The man was about my father's age, wearing khakis and a button-down short-sleeve shirt.
It took a minute to realize the man was talking to me.
"Are you a reporter?"
No. Not anymore. Wait. I kinda still am?
"I'm taking pictures for a photography project," I told him. I pointed to the vegetable-filled baskets.
That was the truth, sort of. Or at least that was part of the truth.
Thursday morning I stopped at the Montgomery County Farmers Market for the first time this season. I needed corn, watermelon and blueberries. I also bought a 14-inch cucumber and massive head of cabbage.
It was a multipurpose stop.
I was out taking pictures for my summer gallery for a Clarksville Friends of Photography assignment — and nothing says summer like the farmers market.
Clarksville Friends of Photography is a not-for-profit community organization of beginning to advanced photographers from the Clarksville-Montgomery County area dedicated to the advancement of photographic knowledge and inspiration. The group also sponsors a scholarship for Austin Peay State University students in memory of APSU photography teacher Carlos Brewer.
I was also looking for homegrown food finds, because in the name of eating fresh and from-scratch, I've been working on menu plans centered around seasonal fruit and vegetables. While my ultimate goal would be a home garden large enough to supply fruits and vegetables for our table, the seeds for that can't be planted quite yet.
In the meantime, I was multitasking by taking summer pictures and picking up groceries.
The market was bustling and I enjoyed the upbeat company, the fresh produce and the pictures I shot — which you can see on my gallery pages here and here.
But the kind man's question had me wondering why I had hesitated to explain exactly why I carry my camera with me.
To identify myself as a photographer is simple and true. Yet, it denies the true scope of this project and of my purpose.
I can almost hear my noveling friends screaming, "Develop and elevator pitch."
And I will.
And I will practice delivering said pitch with confidence and enthusiasm that comes from my heart.
But now I have to cut cabbage for one of the things I love most about summer — dinner on the deck that includes homemade slaw (recipe below).
Cabbage Slaw Salad
About 6 cups of shredded cabbage
About 1 cup of shredded carrot
About 1 heaping cup of regular mayonnaise (I use Hellmann's instead of making my own.)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine (or whatever wine is open in fridge - or none)
About a teaspoon of celery seeds
About a 1/4 cup sugar
Shred your cabbage and carrots and toss together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, wine, celery seeds and sugar. Add to shredded vegetables and mix thoroughly.
Let set in the fridge to settle before serving.
Amy A. Ritchart is a reader, writer, photographer, blogger, university professor and lover of coleslaw summers. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @thekavanahlife, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kavanahlife -- and here using the like, comment and share buttons below.