I had such a lovely weekend. Except for the fact that it was ridiculously frigid (because DAMNIT! I’m not supposed to wear a long, wool coat in April!) it was very beautiful. Blue skies, fragrant flowers, old ladies in crazy hats. You know, pretty standard for this time of year.
Saturday was the first weekend of the year that the fabulous farmers market was open. They run it from April through December every Saturday morning in downtown. There is definitely standard farmer’s market fare, like fresh produce and veggies and herbs and plants and such. Most of the stuff is grown by small, local farmers, so I buy a lot of produce from them when I can. It’s the best place to get okra in the city, I swear. However, it is also something of an arts fair as well, with booths set up selling everything from jewelery to paintings to purses to hand-blown glass vases (which are amazing! Why am I not rich?).
There were two lovely surprises. First of all, a really wonderful bluegrass band was playing and I was having a very difficult time not dancing around. Sometimes I lament the fact that I am no longer 5 and therefore could not do something like that without inviting snickers. Oh well. The band was (unfortunately) named YeeHaw Junction (oh, for the love of god, really?) but I can totally forgive them because they were So Good. Also, there was a delightful Russian man there who had a booth set up selling Orthodox Icons, and I bought one because it made me think of Pete.
(OK, we need to go off on a side note here. Pete is Eastern Orthodox. He’s hardcore. For those of y’all, like me, who grew up in a place where there was no such thing as Eastern Orthodox, let me try and give you a brief synopsis. Take a Catholic, then make him even more traditional, even more liturgical, and about 1000 years older. Now make sure he crosses himself about 9,000 times during a service and stands throughout the whole thing, which lasts about 3 hours. There is also a lot of very lovely chanting and singing. It’s very odd, especially if you are a heathen like me, but it is incredibly beautiful.
And yes, I do recognize that it is odd that I, and extrordinarily liberal, non-religious girl, would be dating an Orthodox Christian. I know I know I know. And I’m not going to get into all that here, because I could seriously fill up an entire blog with how ridiculous and comical this whole thing is. But it works for us. Despite the fact that it is completely crazy.
ANYWAY! Stop distracting me! They have these things called Icons, which are paintings of saints that they hang up in the churches and in their homes and they are similar to the patron saints of the Catholics.)
So now I have an icon of Saints Constantine and Elena in my house, and I love it. And when I told Pete that I bought it, he totally freaked me out by telling me that the very first icon he ever bought for himself was one of Constantine and Elena. Creepy, right? I know. I also bought some pickled okra to send to Pete, because he loves it and it is impossible to buy in Massachusetts, or so he tells me. And maybe because I was also really amused at the thought that I would be walking around with a jar of pickled okra in one hand and an Orthodox icon in the other. Hee!
On Sunday I went to Church (Mom: I’ll give you a moment to stop yourself from choking here). Well, I went to kinda church. It was the Unitarian Church, which is about as far away from Church as you can get while still sitting under a stained glass window covered in Apostles. I enjoyed it very much and everyone was incredibly nice and welcoming. And y’all, I can’t even tell you how happy I was to hear a preacher (pastor, priest? what are they called in the Unitarian Church?) use the terms liberal and progressive on multiple occasions from the altar! And I was also really happy to hear him caution people against blind faith.
But I’m going to stop right here because I don’t want to get involved in a religious discussion on my blog. For those of y’all who celebrate it: Happy Easter! I can at least say, that despite my misgivings when it comes to religion, I can certainly register my supreme respect and liking of Jesus, who was both liberal and progressive. And here are some pictures from the Farmer’s Market: