I was reminded this weekend why I love living in the small town of Halifax.
In addition to the rich history, charming homes, friendly people and walk- ability, there are great experiences around every corner.
On Saturday morning after breakfast with my daughter and my mother at one of Halifax County’s iconic dining establishments, Oscar’s (by the way, try the sweet potato waffle … it’s divine!), my mom and I returned to Halifax to browse the Historic Halifax Farmers Market. I was amazed at the vibrant colors of the vegetables and fruit, and I enjoyed talking to each of the vendors. One of my favorite vendors is Tyrone Williams and his beautiful wife of Fourtee Acres. From them I purchased a gorgeous, large white tomato, marbled with pink and another beautiful pink tomato, both said to be a bit sweeter and contain less acid. These were for my mother, as I don’t eat tomatoes unless they are in salsa, pico de gallo or sauces. I also bought golden zucchini, so rich and vibrant in color, and beautiful deep purple bell peppers.
I headed to the next table, operated by a church and their youth group. They were so friendly and were still learning about selling their produce. There I added to my bounty with aromatic green onions and fresh snap beans. I traveled across the street to another table where Chester Williams of ABC2 was selling a variety of produce from local growers. I purchased several large peaches and could barely resist biting into one before I could get them home to be washed. Mom and I headed to our next destination laden with a rainbow of homegrown goodness.
We didn’t have far to travel, as we just walked a few paces down the block on King Street to take a class at Halifax Studios. Mom, me, my brother, my daughter, my niece, my friend Paula and many others have taken several different classes together, more than I realized, when I recounted our list for other students. We have learned how to create stained glass pieces, such as Christmas ornaments and a variety of suncatchers, seashell resin art, several hand building pottery classes, mandala dot painting, watercolor, the art of bonsai, chunky knit blankets, and more. Saturday we thoroughly enjoyed creating stained glass wind chimes. Mom selected blues and greens, which made her think of water. I chose pinks and oranges, reminding me of a sunrise. I love the delicate tinkling the glass chimes make when moved.
On Sunday, mom and I headed to church, and I was delighted that my dear young pew-mate, whom I missed last Sunday, returned to regale me with tales of his first experience at sleep-away camp. Apparently (and understandably), all water activities were his favorites, as was a big playground with a zip line. He also made a really good friend at camp. That reminded me of my days as a Girl Scout, excitedly packing up to head to Camp Hardee. I loved the days on the coast of North Carolina, playing in the water, making crafts and singing songs. I don’t care if people think I’m strange, but I loved the sweet and often wacky songs we sang as Scouts. Many in my repertoire come from my camp days and many were taught by my mother who was our troop leader. I can still remember the lyrics to many songs and often sing them loudly, joyfully, and perhaps a bit off-key when riding along with my mom.
Sunday afternoon I went out to the hunting property my husband leases and served as his chauffeur, cruising around the land, looking for signs of wildlife, checking for downed trees, and identifying the areas needing the most attention for brush mowing. It was a bit hot for both of us, but I always enjoy spending time with my best friend, especially absorbing the sights and sounds of nature (bumping through a few mud puddles wasn’t bad either).
As usual I’m reminded of my favorite song lyrics, this time it’s “Give Me the Simple Life,” sung by such greats as Bing Crosby and Tony Bennett: “I don’t believe in frettin’ and grievin’; Why mess around with strife? I never was cut out to step and strut out. Give me the simple life. Some find it pleasant dining on pheasant. Those things roll off my knife; Just serve me tomatoes; and mashed potatoes; Give me the simple life. A cottage small is all I’m after, Not one that’s spacious and wide. A house that rings with joy and laughter And the ones you love inside. Some like the high road, I like the low road, Free from the care and strife. Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeedy; Give me the simple life.”
Christina Wells lives in Halifax with her husband Bruce and their dog Sunny.