A sense of place

Last Call

A white light wakes me up in the morning; its color is uniform, making it difficult to guess the actual time. I get up and peak out the window, looking at two large church towers each bearing a grandiose clock on their walls, confirming it is 6:27 a.m. Soon the bells will ring.

After slurping down a cup of coffee, I walked over a bridge, taking in the distinctive smell of the river coming down from the lake. I observed the seagulls on my way to the farmers market in the hunt for fresh ingredients for the dinner I promised to cook tonight.

The stands are full of flowers clearly announcing that spring is here. Fresh vegetables and fruits are on display; a bakery stand looks tempting, showcasing wood-oven baked breads and pastries.

Beautiful purple-colored artichokes from Italy catch my attention. I ask the vendor how he would prepare them. He picks up an artichoke, cuts the bottom and the top, peels away a few outer leaves and then cuts it in quarters. “You can eat the whole thing,” he explains. “Steam them for two minutes and then sauté them in olive oil and a little sea salt.” I am grateful for the explanation and decide they will be on the menu.

Next, I stop by the butcher shop and engage in a conversation with the owner. He recommends fresh duck breast he got from a nearby farm. I tell him I will take all four duck breasts.

On my walk back home, I notice the foot traffic has increased; the town is now busy with smartly dressed people headed to work on foot and bicycles. Trams (local trains) are busy loading and unloading passengers. The town has come alive.

A golden light wakes me up. From the amount of light and color, I’m guessing it is about 6:30 a.m. I get up and prepare a cup of coffee, glancing at the digital clock on the oven. My guess was close: 6:27 a.m.

I go for a morning walk, enjoying the wind in the air and taking in the smell of salt water and moss as I make my way to the docks.

Overlooking Calibogue Sound, I see seagulls busy hunting for breakfast. I try to gauge what the weather will be like for the rest of the day. The wind from the south is carrying some extra moisture in the air.

The azaleas have started to bloom indicating that spring is here.

I chat with our new neighbors before hopping in the car to go shopping for the dinner I promised to prepare tonight. It’s early, and I have most of the grocery store to myself. I head to the “green” section, reading the label of the packaged beef and confirming that it was grass-fed and raised without additives. I have to solely rely on the label since nobody in the store would know the beef’s origin. I find some fresh-looking kale and decide to make a salad using lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan, with a sprinkle of sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper (the trick to kale salad is to twist it by hand into small pieces).

On my way home, I notice that the automobile traffic has increased substantially as people head to work. The town has come alive.

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