Last weekend, J and I watched his nephew graduate from high school. I always love this time of year, because it’s always filled with such hope and excitement. Hope for what the future holds, and excitement for all the experiences out there, just ready for the grabbing. It’s electrifying, even though I’m far beyond that stage in my life (though I guess, no one is ever beyond having hope for the future…maybe I need to rethink this “old” feeling). Anyways…it was nice! It was strangely reminiscent of my own high school graduation…small rural school, lots of pick-up trucks, and a ceremony that lasts less than an hour because there really aren’t that many students to get through. Honestly, the Salutatorian and Valedictorian speeches lasted longer than the roll call of students. It was just like my own graduation, some odd years ago.
And now, if you’ll permit me, my digression: the next day was the graduation party that I had made a blue million servings of macaroni and cheese to serve. And I wanted to take photos to show you all exactly what 125 servings looked like, but fate was once again conspiring against me. Part way through the final batch, the electricity at our house went out. Now, we have gas for cooking, so we should have been able to cook regardless…except the pilot light is lit using electricity. And we don’t have matches or a lighter, so I was stuck until the electricity decided to make its appearance. As such, when the power finally came back on, I was in a mad scramble to finish up the last of the goods, get them packed, and then jump in the shower to look somewhat presentable prior to the party. Sadly, photos were the last thing on my mind…suffice it to say, it was a sh*t-ton of macaroni and cheese. More macaroni and cheese than I’ve ever seen in my life at one time. Epic amounts of macaroni and cheese. Make a mental picture in your mind of a field of macaroni and cheese that spreads across the plain states of Nebraska, Kansas, and parts of Oklahoma, and that will give you an idea of the sheer mass of cheesy deliciousness. See, photos only prevent you from using your imagination…you’re welcome in advance.
So, after all that, we get to the graduation and get set up, and then guests start arriving. It was great to catch up with family and friends, and it appears that the graduation guy had a good time! All in all, though it was a lot of work, it was a good turn-out and I think fun was had by all. And, it was a nice chance to really sit back and reflect on my own graduation and where my choices have taken me from high school to now. And though it’s been a long road (as I’m sure it’ll be for the newly graduated), I wouldn’t change a minute of it. So far, it’s been a good ride.
So, congratulations graduates of 2014. I wish you all the very best in your future and hope that you take every experience as it comes, and embrace it all. For each new step you take will push you to be the very best “you” possible, if you let it. Never be afraid to take chances, for those chances can be the difference between a lifetime of looking back with “what ifs” and a journey incomparable to anything you’ve ever imagined. Make good decisions when you can, and strive every day to go to sleep having learned at least one new thing. Remember that mistakes are par for the course, and while they might be humbling and angst ridden, they are designed to teach a lesson that, hopefully, you learn well. Don’t be afraid to make them, and remember the advice of “Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow.” Good luck, and God speed.