Changes

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Today marks a change not only for me, but for my entire family.  After several months of dealing with my dad’s death, we were put in a situation to sell our childhood home.  I was never quite sure how I would feel about the house being up for sale, but here we stand with a house full of 26 years of memories on the market.

Looking back at when we first moved into the house 26 years ago, I still laugh at how unique our house was. While most people got the usual two story home or single family home, my dad opted for the only house in town that resembled Pizza Hut.  Along with a strong resemblance to Pizza Hut, our house had a consistent Michigan State green paint coating on the exterior from top to bottom.

Moving into the house, our family had just experienced some massive changes.  My mom had just passed away, my dad remarried, and we went from three kids to five kids (twins).  Our family would eventually grow and double in size by adding three more brothers, and three amazing sisters.

Throughout the years, we had some of the greatest moments of our lives in that house.  We had newlyweds, new drivers, new friends, and grandkids for my parents to spoil.  Along with so many great additions, we also had so many great family gatherings and events.

Unfortunately, we’re in a much different spot today.  From losing my mom before we first moved in, we lost our dad and have now all moved on to new homes, new cities, and new beginnings.  I used to always look back at our childhood home and wonder why my dad never sold it and moved on.  Returning home to bury him in November and clean up the house, I’m glad he never sold it.  While I never appreciated everything that we experienced in the house when we all lived together, going back I can’t help but recount and reminisce about all the memories that we had in the house.  While he wasn’t there to yell at me to clean the garage or take out the garbage, the fact that I could go there and remember the times we shared together was priceless.

In conclusion, our house wasn’t the best, and certainly wasn’t what you’d see on HGTV.  However, our childhood home was special, unique, and everything that we needed to grow up in.  We may have lost our dad and moved on from our childhood house, but I’m glad that we got to share 26 years worth of memories in that home.

The Little Prince: The Essence of Life

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After days of enjoying and reaping the benefits of #SXSW, I finally had the chance to catch up on some movies and the latest news. I came across The Little Prince. While I was initially thinking that this would be a great film for my kids to watch, it turned out to be a great film for me to watch as well.

The Little Prince focuses in on a little girl and her hard working mom. The mom is plagued with the obsessive thoughts of getting her daughter into the top school in the area. After a few setbacks, the mom decides to plot her daughter’s way to success and take control of her days with endless studying and learning. The daughter ends up befriending her neighbour, The Aviator, building a great bond and friendship. The Aviator is an odd character who is seen as weird by most, and also completely out of touch with the rest of the neighbourhood. While becoming friends, The Aviator introduces the daughter to the Little Prince. Introducing the little girl to the Little Prince opens her mind to see what great things can happen when you use your imagination. Along with opening up her imagination she learns to step away from her books. The little girl gets a chance to see how the Little Prince grows up; he begins to lose the essence behind life when he grows up. But he’s able to recapture his creativity and live a happy life again.

If there’s one takeaway from The Little Prince, it’s to not get so lost in our usual 9 to 5 and academic and social standards. Too often in life, we find ourselves trying so hard to get the best grades, having the best house, best car; or just quite honestly trying to fit in with the social norm. What gets lost in the shuffle is what is truly essential in life. The constant phrase that is repeated to the prince is, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”. In today’s society, we work so hard to get things that are in front of us and only seen with our eyes that we lose track of the things that are much more essential in life. Live life being happy, and don’t let anybody else determine what is essential to your life and your own happiness.

Made in the USA?

 

America is the home of many great things in this world.  When you think of America, you think of Apple, Facebook, Chevy, Nike, 11602910-Made-in-USA-Stamp-Stock-VectorNFL, NBA, etc…  However when you look at some of the most iconic American brands, are American companies still making everything in America?  I would say that back in the 80’s, there was a true sense of everything being American made by American companies, but things have changed.

American Companies

In our great American culture, we’re influenced by society to buy American, and support American made items.  While we have big brands such as Apple and GM that are American companies, they’re truly not making products strictly in the US anymore.  Most production of GM cars and Apple products are being handled in countries outside of the US.  While the sales of the products ultimately benefit the American companies, the manual work and labor are benefiting another country and the economy of that country.

Foreign Companies 

On the flip side of things, we’re lead to believe as a society that import brands such as Honda and Toyota are only benefiting Japan, and not benefiting the US and our economy.  In my opinion, this could be further from the truth.  Although Honda and Toyota are technically Japanese companies, they also have factories and corporate staff based here in the US.  If we’re truly looking at companies for having the label “American Made”, Honda and Toyota are technically making cars right here in the US.  The products are being made here, and helping to support local economies.

At the end of the day, all things being made in the US truly aren’t from American companies anymore.  It’s not a bad thing, and more or less just a sign that companies are more geared towards globalization versus being tied down to one particular market.