The chimes on the door clanged. A portly gentleman dressed in an olive-green tweed suit just entered Vpyshit’sya, a small shop nestled within a mountain village of Dzembronya, Ukraine. Novak took a burgundy handkerchief from out of his breast pocket, and wiped the dust off his gold rimmed glasses. He breathed a sigh of relief that he arrived in one piece as the foggy weather made safety of the travelling conditions questionable.
After taking a quick glance inside, he decided to walk around the shop quietly studying the craftsmanship of the metal pieces that were on display. He displayed a keen perspicacity in recognizing quality pieces. He heard about this shop as he chatted to the barman last night. Ukraine was well known for a variety of metal and wood carvings.
He was immediately enthused by the diversity of products he found: unique jewelry that was encased by glass display boxes, brass Viking shields that hung on the walls, intricately engraved kitchen knife sets, engraved metal wall decor.
He slowly found his way to the check out desk in the back of the shop. He noticed a young lady diligently working in the back room. Sophia’s family has been in the ciselure business for five generations. Her family taught her everything they knew, and precocious Sophia became a young master in the craft. She was inspired by a few techniques from a video she watched.
She was finishing up an jewelry box for an exhibit held at the Metal Working International Trade Fair in Kiev, the capital. She was looking forward to learning new things in metallurgy and the innovative tools in metal industry.
Novak cleared his throat, “Excuse me, mam. I was told that you can create metal designs for a wide variety of things.” Sophia broke from her trance, got up from her workstation, and walked towards the man. He took out a wooden box from his bag, and set it on the table.
“Careful now, there’s a golden pocket knife I would like to engrave for my son. It’s his birthday and there is something I would like to inscribe.” He took out a note for Sophia to read:
My son, take time to sharpen your skills, your tools, your resources, and you’ll be more productive. Much love, Novak
Hope all of you enjoyed New Year festivities! On the last day of of 2018, I opened the front door late at night to check out the early fireworks after I popped my small champagne poppers. We have some eager neighbors who are ready to start the new year with a bang! There was some heavy fog that swirled together with the smoke creating a dense screen of opaque gas.
As much as I like the mystical nature of fog (when I’m not driving), I couldn’t help but feel that the fog symbolically represented the concealment of transitioning to 2019 this time. It was as if the fog was teasing me, “Na-na-na Sa, you are not allowed to peek ahead quite yet! There’s something I want you to pay attention to first!”
At least 2019’s fog seems more playful than the 1980’s killer fog from the horror thriller flick! 😀
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Hold on Thomas Jefferson! I know you’re waving your translucent hands impatiently waiting to get to the meat of the issue, but I’m going to indulge in the past just a little bit before jumping to my dreams for the future! I invited you here because I heard that various educators and editors were taking you out of school textbooks in our region. Interesting debate! You are such an enigmatic founding father in American history!
Anyway, the foggy weather reminded me of a novel I read as a young girl called “Fog Magic” by Julia L. Sauer published in 1943. Greta, a young girl living in Nova Scotia, is able to travel back in time every time her village is covered in fog.
I’ve been looking forward at everything in my life through my front windshield to avoid crashing into anything and enjoy the present. Since it’s foggy outside, I’m just going to park in the woods for a moment and enjoy my warm order of “acceptance, courage, and self-love” venti potion from The Sunshine Artist’s garden cafe.
Part of self-love involves forgiveness of myself for the things I felt like I couldn’t do. There’s an acronym floating around the blogsphere: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Comparing yourself to others is a harmful habit. Sometimes, I’m in awe of what someone else is doing and wonder if I should being doing that too like say… rock climbing for instance.
So, it’s time to look at my rear view mirror and reflect back on the highlights of my year, bullet journal style!
Overview of 2018
Elected Secretary of the Justice Society, Vice-president of Chapter Operations for a business fraternity, Treasurer of Guild of Geeks at my school which simultaneously scared and excited me because I’ve never been elected for so many student officer positions
Started a more rigorous fitness and nutrition regimen to help me maintain energy for all those new responsibilities
Began planning for several community service projects
Learning “Infor: ERP Cloud Software” and COBOL programming language that is causing everyone in my class migraine headaches
Happily grew some squash, flowers, lettuce and maintained my garden patch during spring break!
Organized a clothing drive for the Battered Women’s Shelter for women’s history month
Organized my first video game tournament which gave me many lessons in project & event management
Organized speaker series for World Water Day and Earth Day for Environmental club
Graduated from a bachelor’s program with a major in information technology, project management and minor in English
Humbled to be awarded “Student Leader of the Year” along with other distinguished honors
Preparing to be bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding
Served a homeless shelter
CISCO, CCNA, CompTIA+ cyber security training
Participated in a summer reading club
Started my blog, “Culture Shocks” where I enjoyed writing fiction, taking photographs, and interacting with many bloggers around the world. THANK YOU! It’s been a pleasure!
Began my year long commitment with a local youth literacy reading buddy program
Participated in San Japan Convention, cosplayed as Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece anime, and enjoyed time with boyfriend before our 3 month separation as we focused on our studies.
Started studying graduate admission testing workshops. I was thinking about practicing my essay questions here…
Handled busiest retail season for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years!
Participated in a fun song challenge on my blog which hid my incredibly packed holiday schedule. Believe me, it helped tremendously! 😀
Goals for 2019
After that bullet list, you’d think I’d just want to find ways to relax for 2019! Now that’s an idea! In my last Q&A, I said I wanted to remove some clutter. One evening, I noticed that Netflix featured a show with master organizer: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. Guess my goal is everyone else’s! I will ponder on these quotes while cleaning and trying out a few things from the #KonMariMethod.