Learning Curve

One of my few regrets in life is that I never went to college. Sure, I would have loved to have that opportunity, but it wasn’t a huge priority for me or for my parents. Over the years though, I’ve never had trouble finding a job, and if I didn’t have the skills I needed, I just learned them along the way.

In the early 80’s, I didn’t experience the pressure to attend college as kids do today. In my mind, college was optional. Trade schools were widely available, but were generally considered an alternative to college, usually reserved for kids with the the lower GPAs. The only alternative schools/trades I ever heard about were cosmetology and auto mechanics.

In today’s competitive world, it is expected that kids will attend college. We expected our two kids to attend college, and they both did, but neither were really using that expensive education in a career . . . until now.

Three years post-graduation with an Art degree (her third, and final major), our daughter is moving into a trade. She is becoming a welder! It’s a skill she tried briefly in one of her college art courses, but it remained in the back of her mind until she grew tired of the retail industry. At the age of 26, she is joining a trade that up until now has been strictly male-dominated. She’ll be learning a valuable, and highly marketable skill. If you do your research you will find that plenty of other women are jumping into the trades too. We’re very proud of her!

I have had many people tell me that I can still go to college. It’s never too late, right? I’ve pondered that thought and wondered what I might study in my retirement.

Seven years ago while on vacation in California wine country, we had the opportunity to dine at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). It was amazing! Everything was prepared by the students, from the table setting, meal preparation and presentation, to the wine pairing and dessert menu. My description of this main course of garden vegetable risotto (pictured) was simply one word: bliss.

Ever since that vacation, and another visit to the CIA in Hyde Park, NY, I have secretly wanted to be a chef. I received a gift of The Great Courses The Joy of Mediterranean Cooking, and have become a huge fan of Chef Bill Briwa, an instructor from the California CIA who guides this course. My goal is to visit the two remaining CIA locations in San Antonio, TX, and recently discovered (as of 2 minutes ago) Singapore location.

My fall-back majors would be Genealogy and Ornithology, in that order. I’ll probably hold off on submitting any applications though until college tuition is free for seniors. 😉

I chose Psalm 32:8 as my featured verse for this post because it really sums up my life to this point. The Lord has lovingly provided me with so many opportunities — career and more — as well as the skills needed to complete every task. Adding a college degree may or may not be part of His future plans for me, but I am always eager to learn something new!


Seasons to Remember

You can’t deny it . . .  fall is on the horizon. This realization hit me when my Google calendar suddenly flipped from July to August. We returned from two weeks overseas and found Halloween candy in the stores.

I am looking forward to fall though, but honestly, it has nothing to do with pumpkin spice latté. I’m ready to welcome the cooler sweater weather, colorful leaves, and college football. I long to sleep at night again with the windows wide open!

As a kid, I lived for summer. When your childhood home is on the ocean, you spend the entire winter dreaming about the days when you can run barefoot in the sand. I loved those carefree surf-filled sunny days, and listening to the waves crashing beneath my window at night. They are memories that truly stay with you for a lifetime.

Years later, my folks moved to the mountains of southwestern Maine and I discovered a new love for pine forests, fall foliage, and maple syrup. I saw my first moose and fed a chickadee from my hand. I went apple picking and even tried snowshoeing. And of all the Christmas mornings I can remember, nothing compared to waking up in the mountains with snow falling and a fire crackling in the wood stove.

I will always have fond memories of my childhood summers on the beach. Time has passed and I have lots of new memories of summers spent at the beach and in the mountains with my own children. And as the calendar flips to a new month, a new season, or a new year, I will look forward to many more seasons in my life, shared with friends and family, creating memories to cherish forever.