Posted on 14 Comments

This is their lumber store

From across the street

This morning I got my first taste of Farmers’ Market Season.  My regular markets haven’t opened yet, so I went to one that was new to me.


This is the third summer that I’ve frequented the local markets, and I remember that first season, when the boys liked to tag along.  Eamonn, in particular, liked to keep an eye out for the cheese guy and the pickle guy.  Aidan was generally happy if the kettle corn people were there.


Over the years, though, they have gotten less and less enthusiastic about wandering around a bunch of stalls looking at vegetables.  These days, the suggestion that they might need to accompany me to the farmers’ market elicits a groan, more often than not.


It’s starting to remind me of my own childhood.  I suspect most people can remember being repeatedly dragged to a parent’s favorite shopping destination.  My mother’s promised land was the lumber store, where she found the wood that she would skillfully transform into a loft, a new closet, or a family growth chart.   There was no destination I disliked more as a kid than the lumber store.

Swiss Chard

So it occurred to me, as I was driving to Summit this morning, blissfully alone, enjoying the breeze through the van window, that maybe the farmers’ market will be to my kids what the lumber store was to me.  Even today, the smell of sawdust transports me back to the aisles of Channel and Pergament.  Perhaps my own children will have a similar experience as adults, when they catch a whiff of garlic pickles or fresh baked artisan breads.  “Remember when Mom used to drag us to the farmers’ markets?” they’ll say.


Still, there’s hope.  Hope that my boys will appreciate the work of my hands from the raw materials the farmers’ market provides, much as I appreciated the many amazing things my mother could do with a hammer and a piece of plywood.  A child need not enjoy the process of buying a strawberry in order to fall in love with homemade strawberry jam.  It’s not where you drag your kids when they’re little – it’s what you do with the spoils of the trip that counts, don’t you think?


Sign up for occasional Polka Dot Cottage news and get a coupon for 10% off your next order!

Don't worry, we won't bother you more than once or twice a month!

Posted on 14 Comments

14 thoughts on “This is their lumber store

  1. Some of our farmer’s markets have opened, but here in Montana it’s mostly lettuce, baked goods, and crafts. The rest will come later. The kettle corn people will be there, though.

    See what Marty has been blogging about: The Story I Promised

    1. It was mostly lettuce here, too, with a smattering of greenhouse tomatoes, and some strawberries. It’s fun watching the market evolve as the growing seasons change.

  2. this totally melted my heart. Thanks for sharing it

    1. Aw, I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  3. exactly. what a great post!

    See what KarenLR has been blogging about: along the edges, at 70 mph

    1. Thanks, Karen!

  4. I’m with you on the lumber store. Home Depot! I still can’t enjoy a Home Depot, because whenever I got dragged along as a kid it was for a long time looking at things I didn’t care about, and inevitably, when the actual renovations began, I’d get drafted into service- so every trip to the hardware/lumber store signified more labor and lost playtime than just the shopping alone. Now that I’ve got a DIY mind myself it has an irresistable draw, but I still find myself thinking “Ugh” whenever I walk in.

    1. I didn’t get pressed into service that often, thankfully, but I know what you mean about Home Depot. I sometimes go in there for crafty supplies, and I just steer clear of the lumber. I don’t know if it’s psychological or what, but I’d swear I find it hard to breath among the sawdust!

  5. My lumber store was car junk yards. Actually I loved tagging along with my dad and looking at vintage car parts. The other regular tag along was the railroad tracks looking for discarded furniture that we could reupholster and sell. I still love the look of old cars and can barely pass by discarded furniture. Thank you for the memory.

    1. You know, that actually sounds pretty cool! There’s an old car dump that I’ve driven past on the highway for many years, and I always thought it would be neat to stop and check it out up close. Never have, though.

  6. I’ve never commented before, but just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog.

    Your pictures today are absolutely amazing – I could almost taste those strawberries!!!!

    1. I’m so glad you spoke up – it’s nice to “meet” you! And thank you so much for the complements. I’m really trying to work on my photography skills 🙂

  7. Great post! Ironically, my “lumber store” was a place called “The Fabric Place,” otherwise known as a store full of all kinds of fabric awesomeness. Although, my opinion was quite different back then! My mom would drag me there constantly, much to my dismay, boredom, and endless disappointment. Then, poof! as a grownup, I spent hours at the very same place, enjoying every minute, envisioning my own sewing project, chatting up the women who worked there. Sadly, the store has now closed down, and both my mom and I are sad for its passing. Funny how that works!

    See what Robyn has been blogging about: Zippered Pencil Cases

    1. It is funny how we become our mothers in some ways, isn’t it? And we mature into liking some of the very things that made us crazy as kids. Circle of life kind of stuff, I guess 🙂

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.