Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Penny Candy

When I was a little girl of 10, daddy used to let me drive his black truck to the store to buy candy. You have to understand that I loved candy. I would work in the cotton fields all day long to earn 10 cents to buy candy. I always earned more than that but I tried to save a little each time I worked, for days that I didn't work.
If I didn't have money, my Daddy would always give me some. He was always so good about giving me candy money.
If I had all the money I have spent on sweets over the years I could have bought a car.... lol
I couldn't reach the pedals of that big ole truck, but I would scooch up on the seat and stretch my tiny legs til I could reach the clutch, brake and gas pedal. I must have looked a sight with my small head peering through the steering wheel so I could see where I was going.
One day I had 10 cents to buy candy. Since Candy was 3 for a penny, that meant that I could have candy all week. 30 pieces of candy for me!
I drove to the store and asked for a paper bag to get my candy. Back in that day, trust was automatically given between customer and store owner. I would take the paper bag, go to shelves where the penny candy was, and count out the pieces into the bag. Red hots, Mary Janes, lil chick of sticks, bazooka bubblegum and jawbreakers.
On that day for for the first time in my life. I put an extra piece of candy in my bag. 31 pieces in all. The store owner took my dime, just like he always did never suspecting a thing. I went home with my prize but it gnawed at me. I wasn't a real bad kid, I just loved candy.
I had taken it and I couldn't even enjoy it. The next week when I went back for my 10 cents worth of candy, I shorted myself to 29 to make up for it but it never did. I had taken something that did not belong to me and I had to live with that.
All of my growing up years, the store owner continued to trust people. I would get a bag if I wanted candy and I would get a bag if I wanted to buy personal items for myself. I would have been mortified to ask for Kotex from a man and they knew that, so I would take the bag, put the sanitary napkins inside and then pay for them and leave without looking anyone in the eye.
We are so different now in the way we do things. Men buy feminine products now for their girlfriends or wives. That would have never happened when I was growing up. lol
After I left home, I never thought I would encounter a situation where honor was the word of the day but then I moved to DePeyster, Amish country. On any given day, you could go to an Amish stand that sold Jam, Jelly, Corn, Tomatoes, and home baked goods and you see a small box or carton and a sign to "take what you need and put your money in the box".. I was flabbergasted to see this when I first moved there. Anyone could have taken the money from the box or taken more than what they paid for, but I never saw it happen.
I hope that in my life I have given more than I have taken but that penny candy still sticks in my craw sometimes. It was the only time I had stolen something and I never did it again, so I guess the lesson was effective.
For me, restitution meant to give when I can, every time I can. I will continue to do that and hope that the lesson for all of us is to give more than we take in life. There are so many rewards for living life this way and they have surely found me over the years. I know that God forgave me taking that penny candy and I will forgive myself for it too. It wasn't so much the penny candy as It was the trust between two people being broken by one. I hate that I was the one to do that, but I am human and that happens sometimes in life.
Maya Angelou said that when we know better we do better.
All we can do is strive to do better. That is what I have done with my life and that is what I hope that you have done with yours. If you have done something in your life that is less than stellar, ask forgiveness and then accept that forgiveness and do better.
That is all any of us can do. I love you. I am so thankful that you all are walking with me and I am still that lil girl that loves my candy. The last photo was taken a few minutes ago in my room. Some things just don't change lol. .. Love, Kimmee

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