Today, at Tractor Supply, we were busier then you can possibly believe. I worked steadily, and the customers never stopped. I left at 6, an hour later than usual, and still we were busy. It was a fun day, none the less. People were good natured, and there was a lot of laughing. People loved the pooping reindeer at the check out counter. They are little plastic reindeer which 'poop' chocolate candies. That made people laugh. I said, "It ain't Christmas until the reindeer poop." I sold quite a number of them.
Like I said, it was busy, and suddenly there was a break in my line, just for a moment. Then a man on crutches came swinging into my aisle. He was about 3, 3 1/2 feet tall, one legged, and I think that he may have been walking on the knee of the one leg remaining. I immediately thought 'IED' and 'war wound'. The thing was, he was beautiful, really, a good looking young man, bearded, big brown eyes. And in those eyes, there was not one bit of self pity. Not one bit. He bought some clamps for a battery. He was cheerful, and a talker, like me. When I went out into the parking lot later, I saw him working on a car. Then he hopped into it, and he drove off.
You know, I watched this, and what I felt was mad. Unaccountably mad. I was angry for what this young man lost, even though it didn't seem to bother him. Something else also made me mad. I thought of all the able bodied young men I know, who find excuses for themselves, feel sorry for themselves, complain constantly about their bad breaks. "It's not fair. It's not fair." They're 'getting screwed.' That young man knew about bad breaks. He also knew that life is what you make it. It would do us all good to stop right this minute, and consider that.
Today, a man with a bandaged face came to my register with his wife. I looked at him and said, "Tell me, did you fall? Tear a tear duct, and split your forehead?" And his one uncovered eye surveyed me in surprise. "Yeah," he said, cautiously. "Your boy was in here to pick up your layway yesterday. He said you didn't want to go to the hospital until he got home from work. I ain't going to tell you what he called you either, but he was darn worried about you." And the man smiled as his wife said, "I know what he called him." I said, "Well, I'm glad you're up and around." His wife said that he had not only split his forehead and torn that tear duct, but that he'd also torn one of the eye muscles. I told them, "I can tell you that when your boy was describing the injuries, every single person in line winced, me included." His wife was studying me as I talked and handed their bags to the husband. Suddenly, she asked me my last name. I told her. She grabbed my arm. "I read your articles and they are so wonderful. They usually make me cry." She was quite happy to meet me. They walked out of the store, and I heard her telling her husband about me. I heard him say, "Yeah, what about it?" and she hissed, "That's her," and he said, "What? That woman? She's the writer?" and she said, "Yes!" and then they were out the door. It used to embarrass me. I never knew what to say, but now I guess I'm used to it. Yes. My name is Debby and I'm the writer.