The miracle that is September after Labor Day is upon us, and what might have seemed impossible a few weeks ago is now within the realm of possibility.
A week ago Friday, I had Ellis, our nearly 20-month-old, in the truck, going along on North Main Street in East Hampton. Noticing that the farmers market in the lot next to Nick and Toni’s was open and that there was a parking spot directly across the street, I pulled over.
Had this been August, not only would there have been no parking space but the thought of carrying our brawny toddler into a crowded market would have been unappealing. As it was September and a gloriously crisp day, and with drivers seemingly magnanimous about jaywalkers, Ellis and I made it across two lanes of traffic unscathed.
I don’t know how the morning went for the vendors, but for Ellis and me, the relative absence of other shoppers was a pleasure. I was comfortable letting him down to wander a little while I chatted with several people I knew. Having spotted a stand with cartons of fat, bright-yellow-and-red peaches, Ellis led me by the hand clear to the other end of the rows of stands and pointed out ones he wanted.
The ease with which you can get through the day at summer’s end, I think, helps social interactions, too. At Bucket’s Deli one lunchtime this week, I fell into conversation with someone who in July might have been too harried to talk. The idea of visiting friends in Sag Harbor no longer fills me with dread about driving over there.
I notice more tables set up in front of private houses selling this and that. I stopped at one on Middle Highway in East Hampton the other day and, for $10, bought two jars of preserves — blueberry and blackberry — which will help make up for the fact that I didn’t manage to put up any of my own this season.
All of this can be symbolized by the fact that I can again make a left turn out of The Star office driveway. This simple act opens up a world of possibility. I might just stop by yet another farm stand on my way home.