pandemic Farm Festival
Wednesday, June 3 2020
This afternoon Powerful and I would be meeting up with Gretchen at 4:00pm in Woodstock so we could get falafel at the weekly Woodstock Farm Festival. Just before we were to leave, I heard some gunfire down at the bus turnout, so I made a quick excursion down the Gullies Trail (past a small herd of deer who uneasily watched me walk past from about 100 feet away). I made a few profanity-laced announcements through the megaphone and then returned home, walking past that herd of deer a second time.
We met Gretchen at the bookstore, which is still operating under pandemic rules. Despite this, Gretchen's boss was there, working upstairs, and, not being customers, we (including the dogs) were allowed past the table blocking the doorway. I watched Gretchen do transaction across that table through that doorway; a woman and her son were interested in books in a certain series, so Gretchen grabbed the whole stack and presented them on that table. The kid picked three he wanted, and the sale was made. Just as we were trying to leave, some woman called to complain about something she'd ordered not being delivered, and had that entitled huffy tone that I know Gretchen despises. But she maintained a professional tone throughout.
Before walking to the Farm Festival, we stopped at the Garden Café to say hello to Leah, who has a job for Powerful if the pandemic ever subsides. Out in the outdoor eating area, there was a guy spraying disinfectant (or was it just water?) on the gravel around the tables, I wasn't quite sure why. In any case, with the tables a certain distance apart, it should be possible for people to dine there safely.
The Farm Festival is usually held in a grassy park behind Bread Alone, but this year (probably for some reason related to the ongoing pandemic) it had been moved to the edge of the municipal parking lot behind Yum Yum (which feature a electric car charging station that Gretchen sometimes uses on the days she works). As we entered the Festival grounds with our dogs (Powerful walking Neville and me walking Ramona) a super-nice youngish woman on a grassy slope above the parking lot told us in the kindest possible way that, at least for now, festival organizers were trying to keep dogs out. But it would be fine for the dogs to be on the grassy slope. So I sat down with the dogs and cracked open an IPA (a mediocre Saranac) while Gretchen and Powerful went shopping. It was beautiful day, and sitting there watching people was one of the highlights of the past week. People were social-distancing both around me and in the festival, and when they weren't eating (or, in my case, drinking) they had their masks up. Woodstock isn't exactly the sort of place where people demand the right to spread whatever contagions might be infecting them.
The main reason for Powerful and me to go to Woodstock today was to eat falafel, and soon I was joined on the grassy slope by the two other humans in my "pandemic pod" and handed a falafel sandwich. I managed to eat something like six super-hot pickled Isræli peppers with my falafel, which slowed me down enough that my pace of eating was almost the same as Gretchen's (and considerably slower than Powerful's).
I left Powerful and Gretchen at the Garden and drove home with just the dogs in the Prius, stopping at the Hurley Ridge Hannaford along the way to get a 12 pack of Hazy Little Thing IPA and two different kinds of mushrooms (neither of which were psychedelic, sadly).
This evening I took 100 milligrams of diphenhydramine and went down to the greenhouse to watch videos on the Chromebook down there (while hearing the audio on a large bluetooth speaker). Eventually I fell asleep, only to be awaken a hour or so later by a flashlight-wielding Gretchen. She (and, more especially Powerful, who is something of a worrier) had been concerned at my absence (and hadn't seen a light on in the greenhouse).
Diane came with me to the stone wall south of the Chamomile today, the furthest into the forest she has gone. Here she is on the wall.
Click to enlarge.
Diane investigating the base of the wall.
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