Thursday, July 22, 2010

Forces of Nature Affecting the Grateful Dumpling

We were cruising along at the big city market the other day when almost out of nowhere hurricane force winds came along and literally destroyed the market. I couldn't believe it, I saw entire tents hurtling across the green. It felt like a scene out of Mary Poppins.

It was a pretty nice day at first. We got to break in our killer new propane stove, which runs off of a 5 gallon tank, which pleases us to no end. The day had some heat, but lots of cloud cover which really cooled things off. We were doing a decent business, as well, and things really started to pick up at the usual hour, which is from 5 to 6, the dinner crowd. We were scrambling to fill orders of dumplings (why don't we ever learn?) when some of the vendors, R included, indicated that there were dark and angry clouds on the horizon. Thus far we had been spared bad weather, so I figured that like the rest of the day, the storm would just skirt our location.

Boy was I wrong.

The moment the wind started picking up, I knew we were in trouble, because by that time, it was too late. Mother nature had warned us, and we didn't listen. Within minutes the wind was so strong that everyone stopped what they were doing and grabbed their tents. We had dumpling cooking in hot oil, but figured they could sit for a few moments while we rescued our tent, which probably wasn't the smartest thing considering hot oil, flames, and propane are not things to be trifled with.

I went next door and helped the Honey Lady with her tent, but for whatever reason the wind still managed to bend the frame into a knot, it was pretty incredible. Many of the customers and the people passing by lent a hand, and it was encouraging to see the level of compassion everyone was showing. Like one big happy family.

Needless to say, the market ended at that point, even though we still had dumplings, which we ended up selling at fire sale prices to a fellow vendor. We packed up and R&A went off to have private girl time while N pleaded his case to play racquetball. I couldn't believe it. I was exhausted from the market, in addition to enduring nature's wrath, and here's our son wanting to play racquetball. Could he have chosen a worse time?

The problem is, being the youngest in the family, he doesn't get taken seriously as often as he should, and he often complains that his requests and ideas seem to get ignored while everyone else gets what they want. In his defense, he doesn't ask for much, and he had been wanting to play racquetball for days. So what could I do?

I had actually packed the racquetball stuff thinking the kids could hit the ball back and forth on the green, so we were ready to go. We went over to the courts, which were closing in about 20 minutes, and played. It was actually fun, and N is very good, as he is at many sports. Best of all, he got his fix, felt like he was finally being taken seriously, and we spent quality dad and son time together. How can you beat that?

For the record, racquetball is a good sport to play with the kids because they can hit the ball more easily than tennis and don't have to deal with the hassles of getting the ball over the net. Just hit the thing as hard as you can.

Also, on a bright note, while we were playing it started pouring rain, which meant that even though the wind blew us to Maine and back, at least we didn't get rained on.

We finished with our game, headed over to the bookstore, where R&A were hanging, and spent some time in one of our favorite environments: surrounded by books.

A nice end to a turbulent day.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Alexander Rist for the pic.

market cooking along, disaster struck
destroyed the market, tents flying through the air
broke in our new stove
gaining new customers

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