No Change?
Off the Wall, Dec
05, 2013

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that when I am hungry, my body gets the shakes or feels deprived. I have to get a quick fix or who knows what will happen. Downing some fruit normally does the trick. As was the case one afternoon, I fell into one of my geezer moments and left them at home.

There I sat at the Indoor Farmer’s Market trying to decide whether or not I should dig into my bag and haul out a peanut butter sandwich or buy something a vendor was selling near the Thomas St. side of the Cooperstown Event Center during the weekly Tuesday event.

This became a challenging moment. To leave my table meant I may pass up a sale of one of my books or stationary. I was also trying to sell “Keep Christ in Christmas” car magnets for the Holy Name Society of Holy Family Church and two views of last year’s Christmas limited edition cards we decided to sell this year as a fundraiser.

Can you begin to feel the agony I was experiencing? Of course, you know right off the top of your head what won out – the food. Some people can go for hours without eating, but not this senior citizen. During these times, I feel as though someone is holding a little bell above my head and the ringing sound is entering through each eardrum.

I spotted a young lady selling soup. When it gets to be this time of the year, there is nothing more that warms the innards more than a scrumptious tasting liquid organic yellow squash soup. That word, organic, sucked me right in, and right away, I knew I had a winner regardless as to how it tasted. As many of you know, I’m a picky eater who has chosen the weight-watchers lifestyle. I’m not as good as I used to be, adhering to the regiment of eating habits, but not that bad either. Let’s just say, I’m working my way back after a health setback.

Getting back to the story, I decided to leave my table and make my way over to this woman’s table. Scratching up a bit of change before I left home, I promptly filled my pocket with whatever I could find. Don’t ask me how much I had. All I knew was that, according to my way of thinking, it would spend the same way as dollar bills. After all, 20 nickel, 10 dimes or four quarters all added up to the same amount, one dollar. Multiply it times four, and I would have the cost of the soup.

I knew I had that much weighing down my left pocket and some to spare.

Upon arriving to her table, I promptly said, “I’d like to buy a bowl of soup,” followed by the question, “You do take change, don’t you?”

What I got as a reply blew me away.

“No, I don’t take change,” she said. “I don’t want a bunch of that stuff lying around where it would make a mess all over the place!

I was dumbfounded. I did have a $10 bill in my wallet that I had planned to use to buy this most wonderful potato bread from a vendor who, with his son, appeared there weekly. Both had been up all evening and into the night baking all kinds of tasty carbohydrates in addition to pastries that sold like hotcakes. These two gents have definitely weaned me back to eating bread. I take sole responsibility for this addiction and no one else.

I first thought should I buy anything from her? This one time, I decided to use paper currency. But, at the same time, I was stunned.

I have to say, spooning it into my oval opening, my tongue took pleasure in relaying the news that my investment was well worth it. And even though she wouldn’t take my change, it was good, folks, mighty good – something I decided was well worth the investment.In the future, I’m planning to buy soup elsewhere – someplace where I know change will be received.

Stop by and see all of us. We are there from 11 am - 5 p.m. Tuesdays, until May. The Event Center is located at 2541 Thomas St. Many of the vendors that were at the Farmer’s Market in Legion Keener Park are there. I will be holding a book signing weekly. Looking forward to seeing you!

Two notes to remember. There will be NO Farmer’s Market Christmas or New Year’s Eve. If you directions, email me and I will guide you there.

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.