The Tale of the Farmers Market. Revisited.

Posted September 17, 2013 by jimhigley


When I was a kid, my folks made regular trips to California to visit my aunt and uncle. Kind of a mid-winter tradition to escape the Nebraska cold.

Plus a house full of five boys.

And one of the things I used to look forward to – after their return from each westward journey – was the day our mailman, Mr. Wolfe, delivered a big envelope full of my parents’ vacation photos to our mailbox. The sacred envelope within the envelope. The inner one holding negatives which would go in a drawer, never to be touched again.

The typical photo was of people. My mom and dad. My mom and my aunt. My aunt and my uncle. Cousins. The dog, Mimi. Year after year. Same people. Same poses. Taller kids.

One photo I remember vividly – when I was six or so – was a picture of a white building with a tall tower. It looked like a church. And it had the words “Famers Market” written on the side. I still remember my mom telling me about this magical – in her eyes – place.  Packed full of farmers from miles away, all coming to sell their fruits and vegetables in one, big location.

And I remember thinking two things.

For starters, yuck. I wasn’t a fruit and vegetable kind of kid. So the concept – which clearly tickled my mom’s fancy – left me cold.

The second thing I remember thinking was what an odd concept this was. Farmers, wasting their time hanging out to sell their goods. You see, where I lived, farmers were the folks who lived a few blocks down the block. If mom wanted some corn on the cob, she’d send me down the street with a wagon to load up. I’m not sure we even paid for anything.

But then again, I don’t remember eating any of the goods.

And so it was. A photo of a building, that randomly passed through my life. It went into a photo album. Simply to exist for years to come.


A few months ago, I had a quick, one-night business trip to Los Angeles. I booked my hotel through a simple app on my smartphone – opting for a place that 1) was in a convenient location and; 2) offered a good deal.

Arriving late at night, I unpacked, got myself organized for the following day, watched a little television, set my alarm, and went to bed.

When I awoke the following morning I went to open the curtains to welcome the warm California sun.

Which I got.

Along with a “hello” from my mom.


Remember the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” when the world reveals itself in color?

That explains how it feels when my mom’s  influence regular knocks on my door.

And why I had a sudden urge for some fresh fruit.


This memory is brought to you through my partnership with Kimberly-Clark during the months of September and October. It’s part of their Pick Up the Values Program– providing tips and ideas for parents to stretch their budgets.

Today’s Pick Up the Values Tip for Stretching Your Budget would make my mom smile: Don’t limit yourself to shopping in grocery stores. Farmers markets, drug stores, convenience stores and big box stores can sometimes provide the best deals for your mid-month shopping gap. 

Be sure to stop by the Pick Up the Values Facebook Page for more tips and conversations!

Rest assured, while I’ve been compensated by Kimberly-Clark for this story, the memory, and belief in their product is as real as it comes.