ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 198: Farm Market Shadows
It’s mid-morning when I arrive at the farm market.
On this breezy Saturday, trees lining both sides of the market toss their pleasant shadows about. Near the market’s center sings a man with curly white hair playing a guitar. Two buddies play their instruments behind him.
A mama and daddy — she pushing their baby in a stroller, he carrying a bouquet of sunflowers — stop to listen to the trio. She puts a dollar in their basket. I hope the dollar doesn’t blow away.
I go up to the bread-and-egg tent. Wearing a long black apron over jeans and a red top, the bread-maker smiles as she hands her customers loaves of bread and cups of lemonade to which she’s added peach and strawberry juices. I buy a lemonade and immediately take a sip; it’s delicious.
On her left, her husband sells meat and eggs. Under a black cowboy hat, his white hair covers his neck. I’m partial to white hair and white mustaches and cowboy hats. He has all three.
“Good morning,” he says to me. “I’m out of eggs. My eggs went quickly this morning.”
His blue eyes don’t seem as sparkly as they used to. Also, his jeans sag — is he losing weight? He seems slower, more bent over. Does his wife notice these changes in him? Or are they both too busy feeding chickens and pigs and cows and collecting eggs and baking bread to notice?
Or, if they notice, are they too scared to talk of it?