Working at the local grocery store/fruit stand called Macks, was a great job for someone like me who loved being apart of a community. I looked forward to remembering the names of all my customers and helping them find what they needed. I was amazed at how fast I learned to just jump into the work around me, I would grab my most favorite tool, THE BROOM. In almost all my memories of Macks fruit and Vegetables I am usually holding a broom! I even met my husband face to face while I held the broom in one and shook his hand with my other. I loved cleaning that place everyday! From sweeping down the spider webs to the cement floors holding that fine dust. My broom and I got the job done! Cleaning and chatting with customers was my natural way to move through the shop, my first big cleaning project was The Bathroom. So I hung my own mirror, put up hand soap, paper towels and air fresheners. I even put a vase of fake roses in the corner of this simple room. It not only sparkled but felt almost cozy too! and I remembered being SO PROUD of the new look! Now the owner of Macks was named Larry, along with his wife also named Debbie, they were both pleased by the bathroom. Debbie also thanked me for rotating the meats and milk in the display coolers, She worked in the store part time as her other job was at a bank. She showed me how to check once a week all the bags of beans and rice for bugs and expired dates. All those projects were undoubtedly wonderful to me! for I was never bored! Since everyday was so different then the one before and the customers would stop to chat. I enjoyed working in that place for almost 3 years, It was the kind of place I was going to try and recreate all the rest of my life.
The boys that worked there came in after school. Derek and Daniel Larry's boys, and their friends Jim and Dusty. Now I tried to be friends with all these boys right away, though the looks they shot me said they could care less. These boys nicknamed me "Smiley" Because all I could do was smile at them as they rough housed and chase each other through out the store. Sometimes a broccoli brunch would fly pass my head as they were out to get each other. And I would yell back at them "Don't dirty my freshly mopped floors!" Those boys were all in high school, and they were always planning pranks and games. I often worried someone was going to get hurt and yet it was also funny to watch what they came up with next. For New years day in that first year I worked there, we had to do an inventory count. Those four boys were goofy having not slept the night before. I ended up laughing through out the whole day as we were in teams competing against each other for who could finish the work first. Derek was the oldest of the boys with blond tipped hair and he was always on the look out for a contest, he wanted some kind of challenge. His younger brother Daniel was more laid back with that bowl shape hair cut and he clearly bigger then his brother. His friends Jim and Dusty were always hanging together even when only one of them was working the shop. Jim was tall and skinny with a big grin, he kept his head shaved to just a shadow of hair. Dusty was also tall and with bushy eye brows, crazy curly hair sticking out everywhere most of the time. My first question everyday to those boys when they wandered into the shop was my bright cheerful greeting "Hey! Did you have a Good Day!?" a grunt or nod was usually the first response, or a rolling of their eyes as they state they hated school. I never gave up on being this friendly and asking what they had learned in school that day. In never failed those boys would usually reply that if I had ever gone to an actual school I wouldn't be asking these cheerful questions. Perhaps I did walk around in a happy bubble, delighting in such simple things. I rarely had a bad day when my hands took hold of the broom again.
Derek threw my dusting rag at Jim who had been taunting us in the race of inventory counting. Jim mocked " We are almost done! We will win, better watch out!" Dusty snorted back as he caught my rag in mid air " It helps if one of you knew how to count." He said this more to Derek then me but I laughed out loud as Derek rolled his eyes. Derek retorted " Dusty just learned to count in his kindergarten class last week." I laughed again while the boys playfully wrestled . I had been writing down the numbers on the shelves while the boys were now all wrestling around on the floor, I was so use to this that I would step right around them as if they weren't there. Then Daniel yelled at them all " Get back to work! I don't want to be here all day!" I looked up from my notebook in thinking out loud, I said " It's not fair that there are 3 of you boys against just Derek and I...This isn't even a contest!." Daniel smirked at me as the other boys went back to work, He explained with his hands going up " You're right! I should leave then." I started laughing all over again.