Do you know what is heartbreaking? As I’m just getting home one evening this week, I walk in to find Lee in Jack’s room, they are having a little chat. Jack is talking to Lee about jobs. Jack says, “do you know a place where epilepsy children can work?” Talk about tearing your heart straight out of your soul! Coleman has been & Ava is a part of The Berry Patch employee line. They each were made to work starting at the young age of 9. We both happen to think working at a young age instills so many values you can’t learn sitting at home eating tater chips on the couch. Working youth are awesome & if they have good guidance, working youth make awesome adults. Learning responsibility at a young age produces confident, productive members of society. Coleman helped implement several high tech business techniques at The Berry Patch during his reign, Ava is on her way to being a future manager in the ice cream shop-which I can not wait for! Since Coleman left for college (and is now graduating college without a graduation ceremony 😢), I’ve worked harder than ever before on the produce side. I wish he could of stayed 17 forever! Getting back to Jack’s statement about working, we’ve tried to go that route before. Back when Coleman & Ava were in grade school & Jack was not, I would need to be at The Berry Patch. This was before I had help with him. I would take Jack to work with me & give him jobs, paying jobs at that. Things that he could do & do well if he had the motivation & desire-he had neither. Jack hated his job. He was our candy bagger. As much as he loves money, we thought he would love earning it. NOT! I wish Jack had the temperament to give it a go again as our candy bagger. He is simply too wild & girl crazy to take down there. Jack doesn’t visit The Berry Patch ever, he is like a literal bull in a china shop, he would also ask for the phone number of every teenage female we employee & that’s a lot!
When I think of Jack’s question about where he could work, it makes me want to weep for days. Lee told Jack he’d have to think about it, something we tell Jack often when we don’t have the answers to questions he asks. Jack is in a good place, currently. He is using manners, interacting in polite ways, not being inappropriate. We live for times like these, theses times make you appreciate them even more. I guess you could say we are truly fortunate. Some people don’t know what it’s like to experience the fortune of the gift we are receiving this week. We know the highs & lows all too well of life. We deal with such bad times on a regular basis that we know how to cherish the good moments.
One of the most used words in our household is inappropriate. Ava started using it when she was three years old. I laugh so much when I think of her little self running around talking about Jack being “inappropriate”. I’ve used that word with Jack since he was four to describe his behaviors. If he acted like his hand was a table saw & my leg was a log, I’d say “that’s inappropriate”-he still does this to this day, multiple times a day! If he’d talk back, I’d say “that’s inappropriate”. We love to use that word, even Jack uses it from time to time to describe an “inappropriate” outfit that J Lo might be sporting or about lyrics in a song. Jack simply can not work anywhere because his behaviors are “inappropriate”, but how can we explain that to him? I know there are places that do employ people with developmental challenges, but Jack doesn’t fall into that category. It would be so wonderful if he had place he could be employed, a place where he could meet other “like” people, a place where he could learn to interact “appropriately”. There are so many people in the world that don’t want to work, it hurts my heart to know the limitations Dravet has forced upon Jack.
I’ve encountered a few issues with the public during the Corona ordeal. As business owners of an ice cream shop, a produce stand, & a farm, we need stuff to be operational. By stuff I mean bottled water, drinks, Oreos (for ice cream), Reese Cups (for ice cream), butter, milk, just to name a few, so when I go shopping for our business, I buy lots of the same items. If we are low on Oreos for our delicious Oreo ice cream, it’s not unusual for me to roll out of the store with 100 packs of Oreos. The same goes for water, drinks, & milk. I have never minded getting this stuff until Corona. Prior to Corona, I was asked by random shoppers if I was having a party, how many kids do I have, do I run a daycare. I’d sometimes be an illbox to the people inquiring about my buggy purchases & say something like, “we eat a lot at our house” or I’d roll my eyes & say nothing at all to the nosettea’s. My entire wardrobe from March-November are Berry Patch shirts. One would think the nosy-tail people would identify my shirt & know why I make such large purchases. Now that Corona is a thing & people are going to the grocery stores like they are giving away free food, the looks & questions I get are horrific. Going to do my weekly shopping at places like Aldi & Walmart have given me PTSD because of some ol’ heifer I had a run in with at Aldi. There have been limitations on bottled water since the pandemic started. Last week, the limit was lifted at one of my favorite stores, Aldi. I loaded up 13 cases in my cart, I minded my own business like I always do, made sure I wasn’t close to anyone, moving through the line swiftly like Jerry on Seinfeld when he dined with the Soup Nazi. While waiting to be checked out, the ol’ heifer I referred to was behind me in line. I did not know who was behind me until the cow started tapping my back aggressively. I turned around to see who on earth was trying to bore a hole in my back, it was a masked elderly woman in a nightgown. She said to me in a very hateful tone like she worked for the FBI during an interrogation, “what are you going to do with those waters?” Before I ever walked into that store, I had a feeling I was gonna have troubles on that day. So I told the woman they were for my employees & asked her if she went around asking everyone in stores what they were going to do with their groceries? Her response was “no”, to which I said, it’s none of your business & turned around & walked out. Now I hated to be rude to the woman, but when she touched me so aggressively, I nearly lost it. I wanted to say so much more, like why are you wearing a mask but yet touching me? Why are you in your nightgown? Why are you a heifer? The list goes on & on. Do you understand now why I hate shopping for The Berry Patch? It is so embarrassing & confrontational all in one. People think I’m a hoarder! The mean looks I get are scary & I can’t take it, the looks & questions bring out the worst in me. I’m liable to be on morons in the news before this is all over with, with me being the moron of course!
Since my reading audience is full of highly sophisticated followers, I know none of you need to know this, but I’m writing it any way. Do not ever ask people what they are doing with anything in their buggy’s-you may not like the answer, & trust me when I tell you that the buggy-pusher does not want to share that info with you. I swear if someone asked me what I was going to do with a box of tampons that were in my cart, I’d say for your butt! Do not look at the buggy-pusher funny, it makes us mad. You do not need to know what or why they are purchasing anything. It’s none of your business! Corona has made us all ultra sensitive, be careful out there. You don’t want to make the wrong person mad, you don’t know what they have already been through. Stop being concerned about what other people are & are not doing regarding this virus, do what you feel like you need to do & don’t worry about other people. Stop worrying about why employees or others are not wearing masks, this is the south it gets hot in those things. I personally & our employees have felt very light-headed after wearing them for our job outside. That decision is made out of personal safety. This is a friendly reminder to all, mind ya business! There is most likely a backstory for decisions people make. Whether or not you agree with these last few statements, makes no difference to me, mind ya business. 💜