Book Trailer For Madam President

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Buying Eggs

I needed eggs the other morning and so I jumped in the car and started driving for a local farm where they sell eggs off the back porch for a buck seventy five. I had scratched up the money from my pants pockets (times being what they are) and set off on my Sunday morning drive back into the rural America. The far west suburb of Chicago I live in is ground zero for where the boom died. On my drive toward the farmer I saw old stone entrance posts and gates of STONEHAVEN  or CREST FARMS with bright red flags advertising luxury homes. On the other side was only corn fields.

And I drove feeling more anxious. Hadn't these morons learned yet? That Americans could no longer afford luxury homes and that the market nay the culture for these type of homes had passed. In these high weeded lots sat several desultory McMansions that someone had taken a flyer on and like the pioneers of old found themselves isolated in a country they knew not. Like a wave retreating these fields will return to the Prairie grass. 

But I felt anxious. Something seemed terribly wrong. America seemed to have bet on all the wrong things. The thought that a million dollar home could make you feel better about yourself seems so delusional now after four years of super recession. And yet the red flags are new and the sign is freshly painted. COME PICK OUT YOUR DREAM HOME. I slowed down to look and then I stopped and just stared at the lonely landscape of American capitalism gone bad. I saw no American dreams here.

And so I finally reached the old farm house with the swinging sign EGGS and pulled up to the back porch. I crunched across the drive and swung open the door to the nineteenth century home. The cooler whirred and the box for money sat there open. I threw in my dollar seventy five and fished out a dozen eggs. No one was up in the house and I shut the door quietly and walked back to my car. Then I drove back toward home with my eggs and I felt strangely peaceful.

Funny that just a simple task like buying eggs off a farmers back porch should give me such serenity. But maybe I had just touched a time when all the choices were simple. A man produced eggs and sold them to his neighbors and expected the money to be left behind. Simply amazing.

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Books by William Hazelgrove