Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Serendipitous Encounters

Serendipitous encounters started to happen right away on my market mornings.
Brantome Market
Brantome was my very first outing. I had set up shop and was nervously waiting to see how the day would play out. Would there be any customers? Heck, it was already 10:00 and there was just a small trickle of folks wandering among the vendors stalls. Somehow when I wasn’t looking a lovely couple came up to the stand and introduced themselves. I thought this a bit strange until they said, “We’re your neighbors and we know you from your blog.”  How amazing!?  We had a quick get to know ya visit and then they were off. They were leaving France the next day. I’m counting on them introducing themselves the next time they are in Bourdeilles as I am the pits with faces and names, especially when caught in the shock of being recognized. As far as the world of blogging goes, I am usually pretty anonymous.  

My second outing was into the fray of the narrow streets and the oceans of crowds in Sarlat. Thousands of tourist stream by all day long. There are hundreds of vendors.  In the frenzy of vendor overload, the tourists get a glossy look in their eyes as they wash down the street past our booths. Feeling invisible and worn out by sellers’s angst, I looked up and there was a Virginia Tech baseball cap heading my way. I couldn’t resist accosting the man wearing that cap. I had to find out if indeed he did have any Virginia connection. And yes, he is a Virginian. To be more specific he is from my home town, Lynchburg, Virginia. Better yet, he was a math teacher at E. C. Glass High School my alma mater. I never made it to his level of math, so never encountered him, but what the heck - we’d walked the same halls. Spooky fun!
Market Day Montpazier
During my search for the perfect markets someone told me to try a market in Monpazier, an hour away from home. It is one of France’s best preserved Bastide towns. A true gem of a village.  Again a first morning encounter - a gentleman walked up to the stand and said - “so you’re the blog lady".  Now I love each and everyone of my faithful readers, but there just are not all that many of you and to encounter a “fan” out of the blue, a long way from home,  well, that was a shock, an honor, and a joy. We had fun chatting about how we had discovered the Dordogne, our favorite places to visit, and how amazing it is to immerse oneself into the french lifestyle even if it is just for a month or two at a time. It adds a warm feeling to the day to know that I will see a familiar face on Thursday’s market.
Saturday Morning in Sarlat
I will repeat that I am honored by the kind words I hear from you all. Writing this blog has been a great source of reflection for Tom and me. What we love about these small articles is that we find that we are constantly looking for sweet and fun things to write about. This one consistent decision translates to focusing on the charming side of life. The world has been unraveling swiftly over the last year - I am heartbroken by the many senseless tragedies. My way to confront my grief is to look for ways to help others around me and to continue to look for the small things that allow me to keep up my morale, courage and the joy of opportunities offered to us each and every day. I find such joy in the serendipitous connections that continue to present themselves on market days, just another small part of the magic of my market outings.

It’s kind of fun to be a celebrity! Ha!!


Anonymous said...

You are famous way past your blog. Your kindness, generosity, sense of humor, creativity..... go a long way.
Much love and see you soon. Anne Marie

melinda said...

we stayed in both Monpazier (at the hotel edward Ier) and Sarlat (at a wonderful B&B with tricky parking) last october when visiting our daughter & her family (Biarritz)...got a chance to see the Sarlat market in action...wowza...Monpazier was pretty sleepy then so hard to picture many shoppers there.....Sarlat had a lot more traffic.....i cant imagine having to get in there with a caravan type thing....we must've circled the town 3 or 4 times before we found a way to get near our B&B and even then just stumbled onto a parking area...but very charming town

Petrina in Brittany said...

Hi there Susan & Tom,
I have been following you for sometime now but this is my first comment. I wish we lived nearer as we would definitely come and say "Hi" on one of your market days.
With warmest wishes & bonne chance avec vos produits.