I believe in protecting out freedoms by limiting government control and limited regulations.
I believe in encouraging more businesses to grow and succeed inWashington.
I believe in creating equal opportunities for employers and employees when it comes to legal compensation.
I believe in giving the individual control of their lives and personal responsibility.
I believe in limiting government intervention so that the individuals and communities can help themselves.
This day is a day that will be remembered for the loss that we sustained.
I remember being shocked at what was happening as I watched the planes crash into the towers.
I could not believe that this was happening in our country.
That memory will forever be in our minds and a constant reminder of how others do not care for our kind of government or the freedoms that we enjoy.
It also makes me grateful of the men and women who serve in our military, our police force and fire department.
On this day remember to thank the people who fight for our freedoms.
Recently I heard a re-telling of an old story about a young man who decided to seek his fortune. He sold all that he had and went west to stake his claim as part of the gold rush. He heard that the rivers were full of large gold nuggets.
He found what seemed to be a good spot, and started to pan for gold. A few months later he found himself completely destitute. Never having found any gold nuggets.
An old prospector with a large gold pouch came though and asked how the young man had been fairing. Discourage, the young man exclaimed that the claim was completely gold-less.
The old prospector grabbed a pan, and scooped up some sand and silt from the river. Swishing it around, he revealed many tiny flecks of gold, and showed it to the young man.
The young man declared, "I don't want flecks of gold, I want nuggets like what's in your pouch."
The old prospector took his gold pouch, opened it up, and revealed that the entire contents were tiny flecks of gold.
He explained to the young man that his pouch was the fruits of many years worth of labor, and dedication. And that he had amassed great wealth.
Like the young prospector, so many people are unwilling to put in the time and effort required for success. They want instant gratification and riches. They look to the old prospectors as having more than their "fair" share. Not taking into account the years of preparation, hard work, and perseverance.
Many of today's college graduates enter the work force expecting "large gold nuggets" readily available to them. They don't understand the value of tiny flecks of experience. Some even show contempt for the "old prospectors."
There is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom. It helps people appreciate later successes.
There was a time where my husband and I really struggled. We were trying to get an education and raise a young family. We look back and joke that we figured out 100 ways to cook tuna fish. (We had a case in the pantry, and had almost nothing else to eat!)
Those were difficult times, but are still some of our favorite moments. We look back and we appreciate the values we learned and the motivations we gained to work harder so we can have some financial freedom.
We need to look for more opportunities to pan for little flecks, and not just at government to provide benefits. We need to be allowed to succeed or fail. To be rewarded for your hard work and innovation and not punished for your successes. To remove the roadblocks that businesses and entreprenuers struggle with.
We are still prospecting and gathering small flecks everyday. We are trying to teach our children the same lessons about hard work and perseverance.
(Pictured: Kolditz children)
A couple of years ago, we took a road trip to visit my husband's sister in Houston, Texas. On the trip, we took the backroads from Durango, Colorado to Houston. We passed countless farms, ranches, and small towns. We noticed that many, if not most, of the homes were flying the Texas state flag.
I turned to my husband and asked, "Why don't we, in Washington, fly our flag like they do in Texas?"
He suggested that maybe in our state, we don't have that same pride.
In talking about it, we identified many of the things that Washington has to offer.
The diversity is truly amazing. Industries like timber, fishing, hay, grain, fruit, and shellfish. Our pioneering high-tech industry. Our history of innovation in all areas.
Our lovely mountains, National and State Parks, rivers, and waterfalls. The beauty of fields of crops and trees growing fruit. Even our months of dreary weather provide for our industry and beauty.
I love that while visiting fruit stands in Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Johannesburg, the apples and cherries clearly have the Washington marks that have come to symbolize premium quality to people around the world.
Attracting businesses to Washington, keeping the ones we have, and creating an environment for them to succeed are so important to our local economy. This is key to our families. People need to work, and be able to provide.
We want to feel that pride in a job well done, in companies that are strong, and in a State that governs well.
We too should emulate the pride and goodwill embodied in our Flag and the image of the man who's name we bear.
Washington, the home I love.
"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." - George Washington