Our family used to spend a good part of the summer in Southwestern Michigan. It’s still mostly rural, kind of like where we live in Vermont, and one of my fondest memories was spending summer mornings running around with my Grandmother to the butcher, the market and the farm stand as she shopped for the nightly feast for the family.
Our last stop was at a driveway where a card table, laden with corn, whatever veggies the owner’s garden had yielded that day, and an unlocked cash box. Folded index cards to display the prices. The woman who owned the makeshift stand had usually retired to the beach by the time we got to her place. Even back then, I marveled at how successful the Honor Box tradition was.
I still love the honor box. It’s a quaint way to support a tiny business, but every little self-serve farmstand is also a kind of beacon. It’s a reminder that there’s still trust and trustworthiness. It reminds me there’s still something good out there that I can help grow, just by putting my money in the box.