow down to wait for me and my root vegetables.
We saw some wonderful old growth Japanese Knotweed infestations, but sadly no skunk cabbage.
I also was pleased to note that although we (humans) have tried to push the river out of the way, the river still asserts its dominance, by leaving much of the old river bed wet and unusable by us (humans).
It was somewhat depressing to see all of the trash that has accumulated on the path. Luckily the children didn’t seem to notice. That is until the youngest picked up something and handed it to me: “Pop this is for you.” A “mint flavored” condom; thankfully unused. Lovely.
An odd thing about this route: the number of explosive or toxic things: