Living 35 miles outside of Philadelphia, my hometown is not a booming metropolis. However, when I go to Lancaster or the mountains (which is generic for remote areas west of us, mostly wooded with big hills and lakes, a generic term used here like the beach being called “the shore”), those places are so much farther removed and rural from urban life than us. Perception, said the visually challenged blogger, is everything.
My favorite part of summer is the produce stand near our house, fresh corn on the cob, tomatoes, cantaloupe and my addiction, peaches, are ripe for the buying. As we run errands on Saturdays, the delicious smells from our purchases fill the car better than any tree-shaped freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror. Before we go to the stand, we have to make sure we have all denominations of bills as there is no cash register nor are credit cards accepted. Instead, there’s a locked money-box with a slit and usually there is no one manning it. After years of this method of payment, as the season comes to a close, I finally wondered: Does the honor system equal the boondocks?
I tried to imagine a hot dog cart or bodega in the city using the same process to collect cash. Or Target, Costco or Kohl’s. Maybe as a skit on Saturday Night Live, but in real life, it just doesn’t work. Unless, of course, you are lucky enough to live in a zip code similar to mine. We have mail delivered right to our home, this can’t possibly be the sticks!
Philadelphia is in my blood and I enjoy the hustle and bustle of any metropolitan location. But driving up to a wooden stand in the middle of a cornfield with some dollars in hand is the place to be. Where I live, and this system, is a privilege . . . and an honor.