Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Yes, Things are Better 

After the holiday bustle, my husband and I decided to take a trip to our friend's cabin in a fairly remote section of WI. Our cell phones don't work, nor is there Internet access. We find ourselves "coming down" as we get near the house.

The scenery is beautiful - a house in the middle of trees on a hill above a small lake. It is well insulated with a wood-burning stove. The former owners lived and worked in this remote community.

What struck me recently, though, is knowing the background of our friend and that of my husband and me. Not one of us was raised with money. In fact, high school was the highest education level attained by most of our parents. No one had a fancy, high-paying job. All three of us did pursue education and made sure we participated in every retirement plan (IRAs, 401Ks, defined pension, etc.) that appeared during our working years. All of us practiced rather conservative fiscal behavior. Don't get me wrong - our lives have not been risk free by anyone's evaluation. We've all had ups and downs but we also have been practical.

As a result, we are now in the wonderful position of being able to enjoy a week in a remote location, listen to the silence in the woods, watch dogs run in total freedom across an ice-covered lake, see an eagle soar over the trees. Not one of us ever imagined in our youth we would be in the situation we find ourselves today. We consider ourselves very lucky. But, luck wasn't all of it, conservative money management made possible what we enjoy now.

I hope that younger people reading this blog will take advantage of the opportunities that will come along in their lives. The result is the satisfaction of knowing that one can achieve more than one might think one can. We are the land of opportunity. All three of us are living proof of it.