A friend's success

Seeing your friends succeed is a wonderful thing.

I do my best to make it home to the Waldron-Mansfield metropolitan area once every month or so. Almost seven years after graduating high school, I'll hear stories of success and failure when I'm visiting with family.

Some of those stories are great: my friend Jon transforming from the kid who threw frozen water balloons at cars into a devoted father and husband. Or Travis moving back into town to take over the Char-Broiler restaurant.

Sometimes, the stories aren't so great. Hearing about classmate Derek Allen's suicide in 2003 was a sobering visit home. With others, it's divorce, drug use and other things that really make you shake your head in disgust.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting family when my mother mentioned a friend of mine named Trey Plummer, a guy had not seen in nearly 2 years.

"Did you know Trey cuts hair?" she asked. "He has his own barber shop now."
I first met Trey, in elementary school at the time, while hanging out with his older brother. As the years went by, Trey shaped up into one of the most Godly guys I've ever met, and one of the luckiest: he ended up marrying Evanie, arguably one of the top-5 most beautiful girls in the history of Waldron.

On top of the preaching he does at different area churches, the man has his own barber shop, Main Street Barber Shop. Intrigued, I went for a haircut, and was delighted at what I saw.
It's a small little shop, just one chair, with Norman Rockwell paintings on the wall and Archie comics to read.

It certainly has the barbershop atmosphere, with all sorts of intriguing conversation from people waiting to get their hair cut. There's the divorced guy railing about his ex-wife, the former army chaplain talking about marriage in a few months, and the five-year-old kid trying to educate me on how to use a DVR (apparently all you do is hit record).

I ended up getting a haircut and a shave from Trey, and hung around the shop for a few hours, talking religion, sports, every sort of thing imaginable.

"I love what I'm doing," Trey told me. "I hope I'm doing this for the next 50 years."

It made me slightly jealous. 'How cool would that be to own your own shop?' I thought to myself. 'How cool would it be to be like Trey, married to a wonderful girl with a cute little kid.'

With the new year approaching, it made me think about my life. Am I doing what I love? Could I see myself doing this type of work for the next 50 years?

Let's take stock here: I work for a great newspaper, The Log Cabin Democrat, which gives me the freedom to write Catholicism-friendly columns on a weekly basis and create fun page layouts, like the layout on Jan. 1 (photos inside of a big 2008 on the front page). When I'm not at work, I have a wonderful parish and a wonderful family back home in Waldron. I may not have the girl yet, but I'm sure she's around somewhere.

I do have it good. Sometimes I take it for granted.

And then an elderly woman will pull me aside right after Mass and tell me how much she enjoys reading this column each week, and it snaps me back into reality in how lucky I am to work here.

In my high school, it seems that, for every Trey Plummer, there's another guy who destroys his life with drugs. To see him rise above and be one of Waldron's success stories puts a smile on my face and thankfulness in my heart.

And while not everybody is as lucky as Trey when it comes to owning their own business, when I head to work today, I'll feel just as lucky as him.

Why not? God has indeed blessed me. And I hope that after reading this column, you my dear reader can look around at your life and count the blessings God has given you.

I can't think of a better mindset to enter 2009 with.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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