Early Arrivals

The acorns are starting to appear in gutters and on sidewalks.  Back To School Sales are on at Target.  Kids have that pleasant, glazed look that comes after nearly eight weeks of sleeping in, playing video games, and spending time at the mall.  Yes, it’s true: Another summer is almost over.

Mrs. Little, my sixth grade teacher, who awarded higher grades for those of us willing to buy honey from the bees she kept in her backyard hives–even then I sensed a conflict of interest, but wanted the “A”–taught me the word “harbinger.”  I still think of that word often, and it brings back a flood of memories from the time I was eleven years old.

More recently, I’ve been chalking up my own harbingers.

This week alone 13 pounds of amazing dried nuts and fruits arrived from Bella Viva Orchards in California: Walnuts, pistachios, nectarines, apricots.  Go ahead, buy local.  BV is light years better, unless you are in California or Hawaii, to say nothing of tropical places outside the 50 states.  I first tasted their fruits at Embarcadero and have not turned back.  Normally, I wait until mid-October, but in the past year I’ve purchased their products every few months.

Then there was the arrival of chocolates from World Wide Chocolates.  Some Cluizel and Venchi bars.  Now listen: I was all set to buy this stuff at Formaggio on Sunday.  Went in.  Looked at the display.  Picked up the bars.  Put back the bars.  Forgot that they mark up 30% on most everything in the store.  Went home and purchased online.  Honestly, what is the future of local retail?  Fine, you get to here the cheese clerk tell you about his trip to France and all the cheese he ate, but is that worth the 30% mark-up?  Maybe if you don’t get out much.

Finally, there is the shipment of coffee from Porto Rico: The NYC based stores ship blends and region specific coffees that cost mostly $7-$10 per pound.  Can’t beat that.  And?  And it’s delicious.

These are all harbingers of Autumn: The holing up needed to plunge into the next book.

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