Archive | March 2014

The “Simple” pleasures in life!

He stood in the doorway shaking his head at me. “You really are something” he said. I really didn’t know what he was talking about. We’d been married for thirty-one years and so him deciding I was “really something” wasn’t big news…at least I thought. “Are you happy?”he asked as his blue eyes smiled down at me.

“I am! This is so exciting!” I glanced around the room at our work and couldn’t help but turn to hug my husband. “Thanks!” I said with complete joy in my voice. It didn’t take much to make me happy, but this…this was big! After a life-time of marriage, we finally had our very own beautiful master bedroom! WHAT? Did I say BEDROOM? You heard me right…before me stood a room I had designed in my head, and put together with my own hands…and my husbands. But a bedroom? I know, weird. But being happy over this made me “really something” in the eyes of my husband.      

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You see, when we were first married we lived in Alaska and arrived there young and broke. By the time we scrapped up enough money to buy a dresser, we could only afford a plain pine set by Sears and Roebuck sent by way of barge. You couldn’t really call it a bedroom set made for a king and queen…but we weren’t picky. We took pride in staining it, and the set would be our furniture until our children came along. I’m not sure how it happened, but our daughter ended up with the pine, all painted white and pink… and we ended up with…an antique dresser from my husband’s grandparents (I don’t like antiques…) a bed with no headboard, and two round cheap screw-in legged tables for our bedstands. When we finally moved into our current house ten years ago, we took our son’s armoir and two night stands and bought him a full bedroom set with the thought that he’d take them with him when he left college. You might ask, where were our clothes? They were piled up in our closets. Let’s get real here…it sucked! Half the time I couldn’t even reach my clothes, all five feet of me. And my husband? Just one shelf could barely hold three of his long 6’3 jeans. But we persevered because we thought we would only be in the house two years. You heard me…we thought two years. We are now on our tenth year and I finally said to my husband, “Can we just do it…let’s do something for us. Forget the kids…let’s get something new just for us.” AND WE DID! Holy Cannoli!

Being me, I refused to spend a fortune on the furniture…not that I’m cheap, but we still don’t know if we might be moving in a year. The military is kind of weird in that way… So we found what I was looking for at Ikea, and I set out to build my furniture and design the room. Every day my husband would arrive home and I would update him on my progress. I painted the whole room (think two and half car garage size!) My husband put in crown molding, and then we proceeded to buy accent pieces for our retreat. How it all came together I will never know since I did everything backwards from the way it should have been done. (Not my normal MO.) But now I stood here with my husband thrilled at what we finally had…a true master bedroom like the rest of the world. Am I happy? You know it! Will we move next year…probably…all because I finally got my master bedroom!

I’m sure my husband thinks I’m nuts that a bedroom could make me happy…but I’ve lived the life of a military child and wife and this is something to smile about….really…it is! It’s the simple things in life that bring me joy.

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The Demise of our College Graduates…

college-graduate

She rolled over as the sun peeked through the blinds. Glancing at her cell phone she noted the missed calls and pulled the worn pillow over her head. What did she care that it was going on noon, it was just another day like the last. She was tired of being told to get out of bed and get a job. What job? No one seemed to understand…she was a college graduate, Cum Laude even, and yet she wasn’t knowledgable enough to land a job. She hated the word “JOB” and when it was used around her she felt her anxiety grow until she now took medicine to control the anxiety.

He stood staring in the mirror, his tie, all shiny and new, stared back at him, mocking him and his long ago dreams of making it big in the business world. His face was clean shaven, his cologne light, his brow furrowed. How did this happen? He dreaded the next eight to ten hours behind a desk answering phones for what? His paycheck barely covered his rent and utilities, let alone any extras like food! But he was tired…tired of the job, tired of people telling him he was lucky to get a job, tired of living a life that was anything but his dream. This wasn’t suppose to be like this.

The line grew long and she struggled to wrestle the watermelon into a cart for the customer. Behind her she could see Mrs. So and So and she wished her supervisor would suddenly grant her a break. How could she face her here…at the local grocery store? Trying to smile she met her previous teacher with a heavy heart. The conversation was light, but she knew what Mrs. So and So was thinking…”Poor dear! So bright and now working at a grocery store. She was going to change the world.” And then she asks, “Didn’t you travel to Uganda for a year and help build schools?” Yep…that was her, the girl that was going to light the world on fire, now she was selling firewood to people in a grocery store. It wasn’t suppose to happen this way…was it? Didn’t the government promise her that they would help her find a job when she returned? Didn’t they tell her that she was one of their brightest young minds, the future of the world?

All about us these stories grow in number. College graduates are disgruntled, perhaps more now then ever in the history of our country.Blame it on the economy, the government…whatever…does it really matter? NO IT DOES NOT! You see, life is different for most of these young people, different than when most of us graduated from college. I know that my generation was the one that
still had only a few children in the household attending college. Now every child in the household is expected to attend…a college degree is like a high school degree. Successfully attaining a degree only offers you a job…not the one of your dreams…just a job. (My generation you had to have a high school diploma.) For some, the job may be working at a grocery store, or answering phones. Both which really do not require a college education…yet, who are employers hiring? You got it. The college graduate. Does this mean that graduates should get their masters? NO…again…NO! A masters degree doesn’t guarantee a job in a particular field anymore than the BA did.

So what are the youth of America to do? Here is the answer according to my very wise husband…
They must take control of what they “can” control. Instead of waiting for something good to happen…our youth need to start helping themselves. The truth be told, our youth have had everything promised to them and those promises went up in smoke when they graduated. Our graduates need to begin a strategic plan to work their way to happiness. They must realize that “they” must start at the bottom of the totem pole and climb slowly and with purpose until they are the head of that very totem. These young people need to ask themselves what they could do to better themselves, to get more experience, to make themselves more marketable. IF that means he/she must take a few classes here or there, take them. IF it means that he/she must volunteer on weekends to get experience somewhere…then do it gladly. IF it means making connections at the local book club…then join the club. These young Americans were promised a bright future…but let’s be real…no one promised it to them on a silver platter. They need to learn how to polish the platter before they can eat off of it. It is sad to see our youth in such a predicament…but the best way out of it is with enthusiasm to keep learning and better oneself. It’s the only way their bright future will come to fruition.