Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The extraordinary in the ordinary: Dari B

There's this little place we call the gold mine in my little hometown of Missouri. It's called the Dari B. I spent the first five years of my working life there. My dad use to kid me about going to be a professional ice cream scooper. However, there's more to this than just a joking thought.

No one wants their kid to aspire to scoop ice cream, right? Tom and Belinda Carroll bought the place early in my childhood, years before I become their employee. The two never had children of their own. As to the circumstances of that it is their own story to tell, not mine. But they helped raise half a town of children anyway.

Not only is the Dari B a place for childhood memories on summer nights, sangarias and limeaides to quench your thirst during the stretch of Missouri summer heat, free or discounted ice cream cones on Halloween night as we all bid our favorite hometown place farewell for the cold long winter months ahead, but it's also a place where every teenager hopes to gain their first working experience.

I was one of those lucky few after a little bit of begging. They didn't want to hire me at first because I was a committed softball player that played almost 100 games throughout the season which stretched from March through October, the same as their season. 

She took a chance on me and based on one of the sweetest Christmas cards I've ever received this past year, I don't think they regret their choice. But they offered this opportunity to so many more than myself. In the decades that they've been providing my hometown with ice cream, they've also been providing the town's youth with a wonderful opportunity to learn the valuable life lessons that come with working, that come with balancing work with so many other things, that come with the honor of serving and representing a community.

I always thought of Tom and Belinda as some kind of surrogate parents. I spent a lot of my time as a teenager with them, as did many others.  I'm sure they heard way more teenage drama and love stories than they ever imagined for themselves, but like any good parents or teachers, they guided, they listened, and they gave you just enough rope to navigate things, whether it was life or work, for yourself.

They use to tell me when I grow up I should buy the Dari B from them. If I was closer to home, if my husband was interested, and if they were retiring I'd seriously consider it, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

I thought of this because today in a conversation we asked Averi what she wanted to be when she grows up. Of course, after princess, it ended up being one of the classics-doctor, teacher, astronaut. There are great, noble professions out there, but I also want my kids to know the choice in our professions or how we make our living isn't the only thing that makes us great or stand out. Greatness can be found every day in the most ordinary people who don't choose lavish or noble careers that draws society's recognition. No matter our paths, our career choices, or our directions we all have something to offer to others.

Even something as simple as scooping ice cream can be so much more. Don't forget to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary things in your life.

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