Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mosquito Vendor

We dropped off the oldest two at my parents' for their aunt to drive them to camp for fun and learning and such, and then the two of us went out for ice cream.

Mads and I found bistro seats outside the shop in the shade of a city beautification project tree, the ones that were planted in the middle of the sidewalk when I was in high school. She nibbled oreo cream and I, java chip. We watched as boys her brothers age biked and skateboarded past, with ice cream in hand. A man I recognized entered through the old screen door, and he looked like he may have walked up from the Marina, wearing swim trunks and muscle shirt and sun glasses.

The sun was warm.

It was a Sunday afternoon and the town went about it's lazy day.

An elderly gentleman approached us, shuffling, with a paper grocery sack in hand.

"Look here, " he said as he pulled something out with shaking hands. "Have you seen the Minnesota state bird? I make these and sell them around town for a dollar."

"One dollar?" Said I. "That's a really good price. And they commemorate the year of the mosquito plague!" I joked, thinking of this year. Man, they've been bad.

We bought two. One for daddy, to humor him who fogs and sprays and fumes to rid the yard of them, and one for Mads. The gentleman showed us other projects he had made and we admired them politely. The mosquitos were his best work. We chatted for a while about my own grandpa, who also makes wonderful wood creations in the workshop of his high rise retirement complex.  Then he hobbled off in pursuit of other customers.

Mads and I savored our treats. And under the warmth of that day's sun, I basked in small town friendliness where gray haired vendors can walk the streets, enter shops and find a welcoming smile. And maybe even a dollar or two.

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