Okay, so it’s raining. Again. But- the June Gloom is soon going to pass and the sun is going to emerge in full glory! I Promise! So, because I know this is just around the corner, I ordered up a massive amount of plants for your garden. All of your favorites, plus ones that you really need to try. The lettuce and Swiss chard starts will fir in beautifully among all the bright flowers, and hanging baskets will cheer up the porch instantly.
Red Charm Peonies continue to arrive from Elma, bringing their luxuriant and grandiose beauty to brighten up a rainy day or to help celebrate a graduate in your family. I love their adundance- the stem is so heavy with petals that it finally must droop, which looks even more inviting.
I’ve saved my best for last. Every so often we at the market become privy to hush hush insider information. Things that are spoken of only in hopeful whispers, carefully guarded secrets. I’m talking about Spooner’s Strawberries. Yes, I know! I heard your gasp of joy. The head Mrs. Strawberry herself, Sue Spooner, has informed us that we should have strawberries by Father’s Day! Big, juicy, succulent, bursting with flavor, fully ripe- REAL strawberries!
You can walk right past those supermarket displays of their Mexico and California imported berries that were picked green and then sprayed to resemble a ripe strawberry. Don’t even bother with those, wait for the real deal. This is akin to being patient, knowing with certainty that True Love is about to come into your life. The best things are always worth the wait!
And- we sell Spooner’s Strawberries for the same price at the Farmer’s Market as at the Spooner’s stand, a bonus for us west-enders who don’t want to travel to the big city.
Learn to shrug off the little things. Like fake strawberries. Don’t waste your time, money, or energy on things that don’t last or don’t leave you with a lingering precious memory.
I carry a card in my wallet with these three simple words; It Doesn’t Matter.
It’s bent and creased with age, but it remains a powerful tool in my weaponry against stress. Think about it a bit- what really does matter? Not the little annoyances and petty frustrations of life. Not what someone else may think about you, not whether the bridge going up caused you to be ten minutes late, not even that your hands slipped and a watermelon exploded on the floor. It Doesn’t Matter.
In the Great Scheme of Things, It Doesn’t Matter almost always wins out.
The worst argument that Joe and I ever had was about ferns. I know, I know. Didn’t have the card out of my wallet that day. Of all the silly things to disagree about- identification of a Deer Fern! It makes me feel ashamed and stupid just thinking about it. Now, I understand that there are superhuman people out there who are able to take a deep, calming breath each time that they start feeling a trifle bit testy, but most of us aren’t that restrained. In the heat of the moment our self righteous indignation arises and words come flowing out.
My parents were both extremely strong willed people with excellent vocabularies and a determination to stand up for what they believed in. In other words, a recipe for trouble. Luckily, they were deeply in love, respected each other, and regretted any harsh words spoken within moments of having uttered them. So they came up with a solution, and I can attest to the fact that it worked like a charm. My father planted a Tether Ball pole directly beyond the back door of the house. Never was a Tether Ball so abused! My mother was the more quick tempered one, but the agreement was that if one person was upset, both went to the TB pole. Politics, religion, child rearing, leaving the toilet seat up, staying too late at a party, reading at the table- eyes locked on each other they strode out and slapped that tether ball around until their frustrations turned into fits of laughter. I recall waking up in the night many times to the sound of the chain clanking on the pole and the thud of a fist sending a ball at magnum force whipping toward the target. It didn’t matter what the weather was, they’d both be too heated to bother with putting on a coat. There were times when the grass turned into a muddy pit and sooner or later someone was going to slip and fall. Sopping wet, covered with mud, panting-It Didn’t Matter. What mattered was reaching the point when they realized that It Doesn’t Matter.
I think that Tether Ball sets should be standard issue equipment. Congress should have a huge Tether Ball court. An impartial observer could have the authority to flip a switch, and start playing the theme from Rocky. Combatants would be instructed to go bang the ball around for a while. Perhaps sanity might ensue!
There are big issues that do matter. Save your strength for those, don’t waste it on minor irritating trifles. When the things that really matter need to be protected, you will know. Meanwhile, get yourself a Tether Ball Pole. Or chop a cord of wood. Figure out a way to release and tame the poison of frustration and anger.
Oops! The cat just threw up another hairball on the white carpet! Deep breath now- It Doesn’t Matter!
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market in Hoquiam. Considering a tatoo- It Doesn’t Matter! 538-9747
Open Tuesday thru Sunday at 1958 Riverside in Hoquiam
Deidra’s Deli is open 7 days a week! 538-5880