I usually don’t stop for lunch on the road, but by mid-afternoon, especially in the summer, I am always on the lookout for an ice cream stand.
That thought was on my mind when I drove into tiny Hardwick, Massachusetts on Route 32A a few weeks ago on a meandering ride back to Connecticut from brother Rick’s house in New Hampshire.
The place was so small I knew there wouldn’t be an ice cream shop—or any other commercial establishment for that matter.
But as I approached the town green I spotted a kid with his parents walking along and the kid was eating what looked like ice cream out of a white container with a plastic spoon. Where did he get that, I wondered.
As I rounded the green I noticed a group of people, a cluster of shade tents and the sound of music. I parked and got out. A small farmers’ market: a cheese and beef seller, produce vendor, a pastry tent, a handmade soap tent, and a guy with homemade ice cream. And as a plus there was a small band and a woman painting pet portraits.
It was a perfect pit stop: homemade ice cream and a fresh fruit pastry to eat, a bench to sit on, shade to enjoy, a band to listen to, and, if I had needed it, a bathroom in the nearby town hall.