DEAR ABBY: My partner, "Andrew," and I have been together for four years. I'm a high school teacher, and he works for a major department store. Andrew has always wanted to be a flight attendant and now has the opportunity to interview for a position with a regional carrier. If he gets the job, he will have to relocate to the mid-Atlantic.
I want him to follow his dreams and be successful, and I want to support him, but right now I'm not in a position financially to leave my job and go with him. Although I'm a good teacher, there is additional education I need to pursue, and I have worked with my department chair on a five-year plan that includes some study abroad. I hope to teach at a community college in the future, but what if I'm not hired close to where Andrew works? How do I deal with all this? -- MESSED UP MAN IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR MESSED UP MAN: You recognize that some challenges lie ahead for you and Andrew if you are both going to live your dreams and achieve your full potential. You say you have worked out a five-year plan that includes study abroad. In a year or two, it could have been Andrew writing me about the same insecurities you are feeling.
Separation doesn't have to mean the end of your relationship if you are both determined not to let it. You owe it to yourselves to have a little faith, give it a try, and "what will be will be."
DEAR ABBY: Another birthday is coming up for one of my grandchildren and there is absolutely nothing we can think of that she doesn't already have five of. We are simple people but love our grandchildren and would like to get them something original once in a while. Our kids buy them everything they want in every color and style. Our grandkids have clothes they wear once and toys that are still in the packages. Spending time would be a good idea except that they want to be entertained at expensive attractions and are bored with just spending time together.
We want to be part of their lives, but we don't have a clue as to how to do it. Can you help? -- OUT OF IDEAS IN FLORIDA
DEAR OUT OF IDEAS: I'll try. Is there anything that you can MAKE for your grandchildren that cannot be found in a store -- perhaps something from your oven? Many grandchildren have fond memories of Grandma's brownies, chocolate chip cookies, apple cake, etc. If the answer is yes, then bring -- or send -- a package to your grandchildren.
I say this because my grandmother, Rose Phillips, used to have the most wonderful brownies (with powdered sugar on top!) on her kitchen counter when our family would come to visit. If she had sent me a box as a gift, I would have been delighted.
Something like this is a gift that only you can give. It's something special and it won't break the bank.
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