Hoquiam Farmer’s Market News – Leap Day Edition

Okay, back to earth momentarily. Fran Brongil needs canning jars for a project! Fran is always coming up with outrageous new projects, and this one is under wraps until she unveils the final result. But this we know- it involves canning jars.
Fran is our vendor who makes the gorgeous jewelry in the booth just to the left of our front doors. If you have any jars to donate, just bring them in and put them in her booth.
I used to wonder if there would ever come a time in my life when I would be coy about my age, try to ignore birthdays, and wear age inappropriate clothing. Wait- I probably do push it on the age appropriate clothing part- but I could never get away with hiding my age. When you live in the same small town as lots of people you went to school with, it just isn’t possible. They’d fall over laughing if I tried to pull that sort of silliness! So instead, I’m the first one to crow over the fact that I have another birthday coming up this week. This isn’t a milestone birthday, so don’t rush to throw me a party, that can wait until next year. Better put it in your 2013 calendar though.
I love the old guys who still see me as a hot chick. Bless them! Every woman needs to have that sort of affirmation in her life. My second father( I know, it’s a long story, my weekly readers know the history) was the same age that my own dear father would have been. John always saw me as ‘the kid’ and treated me as if I’d been his very own daughter. We were sitting at breakfast one morning many years ago, when I was a youngster of just thirty five. John got up for more coffee and suddenly I yelped as he yanked a hair from my head. He held a revolting grey hair in his hand, a look of triumph on his face. Said it had been bothering him for days and he couldn’t bear the thought of me having a grey hair. It was a startling way to begin my day, but it makes me chuckle to recall. Naturally, that was the one and only grey hair ever discovered on my auburn tresses. Right?
There have been good years, not so good years, pretty awful years, and great years. It’s taken every single one of those years to mold me into the person I am, for better or for worse. I think that birthdays are a good time to think about the people who have given a helping hand along the way. As a teenager I had allergies and took twice weekly allergen shots. Donna Vanderwegan was the nurse with the needle, and she dispensed wisdom and kindness along with the medicine. Donna had a way of being interested in my life and gently offering advice that has stayed with me always. Probably the same advice that my mother gave, but no one listens to their own mother at that age. There was my high school English teacher, MaryAnn Mason, who referred to me as being a catalyst. I had to ask her what that meant. Uncle Alan had another way of saying the same thing- he called me ‘Storm Along’, my middle name being Gale. I still don’t get it, since my self image is of a shy wall flower. Go figure.
Most of all, on my birthday I think about my parents. I imagine their struggles, recall the occasional misery I caused them, and I remember the last days that we spent together back in 1974. I would give anything in this world to be celebrating my birthday with them again. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them, so I talk to them anyway. They listen.
Now I look in the mirror and see my mother’s eyes, my father’s smile. All those lessons that they were certain I didn’t hear come flooding back to me now, they have become the rulebook by which I live. My parents gave me life, and they gave me unending love. That is what I will be celebrating on my birthday.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, born March 2nd, 1953. Manager of the Hoquiam Farmers Market. A cinnamon roll will do quite nicely as a birthday cake!
1958 Riverside in Hoquiam, 538-9747, Deidra’s Deli 538-5880