Go to Yelp and set your location search to Boston, Massachusetts. Type in Haymarket and you should find the link to the produce market. There you might read reviews from people who complain that much of the fruit being sold is from lots that other grocery stores bought too much of. There are also complaints the fruit, veggies and fish that are sold fresh are being exposed to the elements.
The people writing these reviews have likely never had to make twenty dollars stretch two weeks, but I’m only guessing. So maybe you should just read my blog post and make your own decisions? Yeah. Let’s do that.
Once, maybe twice a month, I’ll take the commuter rail down to Boston to visit Haymarket. The reason is simple. The savvy shopper can get over fifty dollars worth of produce for less than twenty dollars. The people are hardworking, decent and easy to talk to and they may seem eager to sell their stuff, but you have to remember that these vendors are competing with a hundred or so other people just to get the spaces to sell their wares. This money goes straight into their hands and it’s ten times cheaper than buying at the normal seasonal farmer’s market in my area. (It’s still buying local and yes I do buy from the farmer’s market for the exact same reasons)
Today was a special day. World War B continues because my neighbors downstairs can’t be bothered to be at the house when the exterminator was scheduled to be here. But my room got sprayed so I should be set for a while longer, although it may have to get sprayed again because the downstairs units still haven’t been sprayed yet and those bastards are wily.
No, World War B, the continuing saga is not why today was special. Today was special because four long months of eating healthier and taking advantage of the necessary physical activity by turning ordinary tasks (IE: Walking to work, heavy lifting in the course of my duties) into routine exercises I finally purchased a new battery for the bathroom scale. I lost more than I expected.
The official number is now 217 pounds. This is a significant change from where I was when the battery died out and I’m glad to know it wasn’t just a fluke of technology. Going to Boston was as much a reward to myself as it was a trip to get the much needed veggies and farm fresh cheese that have all contributed to my progress.
After purchasing all of the veggies and fruit I would need, I took a short walk around Fenuil Hall. There, while taking in the crowds of people a small boy of about two to three years, chased a smaller bird into the empty outdoor seating area of one of the restaurants. I got a feeling in my head and I didn’t move one step from where I was standing. But I looked over to where I had seen this boy a few seconds earlier with his father and sure enough, his father hadn’t noticed the boy had left his side. When he did notice it, he was visibly upset, calling the boy’s name. It took me three tries to get the man’s attention and when he looked towards me, I said, “He’s right over there,” and pointed at the seating area where the boy was still chasing the birdy.
The man thanked me and I still didn’t move until the boy acknowledged his father calling him over.
Don’t judge the guy, please. It could have happened to anyone anywhere and from how I assessed the situation, it was just a simple matter of the dad being complacent enough to look away while his son was out of the stroller. I did it to the grown ups I was with a number of times and kids have done it to me. It’s a scary situation and even though I’m certain that any Bostonian, or any of the tourists shopping in the Fenuil Hall area at that time would have noticed the child and made the same attempt I did, I am thankful to whatever higher power put in that place at that moment.
Because in a small way, I probably kept that kid’s father from growing too many gray hairs. But I also kept his mother from knowing the pain of losing a child in such a crowded place. It’s not ego massaging. I do believe that that we do for others comes back to us and to our loved ones. So in that way I have also protected my nieces and nephews when they inevitably get too excited to pay attention to their own surroundings. I have protected my little sister, who may one day be on a field trip in a far away place without my parents, and might go missing or get lost, or lose track of one of the other students in her group. Finally, I have also given this small, subtle gift to my mother in showing the world that she raised me the right way.