Season of Gratitude

By Adam Calder    
This year has been filled with trials and tribulations the likes of which many people in our community have never seen in their lifetimes.  Life changes so quickly, and at times the turbulence and anxiety caused by these changes can leave us feeling vulnerable and afraid.

If all we did was react and adjust to the challenges life throws at us, we would never have time to slow down and actually enjoy living. I’m so glad our society has time set aside specifically for merriment because if we didn’t, I doubt it would ever happen.  When we celebrate life with the people we love, we are strengthened and enriched.

Under normal circumstances, we often forget to pause and reflect on all off the good things in our lives.  Even less often do we articulate those thoughts.  So this Thanksgiving season, I say we do it.  Reach out to the people you love, and let them know how you feel.

Think about the people in your life who love and support you, and thank them for their efforts. Think about all in your life you are grateful for, about how those things enhance you and make you a better person.

I am so very thankful for the amazing staff I get to work with in the produce department.  After the derecho tore through the state earlier this year, the produce department was in utter disarray.  It took every ounce of my strength not to break down in tears when we had to throw away the majority of the department.  The monumental waste of not just food, but off all the tremendous effort and energy that goes into producing that food all the way up the distribution chain, it was nearly too much to bare.  If I didn’t have my produce team working there by my side, I know I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together.  We all did our best, and in a few short days you couldn’t even tell anything bad had happened.

That incredible dedication from the produce team, and from all of the Wheatsfield staff, came after all of us have been dealing with the Covid pandemic since March.  To say the stress from this pandemic has weighed heavily on all of us here at Wheatsfield would be an understatement.  Many of us have had to retreat to a secluded corner of the cooperative to have a much needed cry.  We want to serve our community and keep our doors open; we also don’t want to get sick and die because we came in to do our jobs.  That fear is always present for us, and yet we have not let fear stop us from working any less diligently than we always have.

I’m grateful for our members and customers. For the most part, you have all been accommodating and gracious in your acceptance of our Covid safety protocols. Our customers were also equally magnanimous as you waited patiently for us to re-stock the co-op after the derecho power outage. The cooperative is more successful than it ever has been, and sales have been steady and strong ever since the pandemic started. The supply chain has been stretched and throttled since March, and our customers have taken our various out-of-stocks and purchase limits in stride. At a time when your cooperative staff have needed extra patience and flexibility, our customers have delivered.

With all due sincerity and gratitude, I say thank you to all the people who make my life worth living.  I’ll be spending Thanksgiving Day eating good food with people I love, and I wish the same for you.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!