If you’ve been to my blog before, you’ve probably read about my CSA boxes of vegetables. Well, today I’m going to tell you about my long trip to attain this much sought after box of vegetables.
The pick-up for my veggies is on Thursday, between 4:15 and 5:15. Yes, you read correctly. I have exactly one hour to pick my vegetables up. Usually I can make this happen because my jobs are so flexible. But sometimes, I don’t want to turn down a good day’s work just so I can pick them up. Such was the case in this instance. I had to work all day on Thursday, morning and night.
In the past, I had a friend who was in the same CSA group, so I could just have her pick up mine as well with very little inconvenience to her. However, now I am doing a winter CSA with a different farm as the other one ended, and she chose not to participate. So, it’s all me. When considering my options for what to do, I thought about asking a friend to go get them for me. I have a couple who live not too far from the pick-up location. However, the time window is so small…with my summer CSA, I had 3 hours. I hate to make anyone who is just getting off of work drive extra during rush hour, possibly having to hurry in order to get there before the pick-up ends. Besides, the two friends who live closest and I feel comfortable asking are the two friends that I somehow always end up asking favors of. Although I’m sure they would not want me to feel this way, I feel like I am favored out. And so, I opted to contact the farm and ask if I could do some sort of alternate pick-up arrnangement rather than chance inconveniencing a friend.
The lady from the farm said they had a pick-up today (which was Tuesday) in ________, TN or I could just come to the farm and pick it up there. After I told her where I lived, she said the farm was probably closer and so she commenced with directions.
I knew it wasn’t close, but when I got off the phone and did my yahoo map search (mapquest is consistently incorrect), I discovered that this was going to take me [approximately] 1 hr. and 21 minutes. Hmmm. Not really what I wanted to do with my day off – spend 3 hours (round trip) picking up vegetables, you know. However, I had already arranged it, and they were doing me a favor by offering the option and I hated to call back and change what I had just set up. I resigned myself to it, and upon realizing I was going to be driving on the Natchez Trace (official scenic drive, no trucks allowed, mostly 40 mph speed limit) for 30 miles, I decided I would just enjoy it like I was purposefully taking a scenic drive.
I drove and drove through the hillside, and finally was somewhere around one mile from the farm, according to what I understood of the directions, anyway, when I received a phone call. From the farm lady. There was a problem with my box. It got sent with her husband to __________, TN by mistake. Oops!
At this point, I not only have to go further than the farm would have initially been anyway, but I have gone about 30 miles out of the way. I wasn’t mad…I mean, I caused the confusion by changing the routine up in the first place. That’s what I get for being difficult. And attempting to be self-sufficient.
And so, the directions commence again. Farm lady’s directions the first time were sketchy. For example: “Go to _________, TN and take Hwy ______.” ____________, TN was a town to which I have never been. And also, “Take every possible right after that turn until you see a big red barn.” Does this include driveways? I was confused already and I hadn’t even started driving. Hence, the reason I went to yahoo maps. Only now I am [approximately] 1 hour and 21 minutes from my house. No yahoo maps here.
I listen to farm lady’s new directions. Follow this road until you turn right on nameless highway. When you get into ___________, TN, turn right on the “main road”. When you get to the street “where you would turn left if you were going to the square,” [Oh, the square in said town where I have never been!] turn right instead. Then, of course, there is the obligatory church where you turn. This is understood in the South. All directions must include turning somewhere at some church. I’m pretty sure it’s a rule. It might even be in the Bible.
I have been pretty hard on farm lady. I say this because, amazingly, I had absolutely no trouble whatsoever finding the pick-up location in __________, TN. Thanks, farm lady. I’m sorry I doubted you.
I also should tell you that by this point, I have been driving for about 2 hours and I have REALLY got to pee. So, I’m thinking I’m going to run up the the vehicle, get my veggies and then go to the nearest store that looks like it might have a bathroom. I turn in to the parking lot, and see my farm guy. And then I see the news camera. And the reporter. They’re in the middle of an interview with him. I pull in and watch the interview taking place in my rearview mirror. Besides the fact that it seemed rude to run up in the middle of their interview with the camera rolling, I spent the first part of my day staining the unfinished wood trim in my bathroom. And I looked like I spent the first part of my day staining the unfinished wood trim in my bathroom. And I possibly looked like I had spent every day of my life staining the unfinished wood trim in my bathroom. It wasn’t pretty. There was no way I was going to risk appearing on any newscast anywhere.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
Oh, all right, it was only 10 minutes. But have you ever had to watch a farmer get interviewed when you had to pee super-bad and you just thought you were going to get to pee within the next 5 minutes?
I didn’t think so. Moving on…
That’s really about the end of the saga. Without further incident, I picked up my vegetables, went to a gas station which turned out to have working restrooms although both restroom doors had “Out of Order” signs on them, and “bought” my restroom visit with a bag of chips. (Am I the only person who feels it necessary to do this? I can’t just go in to use the restroom; I feel like I am taking advantage. So, I ‘buy’ my bathroom trips by purchasing something cheap that I really do not want.)
Picking up my vegetables turned out to be a four hour venture. I don’t think that I would have said to myself, “Self, I think it’s the best idea in the world for you to spend four hours of your day picking up your vegetables.” But then you would not have gotten to read my lovely story. And I wouldn’t have gotten to take a nice drive in the country. And I wouldn’t have learned to trust farm lady. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t have gotten my vegetables.
That said, to the friends of whom I spoke when I said I felt like I was favored out, expect a phone call next time I cannot make it to pick up my vegetables, favored out or not. Hey, you can always say no, right?