Gina Moore

Although I was a fairly quiet kid, preferring to observe rather than be on stage, I never minded selling stuff.

Maybe it was the lure of those tiered-fundraising prizes, but from Girl Scout cookies to magazines to that little cardboard Tom-Wat suitcase full of assorted products to show and sell, my shell cracked open a little more each campaign.

Yet I realize my experience with sales as a parent was different. It just wasn’t fun for me as the mom — the onslaught of fundraisers and the associated paperwork crammed into our three kids’ backpacks.

“Ugh, not again!” I came to dread each one.

Upon reflection, I kind of regret my overwhelmed-by-the-avalanche attitude, which I now realize probably squelched our kids’ enthusiasm and lessons learned from these experiences.

But, back when I was the salesperson and my mom was the delivery wagon (especially for all those cases of Girl Scout cookies filling our Suburban), I discovered if I believed in the product, I could sell it.

Shyness took a backseat to enthusiasm for the good stuff I had to offer.

I remember making all those phone calls each year to my cookie customers.

Ahh, all those “old-fashioned” phone calls from the gold telephone mounted on our kitchen wall!

Today, I’d probably do quick “copy and paste” text messages for the sake of efficiency. But I realize something would have been lost in the experience had I not heard the voices.

One call stands out in my memory. A classmate and friend had gotten out of scouting about the time I started, so when I called her mom, Connie Couser, she was very familiar with the cookie drive.

Whereas most people politely ordered two to five boxes, she actually sounded excited I’d called — then quickly ordered 20 of her favorite kind plus a few others. I think her order was 27 boxes!

Holding that phone, my jaw must have dropped as my heart rate quickened.

And I’m pretty sure this was a pivotal moment in the growth of my inner salesman, opening the door to possibilities I’d never even considered.

Mrs. Couser said she’d discovered the cookies froze well, so she liked to stock up; no need to be without these treats!

I don’t remember which cookie was her favorite — probably either Tagalongs or Samoas, which remain my favorites also.

But I’ll never forget what her generous order did for my salesgirl spirit that day. Of course, she was at the top of my calling list each year afterward.

Some of you probably know Connie Couser, who was married to longtime Cowan doctor Charles Doyle Couser.

If you do know her, you’re probably smiling, not surprised one bit. Mrs. Couser has long been known for her enthusiastic spirit, and her presence automatically adds fun to any room.

As her daughter, Jackie’s, friend, I visited their home in Shadowbrook many times.

I’d never seen someone go all out decorating for each holiday — even Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. It was as though Mrs. Couser was just looking for excuses to celebrate. (What a great example!)

At birthday sleepovers, Mrs. Couser seemed to enjoy all the hubbub as much as the guests.

A generous hostess who not only decorated but planned and prepared delicious foods for each occasion, she unreservedly welcomed visitors with classic Southern hospitality and charm.

She gave us girls our space, but we knew she was always close, eagerly willing to listen or talk to us about anything.

I don’t know about you, but I need more of these exuberant people in my life. Just as a well pump is primed with water, one person’s spirit can be primed by an encouraging, generous, joy-filled spirit of another.

I’m thankful for these brightly shining people like Mrs. Couser in my life — those whose positive outlooks have overflowed, somehow splashing onto me and encouraging me for the journey.

I believe it’s true what I read once: “You can tell when people are truly happy. Their energy is genuine.”

It’s a worthwhile exercise to reflect, “Who has primed your pump?” Think back over your life at those who exuded love and positivity. Then be sure to tell them, thank them and thank God for them.

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Philemon 1:4-7)

Then, let us not forget to think about, “Whose pump might we prime?”

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)

Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 27 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.