"You can't fit there!" I screamed it at Skylar when he told me he found a parking spot that would require some parallel parking that was beyond my abilities. Almost all parallel parking is beyond my abilities, but not his. He's weirdly good at parallel parking.

Skylar scolded me for doubting him, once again. "I was living in downtown Madison when you met me and I had to park like this regularly," he told me. "Why do you keep thinking I'm bad at this?"

We pulled into the spot where I never thought we'd fit and we climbed out of our Subaru to walk the two blocks to the Farmers' Market where we ran into everyone else from our town, meandering, pointing at produce, and saying things like "this coffee is so fresh."

As if our desert mountain town could ever grow coffee.

We circled the area, staring at fruits and vegetables I swore to Skylar I could can. "I'd turn those peaches into such a lovely jam," I explained to him as he reminded me "we don't like peach jam."

"But still."

Skylar found the nearby empanada stand, where he bought enough to feed a colony of ravenous beasts. "You didn't want any, did you?" he asked me, while clutching a paper bag of them, his brow furrowed in the international sign of hungry concern.

I'll never understand how this man is so skinny.

Eventually I filled our tote bag full of pickling cucumbers. "I didn't realize it was pickling season yet!" I yelled at Skylar. His shoulders sighed, even if his voice didn't. Our house will smell like vinegar for days, he surely realized.

Skylar had bought a large watermelon by this point; that was our assigned treat for the family reunion we needed to attend in a few hours with aunts and uncles and cousins who have posted on social media about the evils of gay marriage. "They said this one was perfectly ripe. Perfect for tonight," Skylar had been told.

And we drove home, bags of produce in our back seat, Skylar in the front wearing a face mask because the smoke from the California fires has reached our lovely Deseret.

"I bought a pastry while you were looking at cucumbers," he told me.

I squeezed his hand.


Please enjoy this week's lovely Strangerville about an incredible candidate running for the U.S. Senate.

This time in Strangerville, Eli went on the news, Meg may have caused a 200-car pile-up on the freeway, and Becky Edwards talks about how her relationship with LaVell Edwards helped shaped the kind of politician she’s trying to be as she runs for the United States senate.


Relationships, by Becky Edwards (music by Robert Farmer)

Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger