For today’s post we go back to last week. I have some catching up to do!
“We love it here.”
Those are the words of the woman ringing up my groceries at Arivaca Mercantile.
As best I can tell, she’s near-retirement age.
Her thick, silver hair is tied at the nape of her neck into a ponytail that extends down her back to her waist.
Although petite, her strong frame and tanned skin suggests someone who knows physical work and doesn’t shy from it. She exudes youthful vitality.
“How long have you lived here?” I ask.
She readily responds, her eyes smiling.
“Four years. We’re farmers. And then I was fortunate to get this job.”
I want to find out more but another customer is behind me and our conversation is cut short.
~ ~ ~
I always try to include something special for the crew when we go somewhere in the PTV.
We enjoy a short hike. That was last Thursday . . . .
Saturday, March 19
I’m out of milk. The crew and I take off for Arivaca. A short distance before town, I stop at the waste disposal station and dump our trash.
Arivaca is lively this morning!
The farmer’s market is set up and is attracting customers. A sign indicates the chili cook-off is also today. I park at the grocery store across from the farmer’s market, leaving the crew in the Perfect Tow Vehicle, of course.
Great! The same woman is working today.
I pull a quart of milk from the cooler. Hmm . . . No one else in the store . . . .
“I’ve been thinking about you,” I begin, setting down the milk container. “You said you were farmers and this doesn’t look like farm country. I’m curious. What kind of farmers?”
“Organic fruits and vegetables,” she replies proudly, ringing up my purchase.
She proceeds to rattle off several terms that define how they operate their farm. I get the gist that they practice responsible stewardship of the land, conserve water, do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizer, etc.
“You CAN grow vegetables here,” she adds.
“You said you’ve been here four years. Where were you before?”
“Oh, wow! Quite a change!”
“Yes. My husband’s plant closed and around the same time I was offered early retirement. We bought a farm in Alabama. Then when we found out we had a grandchild on the way — in Tucson — we looked to move closer. Every time we searched for a property, our farm came up. Every time! We like it here. It’s a great little town.
“I can tell there’s a strong feeling of community here.”
“Yes, there is!”
She asks if I’m thinking of moving here, and, while we complete my transaction, I explain how I live and that I’m passing through the area.
She continues . . .
You usually can tell the ones that will last about a year, the ones who won’t fit in. We are a mix of people. Sure, we have some weird ones. You have to be tolerant.”
She shrugs, smiling.
“I like the isolation. We drive into Tucson once a week, go shopping, visit our family.”
A woman rushes in the door.
She obviously has news to share with her friend. With a quick “It was nice talking with you,” I step outside into the bright sunshine.
An organic farmer from Michigan who works in the Arivaca grocery, contented and happy . . .
Part of the fun of full-time living on the road is meeting people in different locales and learning the shape of their lives.
~ ~ ~
The farmer’s market is more like a yard sale.
March isn’t harvest season? As I’m backing out of the parking lot, a helicopter descends and disappears behind trees at the rear of Arivaca Mercantile. Ah, probably a news copter for the chili cook-off.
I’m not interested in attending. Instead the crew and I motor around the side streets and roads of Arivaca before returning to camp.
To read about “quaint and quirky” Arivaca, including its history, follow this link.
Sunday, March 20
After writing a post about Reggie and his Limey toy, I pack up and hitch up.
“Ready, crew? We’re off to a new camp!”
Next post — Las Cienegas National Conservation Area!
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!