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Skipping the College Stage

Way before I became a mother, and before I worked at Word & Deed, I worked at Empire Valley Farms. When I think back on those days my eyes twinkle and a smile crosses my face. Those were days spent with my dear friend Becky who later became my sister-in-law. We worked long hours in the packing barn sorting cucumbers, tomatoes, and green peppers.

I was brought back to those days filled with hard work and laughter this weekend as I past the tomatoes in the vegetable aisle. The earthy, tangy smell reached out to me and pulled memories to mind about the chatter between two teenage girls dreaming of what lay ahead.

As we worked Becky made sure we enjoyed what we were doing. I used to stare at her in amazement as she would pull a tomato off the belt that moved the fruit we were sorting, and take a BIG juicy bite. It looked SO delicious but there was no way I could eat a tomato without something to go with it. The peppers on the other hand appealed to me. I tried to work up the nerve to take a bite of a jumbo, crisp green Bell pepper but to no avail. Who eats peppers like an apple?! People would surely think I’m weird and what if the boss saw me! So all the peppers went in the boxes as Becky rolled her eyes at me for being so…who knows what?!

Neither of us had any solid plans for the future and when asked if we’d be going to college in the Fall we would giggle and say that we were skipping the college stage and going straight to the barn. Why waste money on an education when people end up being labourers with a degree anyway we thought. Short sighted I know.

Eventually Becky did go to college and earned her PSW degree (Personal Support Worker) and it serves her well. I applied to Westervelt College and was accepted but in the mean time was hired by
Word & Deed Ministries. The job took priority and I never did get a degree. Now I realise that an education is never wasted but there are many ways to be educated. I learned a lot in the work environment and am learning even more now that I am a mother. I do look forward to the possibility of going to college someday when the kiddos are all grown up, but for now they are my teachers.

So here’s to Becky, and the tomatoes for the fond memories and the great education! :O)

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