Saturday, December 20, 2008


Do not adjust your screen. This picture that you see is Amber on the big screen at Arco Stadium, home of the Sacramento Kings and temporary sanctuary to a several hundred undergrads and graduates of the Sacramento State School of Business.

I wish I could claim some credit for the amazing young woman that is Amber Kruse. On December 18 I flew down to join Russ, Tyler, and Amber in celebration of her graduation. To truly appreciate how incredible this accomplishment is, one must appreciate the strong, independent streak Amber inherited from her mother, Sheila, and the natural aptitude for math and business that she inherited from Russ but has honed all on her own.

What was initially planned for a 7:30 pm dinner at Red Lobster had to be bumped back an hour and a half in the mess that was Portland International Airport. All flights to Spokane were cancelled as a result of the weather (this was the first wave of the ice and snow that blanketed Washington), meaning my plane, which was supposed to come from Spokane, was significantly delayed. Russ picked me up at just before 9 pm, and we hustled to the restaurant to enjoy a meal that EVERYONE now was looking forward to consuming. As it turned out, it gave Amber and Tyler a little more time to o their Christmas shopping.

Russ presented Amber with our gift to her: a Visconti Opera pen. The cap of this particular pen can be customized, so an AK (Amber Kruse, not Alaska) is on its way to grace to top of her pen. Amber has developed an appreciation for fine pens. It is our hope that this pen will be the one that signs her first contract. We also exchanged Christmas presents with Amber and Tyler.

For those who have not heard me go on and on about Amber's talents, Amber makes custom jewelry. If you find that you have lost a jewel in any of your jewelry or a mate to an earring that renders the jewelry less than what it once was, Amber is able to turn it into something beautiful. She and Tyler gave Russ a great pen (with German directions--well done-- in the father tongue no less) and a wooden cross puzzle. They presented me with the beautiful green bracelet and earrings pictured below. To say that I was touched would be an understatement.

As graduations go, it was a nice ceremony befitting all the hard work that we know Amber put into her achievement. My parents wanted very much to provide a college education for me, and so they invested in my own undergraduate degree. I contributed a little, but my mom and dad were the heaviest contributors. Amber did it on her own while living independently. She now hits the street with management experience at Office Depot as well as a bachelor's degree in Business Administration specializing in Human Resources. When we asked her what she plans on doing, she indicated that she is considering a lot of different options, but was looking at hospital administration as an option. We couldn't be more proud of her!

NOTE: For those wondering what is going on with Tyler, he is following in his sister's footsteps. He is attending the University of Nevada at Reno where he works at Office Depot and shares a house with several young men who are also attending UNR. He is driving a Chevy Camaro that is his pride and joy and is considering Engineering as a degree program. He knows the stats on cars the way some young enthusiasts know the stats of their favorite sports players. We're pretty proud of him, too.

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