Twelve Hours in a Bookstore, Pages Turning…

The last two days were exactly that, 10:00AM – 10:00PM on hand wrapping gifts and filling time when that did not occur.  Sunday, completely different looking day.  Arriving at 10:00 AM, and by 11:00 AM, I was surrounded by gifts needing wrapping, a line of individuals waiting to have gifts wrapped and wondering WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED since LAST NIGHT? The next time I looked down at my watch, 1:L17 PM – Seriously, how can that happen?  

In the course of those four hours that truly disappeared, I had met Darlene and Bob Jones, a retired husband and wife that were so easy to talk to and get to know them quite well.  It was a pleasure wrapping their mountain of gifts with the good conversation that was to be had.  It was great to just have a conversation about their grandson, their life in retirement, and just aspects in general.  I guess wrapping gifts paves the way for that.

A second man that worked for the Post Office, chatted with me as I wrapped his gifts and we discussed the misconceptions regarding that occupation versus the reality.   I relayed my holiday break experience at one time when I was in Edinboro realizing the seasonal position I maintained at UPS while studying school and in awe of how the misconception of what a job entails and the reality clash.  He stated, “When I have the job that people think I have, then I will let them know!” and we chuckled much.

Before you knew it, 2:00 PM came through, and my relief came and even though I felt so much better than yesterday’s relief time (Thank you Jady and Sydney!) – it still felt amazing to be able to get a change of scenery.  I do have to spend some time explaining how successful we have been this year as a Junior class due to the motivations of the students themselves.  As in any group, you always try to measure and outweigh the individuals that are there for the minimum,  versus the individuals that should not get burned out and be motivated to keep moving the group forward.  Indya and Jasmine are two of those individuals.  I remember last year a slew of events that barely were pulled off and we had some reliable members as well thank goodness in the resources of Rachel who really came through, and we were lucky enough to have a great collaboration with the then freshmen class to simply make things happen.

Indya and Jasmine continue to come to the table and expect others around them to do the same based on their commitment to move the Class of 2020 forward, and that is exactly what it takes.  Their commitment to planning at meetings in the morning that are way to early to think about anything, their follow through with fundraisers that continue to bring in at times hundreds, even thousands, make an impact overall of where the group will be headed.  At Apple Scrapple, had it not been for Rachel and family, Indya, Anthony, and Jasmine, we would not even be halfway where we are now, not even close.  It showed so much selflessness to come in on a day that was so close to holidays, allow me to see a portion of a football game I would obviously due to the long day, and return refreshed and able to do the best I possibly could.  Extra duties we do while being a guest at the store, straightening the magazine racks, directing customers to the correct area, wishing people happy holidays as they entered, and more left a great feeling 20181223_174824 (1)working with a company that in turn supports us every year.  Yet, without the energy and willingness to push forward when you have an off day (Saturday), when you have team players like Indya and Jasmine, it is priceless to see them be able to turn the group around at the turn of a dime based on their ability, motivation, and optimism. Certainly it makes the long hours in as well as the road to what the future holds a little bit brighter to see, their involvement just in one day in a span of hours brought the Class of 2020 on track to rebound from one bad dad, to an amazing one.  What matters in the success of any group, is the willingness of a group to contribute a little at a time and all combined, one huge masterpiece.  

While on my break, even more conversations that tied ourselves to individuals occurred.  While sitting down for lunch, a couple beside me began a conversation with how their ties to graduating from the former high school in Bridgeville, and the antics that he put on while a student at the high school.  During the lunch, we visited connections that did not contain itself to just Woodbridge.  We discussed a sad event to a young lady from Seaford that is remembered by a concrete bench at the Seaford High School, a sad event that tied a tragedy to a very sad event, and I just marveled.  Marveled at the connections that go beyond the borders of specific school districts within one state, and go to the very people that make the borders of one state.  it is such a shame during the holidays to not peel through the layers of meeting people on the pretense of shopping and make it to the layers that reveals stories, connections, and relationships you discover that do indeed go beyond the surface.  We are very lucky in the state of Delaware to have this open door open to us and the offer and opportunity just needs to be taken to full realize these experiences, and enrich the life you can and do find along the eastern shore.  I found it amazing how many times I found this myself, being in Salisbury and meeting so many individuals that connected to Woodbridge almost 40 minutes away, but yet individuals all day that were right along each of us where we lived. 

Again, I met a sprinkling of information and ties to Woodbridge in the remaining time until 10:00 PM.  It was a crazy length of time to put in right before the holidays, hard to get there and a long trek, and a long day to sidle with over twelve hours each day.  I did still realize working each day the information and conversations we had during those two days of conversation while wrapping gifts, creating wreaths, and straightening /helping those around us, it was worth it.  Hard to image this from the beginning, and jumping right in did have its priceless benefits at the end of the experience.  The trick is find those individuals and involve them, that can also bring you along to the trek and that have the foresight of where you can go, not being there yet!



About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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