She packed herself up to leave, her and the kiddo, heading toward parts unknown and the South Forty. Looking for life, new people, new experiences – all in a place where almost nobody knew her name.
They arrived, found a place to live and quickly settled in with their new life. Now it’s off to find employment. She did, several places actually. interviewed and received requests for hire. It wasn’t that hard but some of the jobs might be hard for her little family.
The first one to contact her was the local steakhouse. Waitressing is a prime way to meet new people – hard work and very interesting. The problem was it would be for the evening shift. Kiddo was seven years old. New town, no friends, no one yet to trust with her child. But it was work and they were going to do what had to be done, even though she didn’t know how to go about doing that.
The day she was to start later that evening, she received another call for employment. A local plant. Hired as a temporary because it was the only thing available. If she was interested, the job was hers, starting the next day, but she should be aware it was only to get her employed there. They had hopes of putting her in Administration as another position was open. Oh, it was days, too.
No doubt about it. A miracle had happened for her little family. She back out of the waitress position and accepted the temporary one. She didn’t realize that her world was going to take a substantial turn for the better. Life was good, people were even better, and she just said yes to finding all that out.
The plant employed some 500 people, most from the South Forty area. She learned very quickly you can never judge a book by it’s cover. These people were real, in every way possible, and they expressed it in their attitudes and actions, each and every day. Not one soul knew her or her son but they were accepted as their own, for whatever reasons those were. She needed anything, someone was there. She didn’t need anything and someone was still there. That kind of life. The good kind. It was easy for her to lose all stigmas of what was expected from where she came from to being her real self in a place where the people didn’t have such attachments.
Good morning is a common phrase when meeting people first thing in the day. That’s just it, a common phrase. Not necessarily any specific meaning behind it, just something to say. She found out, however, it wasn’t really the truth where she was at now. Walking in the door of work for the first time, it took forever to get to where she needed to be. Why? Every single person she met stopped and said good morning. And meant it! How could that be? Surely it wouldn’t continue. Nobody wouldn’t continue to be that nice. Of course, it was her first day. That explained it.
But it continued. Every single day. She even began showing up earlier than necessary just to take time to enjoy the ritual of having a good morning. This went on and on. Always, no exceptions. No matter what, if anything, was wrong, there was always a smile and genuine interest when wishing someone good morning.
She and kiddo lived in the South Forty for three years. Her life changed drastically for the better. She was the true goodness of people, the real benefits of caring and compassion, and total acceptance. It was so easy to be there, be real, be happy.
But she had to be responsible, too. Due to situations beyond her control, she made the decision to return to the Eastern Shore, armed with the knowledge that people are not the same everywhere you go. She was real and she was going back as herself to be herself.
The adjustment of moving to the South Forty was simple and easy. She just flowed right into the swing of life. Readjusting to the Eastern Shore was quite a different matter. The simple life with those sweet people was gone. It was back into the rat race, every man for himself. Good morning still remained just a phrase, and most days she might be lucky to even hear the words. It was back to the same grind – people didn’t seem to care to wish anyone a good morning or receive the wish from her.
Thirteen years later, she still doesn’t understand why.
Still inside is that person she was all those years ago, the one where a simple good morning provided a wonderful change of life.