John Messeder

Messeder

Her grandma and I had our first date on Kass’ second birthday. Wednesday evening, we celebrated her survival to legal age to consume alcoholic beverages.

I don’t know what she will become when she grows up, but there is plenty of time to learn that. I read someplace that a person entering the workforce just a few years ago would change careers seven times before they retire. If they retire. When I was her age, a person graduated from high school and entered the career he would perform until he turned 65, when he would retire – and die.

I am now 12 years older than my Dad was when his chronological tally ended. If the television news notices are an indication, I may have another 20 years to wander the planet. Kass, by interpolation, could be around a hundred years from now. I’d like to be here to see it.

She’s a smart one, a member of the generation I have for years said would take advantage of the advances my generation has made to clean up the mess we’ve made in the process.

She was a wee one when she helped me build a pergola, and about the same age when she said she wanted to be a nurse, like her grandma, so she could fix people. There was a time when she seemed to lean toward becoming a marine biologist, though quietly wandering through nature was not something she was comfortable doing.

It wasn’t the wandering that gave her problems – she actually seemed to enjoy being out there checking out mud bogs and frogs – but being quiet has never been her forté. We hiked on Sugarloaf Mountain one day, and she sang the whole way because “it’s too quiet out here.” But I’ll settle for her not being afraid to be out there. And she does have a nice set of pipes.

She rode in her child seat on several tours of Adams County hosted by the Land Conservancy of Adams County Road Rally. We attended a Punkin’ Chunkin’ competition together, and attended township supervisors meetings while her grandmother and mom were working late shifts. Kass sat quietly in the back with a coloring book while local politicians made decisions that governed their constituents’ lives. She may not become a politician, but she’ll know a little of what they do.

She had her first story in the local newspaper when she was about six. On the way home from a Whittaker Center showing of a movie about women flying jet fighters, she borrowed my notepad and wrote how women could fly as well as men. She had another story published a couple years later.

A few weeks ago, her college journalism assignment was a book-signing by Chelsea Clinton. I haven’t read her report, but I bet it was pretty good. She was the manager at her last job, saw an opportunity and now is assistant manager at her new job.

Like, admittedly, many others of her generation, she’s been exposed to a plethora of experiences. She seems unafraid to be exposed to many more, and that portends improvement for the human condition.

We hassle the kids because they text while driving, or because they do not read. Every generation looks at its youngers and decries their self-centeredness. Like the youth of another torn era in our nation’s history, this batch likely will take some wrong turns.

Some of us become leaders, some followers, and some of us merely observe and record.

I don’t know where she is headed, but I’ll bet it will be a fun and productive ride.

Readers may contact John Messeder at john@JohnMesseder.com.

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