Yesterday afternoon I went to our local fruiterer to stock up on produce for the next few days. The fruiterer is (we think) a family-run shop and most of them know us by now. My favorite guy, who I think is the owner, was stocking tomatoes when I went over to pick some up; the only other customer was a woman with her young son, also by the tomatoes. As the owner restocked, I said,”They [the tomatoes] smell so good.”
“Do you like to make sauce or puree?” he asked.
“I have some over-ripe tomatoes in the back that I can’t sell. Do you want them?”
Heck yes I wanted them! F and I had just recently talked about buying a bunch of cheap ripe tomatoes to make and freeze sauce for the fall and winter. The owner brought the box out, and the other woman took a few tomatoes. I gathered up the rest, probably 1-2 kilos, saying “Are you sure I can have all of these?”
“Yes, I can’t sell them.”
This is what I love about living in a neighborhood-y area, this feeling that you’re part of the community. The exchange and scoring of free tomatoes yesterday reminded me of my apple man at the bazar in Sniatyn, who always gave me discounts. We figured that the fruiterer people know us by now, and we’re always friendly with them. It pays off, feels wonderful, and reminds me that random acts of kindness are all around us just waiting to happen.