at 4:50 a.m., with the radical thought of concluding my Tuesday
walk at somewhere other than the French Pastry Shop. I shook my
wife awake to ask if she planned to join me. Linda mumbled something
sleepily and seemed to be going back to dreamlanduntil I
said that today we would not be visiting the pastry shop. The
shock of disbelief made her sit up immediately, sensing that something
was wrong. Maybe I was broke againbut she knew that I could
always ask her to fund the pastries, so that wouldn't be the reason.
Cutting to the point, she asked why, and I said, "The Farmers
Market will be open this morning." (They sell pastries there.)
Although the market began opening on Saturdays a few weeks ago,
this was its first Tuesday of the season. Linda breathed a sigh
of relief, and we both got up to prepare to seize the dayand
this new treat.
I called to check the temperature, which was 46 degrees. Just
about right. Then I went outside to wait for my wife in the driveway.
There my neighbor was waitingwhich surprised me, because
he had company visiting from Juneau, Alaska. But while they were
still sleeping, he was hot to trot. At 6 oclock on the dot
Linda came out, and off we went.
my wife and neighbor started where they left off last week, giving
me a hard time about my stride, my pace and various other things.
I countered as best I could. It was good-natured ribbing, which
got us all in great spirits for the walk. I reminded them that
whatever derogatory remarks they said about me, only the three
of us would hearwhile I, on the other hand, could put my
observations in print, for all the world to see.
the Plaza and reached the north side of the Federal Building complex.
My watch said 6:30. Knowing that the Farmers Market opened at
7, I figured we might arrive too early, and the coffee wouldn't
be brewed yet. I told my walking partners that we would be taking
a chance, and asked what they wanted to do. They threw the decision-making
back to me. Not wanting to make a mistake about such a crucial
matter, I decided we better play it safe, and go to the French
Pastry Shop after all. One pastry in the stomach, I figured, is
worth two or even more that are not ready at the Farmers Market.
cast of characters was at the shop when we arrived. The owner,
a small, slim Frenchman who shaves his head, was busy getting
things ready for the long day ahead. But this week, in addition
to the regulars, there were several other people sitting at different
tables. This was a sure sign of summer heading our way.
waitress came for our orders, both my partners stalled, so I immediately
asked for coffee and a peach pastry. When Linda ordered just coffee
and my neighbor did the same, I was mildly surprised. But then
I realized that they still planned to get their reward at the
Farmers Market. I told them they were taking a big chance, on
this first Tuesday of the season. They just shrugged. Upon the
arrival of my pastry, I never looked up as my partners laser-beam
stares watched me devour each bite.
the pastry shop and headed toward the Farmers Market, to see if
it was open. When we arrived, thank goodness a few stands were.
As my neighbor and I sampled some cheese, Linda went to the coffee/breakfast
stand and purchased two breakfast burritos (eggs, potatoes and
bacon wrapped in a flour tortilla). She returned and gave one
of the burritos to my neighbor. Then she split the other one with
me. I thought that was nice, after I had been so greedy with my
we finished the burritos, we headed home, which was not too far
away, thank goodness. They with their full happy stomachs and
me with a double loadand a big Garfield-the-cat comic-page
smirkdragging along behind them.