Saturday morning, and music
On a beautiful Saturday morning in April, my wife and I wake up when the sun starts flooding in our bedroom windows, about 6:30. We linger for a few minutes -- no need to begin the routine that accompanies our weekday alarms -- then gather ourselves together, and walk a couple of blocks to the Farmers Market.We smell the grill from the Flory's sausage biscuit folks a block away. My wife walks to get a scone while I approach the Florys for the first time this spring. "I've been waiting for this," I tell them. "I didn't have a good breakfast all winter."We stroll through the market, contemplating herbs and grass-fed meats, with music accompanying our shopping. Here: a young woman covering Iron & Wine's cover of The Postal Service. (That I know this tells me that Lawrence has had an influence on me.) There: Three Bean Salad - a trio that includes my colleague Mike Yoder - playing folk music.My wife must work, so we part, and I walk to La Prima Tazza, managing to claim a spot just ahead of all the sweaty joggers participating in Red Dog's Days. I read the Journal-World, then the New York Times. I love, love, love the Internet age - how could I not? - but there's a tactile loveliness that saturates a lazy Saturday morning spent with real paper and coffee in hand.Then I walk home.Already, at 10 a.m., Lawrence's downtown is alive. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in front of The Pig when a young man with an indeterminate European accent nudged me and asked why there were so many people out and about. "It's a beautiful spring day in Lawrence!" I replied."There is no holiday?" he asked, seemingly perplexed.Nope. Though there are, these days, a few more empty storefronts than is strictly preferable, there remains an instinct among many Lawrencians to converge upon Mass Street in good weather. And, again, to bring the music. As I pass Signs of Life, a young man stands nearby puffing away on a harmonica. A couple of blocks later, as I weave my way through all the patient would-be-breakfasters outside Milton's, I hear a somewhat-less-young man with his guitar, singing Neil Young's "My My, Hey Hey."I've said it before, so I won't bore you with the details. But when I moved to Lawrence seven years ago, it felt like a gamble. Clearly, I won: I have a wonderful wife, Flory's sausage biscuits and the satisfaction of a music-drenched Saturday. This is a good morning.