Thursday, September 19, 2013
I was ticked when I walked by the front door and they were gone. It was busy today. I had lots of peeps coming in and even had two different people leave and then come back.
We have some really high end king mattresses we got from Macy's which retailed for around $3000. We are selling them as is for $1099 and include the two box springs. (which would be another $200) Most of them are Stearns and Foster, Simmons or Serta.
Around three a nice looking couple walked into the store. They were older than me but was hard to tell how much older because they were black. I know I should say African American but never did when I was a kid and never mean anything derogatory by it. What I mean by it is that black people hold their age a heck of a lot better than us white peeps. White people you can see all their blue veins and age spots.
They settled on a Stearns and Foster. The wife said they had a Simmons but she didn't like it. They asked if we had delivery and I said we had a third party who delivers. I asked how far they lived from the store and he said Lora Smith Road. My kids went to elementary school on Lora Smith Road (less than three miles from my house) when I was a lunch lady, then an after-school assistant coordinator. I told them they would be better off borrowing a truck and I would help load it. The gentleman said he had a truck at his house and could go get it. The wife asked "Well what are we going to do about the mattress we have?" I told them I lived near there and added "Heck I'd love to have it!" just (kinda) kidding. The mattress Tim and I have is a king but we bought it over seventeen years ago and in the words of Jed Clampett is "Just pitiful."
Okay so maybe this would freak some folks out. Well it didn't freak out me. These people were amazing. I asked the man while typing up his work order his name and said his last name was Smith. I commented that he also lived on Lora Smith Road and he said yes, that was my father.
WOW! I knew that Lora Smith was a man who grew up here and his relatives still owned all the property from the elementary school up to highway 34 on both sides. I shook his hand and told him I felt like I was meeting part of history.
Then my history lesson began. He said when he was a boy Highway 34 was a dirt road. It is now the busiest highway in our city or maybe even the county. He said his father grew or raised everything they ever needed. His father had cows for milk, chickens for eggs, fields full of every vegetable they could want. He said his father never worked for any one other than his self. He cobbled shoes, he drove trucks and did about every thing imaginable and his family not only survived but prospered.
Now we're talking about a hundred years ago, in the deep south, in turbulent and brutal times, especially if you were black.
To me this is simply incredible. Now a hundred years later his son is still living on the land his father owned, surrounded on both sides of the road by other relatives which probably now still encompasses well over a hundred acres.
Somebody needs to write a story about this family! He and his wife were two of the most sincere nicest and happiest people I have ever had the good fortune to meet.
He bought the mattress and left to go home and get his truck.
Last night I had a Latino couple come in late with their father looking for a twin mattress, box springs and frame. They said they would come back today to pick it up. While my new friend went home to get his truck the Latinos came back in a van to pick up the twin mattress. They all three came back along with a teen in tow.
I rang them up and told them to drive around back so we could load. We had to lay all the seats down just to be able to put the mattress, box springs and frame in the van. I asked where the other two were going to ride home and they acted like it was not an issue so I just let it go. Super nice folks as well, they own a Mexican restaurant in town and told them I would come eat there. I love me some good Mexican food.
Not ten minutes later my other friend was backing up to the loading area to pick up his king size mattress and box springs. The bed was a display model so we had to wrestle it back into the bag. Let me tell you, they come out of the plastic bag much easier than they go in. The mattress alone weighed twice what I do and then some. This man was 75 years young and man handled that mattress like it was nothing. Me, I was sweating like a pig. I apologized but pulled my shirt tail out (felt like tucking it under my bra) and after ten minutes of 'Wraslin' got it wrapped and moved to the back door. We chatted the entire time between me huffing and puffing. He said he had taught school for a while, drove a big rig for a bit, graduated from a seminary and was a minister for a while.
I thought I was going to faint as we pulled, rolled and lifted the mattress into the back of his truck. He never broke a sweat and he is in his seventies and was wearing long pants and a collared shirt.
He asked if I still wanted his old mattress and said "Yes please." I told him I would figure out some kind of way to pick it up tomorrow and God bless him he said if I couldn't he would bring it to my house.
Now bringing home someone else's mattress might freak some picky people out, but not me. In the span of a couple of hours I learned this man's history and story. His niece was a teacher at the elementary school my kids went to and I knew her well.
I told him we would come to his house tomorrow to pick up the mattress and box springs and thanked him once again.
He tapped his chest with his finger and said to me "If you don't have Him in here, you're not going up there" and pointed upwards.
What a crazy day. When he left I collapsed onto the nearest mattress and cut the A/C on for fifteen minutes, granted I had it set for 82 but felt wonderful.
Some people may be grossed out by me accepting the gift of a used mattress. I felt blessed to have the offer.
So I'm through slinging mattresses til next week , after I help wrasle my new one home on Friday.
God is good. We're living on the fringe here but know having this new/old mattress and box springs is one more of His blessings. I know meeting Mr. Smith was.
You can't hard sell when you are in my line of work if you want to succeed. You sell yourself first and then everything else will fall into place.
Til next time ...COTTON