When it comes to graduations, he who and why surpass the where and what

          Graduation – What’s Right with the World

            Graduation season is upon us.  High school and college are the big ones with lots of specially trainings and other advanced degrees in between.  Over the years, my hubby and I have had the pleasure and honor of being invited to dozens and dozens of those open house events to honor the graduate.  The where and what of those open houses is quite diverse.

          Locations of the open house event are as varied as the graduates.  Some have been held in homes-homes that were large and accommodating for the many guests; other homes where the guests were elbow to elbow.  Rented halls and church basements are a close second for location.  Usually more space there though the narrow stairs to some church basements can be a challenge for the elderly or little people guests running up and down and up and down.  We’ve been to open houses in tents and park shelters.  Great on a beautiful ND summer day; not so great when the ND wind arrives.

          The next variable at open houses is the food.  Ham sandwiches and potato salad are a long standing standard and always good.  Though there was one potato salad which must have three cooks creating it as it had a triple dose of onion.  Taco bars, baked potato bars, hamburgers right of the grill, pulled pork or beef sandwiches, tea sandwiches, hot dish, chili – a long list of yum. There is almost always one food dish unique to that family or a special request of the graduate.  Soft, soft buns baked by Grandma, a family secret recipe for pickles or a childhood favorite cookie are often found. Add to that the prerequisite cake which has sometimes been replaced by cheesecake or ice cream or pie and the guests are sufficiently stuffed.

          What always impacts me though is the why and the who.   For one moment in time, one segment of a few hours, all is right with the world.  This young person with so much potential and so much ahead of them is smiling. The guests surrounding them with support and good wishes are smiling.  The parents who arranged the location and food are smiling.   That feeling of hope in your heart everyone leaves with is the best location and has the perfect aftertaste. Congratulations to all graduates and thank you for reminding us what is truly important.