Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A day in the life of the City Market...

8:30 a.m. I arrive, put my apron and take my post at Baleman's Produce, at the top of the City Market. Now I stand around and wait for someone to come buy something. At this time of day, usually a single banana. About 25 cents. Meanwhile my bosses Rob and Belinda continue to put out the fruits and veggies that have been hibernating overnight in the cooler.

8:35 a.m. Crazy old Alphonse arrives to buy his two bananas for the day.

9:00 a.m. I'm still standing around, not much happening. So I straighten the apples, make sure they're asthetically appealing, try to kill some of the big, fat flies sitting in the grapes, or see if any tomatoes have exploded overnight.

10 a.m. My co-worker arrives, usually Sarah but sometimes Courtney. Then I move down to the lower cash, which is where we sell the non-produce stuff: home-made jams and jellies, maple products, eggs, milk and canned goods like water chestnuts.

11 a.m. Sometimes, around this time an odd lady will show up and buy about 35-40$ worth of walnuts, chestnuts and brazil nuts for, that's right, her squirrels. Once she brought Belinda a picture of one of her squirrels eating a nut with a little word bubble saying 'Thanks auntie B!"

12:30 p.m. Woohoo my lunch break! Sometimes Jamie comes to meet me, and on Wednesdays we have Pineapple Club with the girls.

1:00 p.m. Amidst the chaos that is highschool kids on their lunchbreak, the guy with the moustache comes and buys his daily dose of two red delicious apples. Usually about 1.04$, sometimes a little over.

1:30 p.m. Look at the clock and marvel: Wow it's been 5 hours since I got here. My feet hurt a little and I wish I could take a nap.

2:00 p.m. Dead as a door-nail. Around now I'll eat the chocolate bar that the candy man gave me this morning. Old John who comes by and gives us a chocolate bar, every morning, without fail.

2:30 ish The Adonis-ape-like man with the luxurious long hair comes to buy is one liter of skim milk and one liter of chocolate milk. No bag, always exact change.

3:00 p.m. Still dead, so I'll bag some potatoes, or dulse, or beans.

4:00 p.m. Only a half-hour left! It starts to pick up as people get out of work and need last minute quick meals.

4:30 p.m. On the dot I zip off my apron and I'm outta here! My feet are killing me but as soon as I leave that strip of concrete they don't bother me anymore. I usually go visit with my good buds Martha, who works at Jeremiah's to my left, and Karen, who works at the Wild Carrot to my right. It's nice to have friends in the market.

So that's a typical day, a snapshot of a few of the quirky, precious people I interact with at the market. This is the 3rd year I've worked here and I believe that God has placed me at this little stand for a purpose. I've learned so much about serving people while working here. I see everyone from the street bums who come in to sell us their change, to the Mr. Irving himself who sometimes buys jumbo eggs. It's been an experience in coming to love Saint John as well, getting to know the different faces and flavors of our city. I'm so excited to be living uptown next fall and to be right in there with these people.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I came to a conclusion not long ago that relationships are the most important thing here on earth. To love God and to love one another are really the greatest commandements. Basically everything we do, subconsciously or not, is to invest and build up our relationships, whether it's in a healthy way, or in a not so healthy way. We work, so we can make more money, so we can provide for our family, and therefore have a happy relationship with them. We buy nice things for ourselves so that we'll be pretty and attractive and therefore have a nice guy to have a relationship with. We exercise and eat well for the same reasons. People starve themselves so that people will like them, which means, to that person, 'improving' those relationships. People sleep around because they are starved for relationship.

So if my life is about relationship, how should I live it in consequence? I'm learning how important it is to just spend time. Just be together. It's so hard in this crazy, performance-oriented world. I don't know about you but it's so easy for me to become so consumed with what I'm doing or should be doing rather than what I'm being, and who I'm being with. What does it matter what I DO if I've no one to enjoy and share life with?

I've shared some wonderful experiences with the most wonderful people. They are what have made my life and all its experiences amazing. My family, most of all, Jamie, my friends, close by and some far away, even acquaintances have contributed so much to the fullness of my life. What would I do without people to love??

Here are some great friends of mine!

My family about 10 years ago!!

Jamie and I when we first started dating

With my outreach team in Paris last year. What wonderful
relationships came out of that trip!

Pineapple Club: great girl time

A ramble or two

So I haven't written in awhile, and it's partly because I don't really know what this blog's about. All I want to do is write what I'm thinking. I'd like whoever reads this to be able to share what they think as well. It seems like I'm always thinking, learning things and processing and I imagine many of you out there must be too. So what are you thinking about?

Here are a few things I've been pondering lately:

1. Getting married
2. A dream being birthed in me
3. What to do with my life?
4. Relationships, how to maintain them, why do they change...
5. What is my reality?

So where do I start? I'll tell you about reality because the rest come out of there.
I've been trying to figure out what or where is the place I am living in. The state of mind I guess you could call it. Questions like should I live in function of the immediate, what I see right in front of me, what I think and need right now, or try to go bigger? Just how many things can I take in at once? Yes I know that my friend is having a hard time over here, and that there is a crisis in Israel and that teenage pregnancy is a big issue in my city, but can I live with all those things weighing in on me? Where is the balance in being aware of what's going on and being concerned and praying for it, but not weighed down with things I can't change? How far can I stretch my sphere of thought and yet still be in the mind frame where I am present and useful?
I want to have a biblical worldview. Oh God show me how.

I can see how people get stuck in a rut of everyday living so easily. Just from one thing to the next, with no real goal. It's easy to just look forward to the next weekend or the next change. I think God has a plan for every season of life and the hard part is being in touch with Him over what that is and how to live in it fully.

Journalling helps me, being creative, talking with people helps me to process and keep my brain where it should be.