Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not Half Bad...

...yesterday, I accompanied my father and my cousin down to Price where Grandma Pierce's gigantic doll collection was to be divvied up amongst her progenitors. Keep in mind, Grandma is still alive and sometimes kicking, albeit she does so from a rest home. She is not exactly all there which is really sad, and I know it may come across as harsh, but I truly wish she would be released from this mortal life so that she wouldn't be so lonely and so she could reunite with Grandpa who has been gone for almost 17 years.

The reason the dolls were being divvied was that they were currently residing along with some other personal affects in a storage unit, which costs money. The rest home seems to be sucking that money up and soon Grandma will have none (so much for an inheritance). So it was decided that we'd just let everyone choose what dolls they would and get that out of the way.

Along with doll divvying we were going to have a BBQ with my dad's family.

Let me suggest that all though I do love my extended family, it takes work. Especially as there are, okay, IS a crazy aunt, some ne'er-do-well cousins and just a whole lot of Jed Clampettedness going on with them. Not to say that I'm not a bit Whiskey-Tango myself, but I've never had a mullet. Needless to say, I wasn't really excited for this trip. And pretty much the only reason I really wanted to go was to see my favorite cousin Pam, whom I hadn't seen for a long time. But then again, her husband Father Time was going to be there, and he isn't pleasant. I also thought that there would be a lot of arguing over who got what doll because it seemed that all growing up people had certain attachments to dolls. I will go ahead now and say that there was one specific doll I wanted, a porcelain Victorian lady who looked like she was traveling somewhere, that I had used as a model for an engraving of a lady that was put on my Great Great Grandma's grave. And I figure someday I hopefully will have a daughter that will be pleased to have a doll from her Great Grandma Pierce.

Well, my family surprised me and pleased me very much. First of all, there was not one argument or bad feeling from anyone when the dolls were divided. Secondly, and THANKFULLY, Father Time left at the beginning of our visit to go to the Y game and thirdly, we all had such a great time visiting and reminiscing. It used to be growing up, that all though it was fun to visit, almost always there would be an argument, someone would try to make themselves look bigger and better than everyone and it was stink. None of this went on. Even the weather was pleasant.

So the next time you think you'd rather receive an un-anesthetized root canal than visit with your extended family, think it over. You may be just surprised how much you really do like them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

RIP Joel Dean (1977 - 2003)

Five years ago today, as I was going through the normal motions of getting ready for work (and it also happened to be a Monday) I received an unexpected call from the wife of my favorite mission companion, Joel Dean. Her voice was shaky and I immediately thought that maybe Joel had been in a wreck. Instead, it was much worse: Joel had passed away during the night. It was eventually revealed to be caused by viral pneumonia.

I can't tell you how sad I was to hear this.

I met Joel when we were assigned as companions while we serving missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Eldersburg, Maryland in February 1998. Joel was very athletic and seemed to be the ladies man, on first impressions. Both of those qualities, I was not. But I found immediately that he was a whole lot more. He was really funny and interested very much in other people. He seemed to really enjoy making people happy and he always made me feel good about myself. He also had a great testimony of Jesus Christ. We served together for three months.

After the mission we kept in contact, but not as much as I would've liked, which I blame myself for. He would call a lot to see how I was doing and just to chat and we would always make plans to have lunch but it never seemed to happen. The last time I saw Joel was the September before his death when he had invited me to his house for dinner on what happened to actually be his and his wife's wedding anniversary that they were celebrating later that week.

When his wife called with that awful news, it was devastating. I don't mean to demean my other mission companions, but it was absolutely horrible that out of all of them, Joel was the one chosen to go.

I think of him often and can't wait to see him again on the other side.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Appreciate in '08

Reading my previous post made me realize that I needed to talk about some positive stuff! So far this year has been good. At least my attitude has been because I'm not exactly in a place I'd like to be, which is being figuratively raped by my dentist with a bill that is as much as a car, living at the parents again, and having a less than stellar job. But at the same time, I feel generally great! So far this year, I've done a lot of cool things that have been goals I've had pretty much my whole life. In April, I went to Hawaii with my family (minus Pibby and his new wife Jenny - they went the previous month on their honeymoon) for a week! It was AWESOME!!!

Then, with the generous help of friends, I was able to go to California for the Bewitched FanFare where I met William Asher, the director/producer of Bewitched and Elizabeth Montgomery's 3rd husband. It was so emotional because I've always wanted to meet him and thank him for all the great things he has done. He was so sweet!

I also won the Holy Grail of all
Bewitched collecting - the 1965 Ideal Samantha doll in the box!!! I know some of you think, "What's the big deal?" That doll is very hard to find in good condition, let alone in the box. Granted, the box that mine is in is a recreation, but still, every time I look at it I just flip.

And just last month I was able to play DJ for a couple hours at 97.1 ZHT with the Morning Zoo. They asked me to come in to show them the doll. It was a lot of fun.

So I guess life must be in the attitude whether you think it's good or bad...I don't apologize for my previous post, but I think that I'm going to try and keep a positive outlook.