Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Over

So, what a summer? I'm surprised from the turn of events over the last month.  First off the 4th of July, as previously stated, was amazing and is even more special to me than usual. Over the last month,a lot of very difficult things have happened. My Uncle Monte committed suicide on July 13, 2012. From July 12 to July 20, I worried about my family and was able to go home to spend time with them. We buried my Uncle on July 18. As a family we have held together. It has been the first time in my life that I felt the responsibility of being the oldest grandchild so strongly. I have done my best to be there for my family.

I want to talk about the reason why the 4th was so special. The 4th of July was the last time I was able to talk to my Uncle Monte. My Uncle Monte has always been in my life. When I was born, He was the one that toted me and my cousin, Kelsie,  around. He gave us horse rides and was always there for a good laugh. After high school, he went a different direction than the rest of our family, but since his children were  born started spending more time with the family. Anyway on the 4th of July we do pony rides. It has always been my favorite part. Uncle Monte and I were leading our horses next to each other. He looked at my horse and was like "That is not your horse. Where's your plug?" I explained that I had sold him (Spanky) to a friend of the family so that I could go back for my 2nd bachelors in Family Consumer and Science Education. He took it all in, Smiled at me and said, "Weren't smart enough the first time, huh?" I just started laughing.From there, we talked about his great big buckskin mare. She is 3 years old and stands at about 16 hands. He told me about how she had saved his life when he was irrigating. On paper, it is probably not as funny, but the way my Uncle talks and the way he smiles, just made it so funny. That is my last memory with my Uncle Monte. And I'm so grateful.

He was always a cheerful person. His smile was legendary. When you saw his smile, it didn't matter how bad your day had been, your day always got a lot better. He will always be one of my favorite uncles because of the way he paid attention. He always cared about each one of his nieces and nephews and the way he took care of his own children was amazing. I'm going to miss him very much. The one comfort from this situation is that my family has grown closer. We have started to understand the atonement on even a deeper level and we know that we will see my Uncle again. Not in this life, but for sure in the next.

Some of the other changes, I am winding down on my internships. The Family Life Center is dang near complete. I have 2 presentations, 2 observations and a couple of other requirements and then I am done! Which is a whole lot better than the 10 presentations and 40 observations I started with! I am really excited! My other internship at LDS Employment Resource Services is also on the down-hill slide and I'm hoping I can get it done before school starts.  I also found out this week that I'm missing two classes to graduate. So I am meeting with my adviser tomorrow and hopefully I will be able to get my schedule figured out so that I can graduate on time. I guess that is it. The summer is finishing up and even with some of the things that I have gone through, I'm grateful for this summer.

It has been an experience and I have learned a lot. I have learned how important family is. My cousin Halie and I were great friends until high school. During high school and since then, the relationship has been very strained. However, since my Uncle's death, we have both done better to make an actual relationship. I'm so very grateful for that opportunity and the time I was able to spend with my family. You always wish for a better reason to get together, but it was a blessing to be able to lean on each other.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th of July

I love July! I love the 4th of July. Before I left to go home to Delta, I was asking everyone- What are you doing for the 4th? And all I got was boring answers- "Oh, I have to work." "I think I'm going to BBQ." "I'm going to my grandparents place." Then someone asked me what I was doing for the 4th. I said, "I'm going home." "Well, that sounds boring." He said.  Little does he know how exciting being in Delta, UT on the 4th actually is.

This year was typical. It started early. I was up by 6:00 am and had got ready by 7:00 so that I could go to my grandparents place. My Grandma and Grandpa Tolbert for years and years have had a community breakfast. It is a simple meal, pancakes, eggs and bacon, but it is good. The neighbors and family always come and it is a great way to start the day off.

After breakfast we saddle the horses and haul them to Delta for the 4th of July parade. This year I rode Skip. Skip is a great horse, not my horse, but a good one none-the-less. And he couldn't stand still. The parade in Delta is an event. Floats, royalties, horses, a marching band, representatives of the armed forces, city councils and mayors and tons and tons of candy. The parade is over a mile long and is so crowded. People start saving places on the side of the road days ahead of the parade. The parade starts with a flyover. It always scares horses, but it is tradition. From there the parade starts. You smile, wave, control the horse, throw candy and love it. My favorite part is when the little kids look at the horses and say "horsie, daddy/mommy, horsie." I love seeing old friends and people that I know. Delta is small enough that you know everyone or they know you.

After the parade we go back to the city park. At the city park there is a carnival type thing. There is activities for the kids and a program. You also have booths with their wares, tons of food, a water park and skate park. However, the part that I love the most is the pony rides. The riding club that I am associated with does pony rides every year.  You lift kids onto horses for what feels like all day long and then you walk in circles. I had the cutest kids on my horse this year. One kid was this adorable down-syndrome girl. I don't think she understood a word I said, but she sat tall and proud on that horse and grinned like she owned the world. Another kid was only 11, but wanted to hunt everything. It didn't matter what, he wanted to hunt it.  Pure joy is watching those kids faces. They are so excited! Some of them come back every year. We had one girl that insisted that she ride side-saddle and came back three times before we shut down. It was so much fun and it is probably the reason why I love the 4th of July so much.

The rest of the day is just as busy. Usually I go to the Demolition Derby, but this year I choose not to go. The Derby is always an adventure! Cars, trucks, wipe-outs, powder puff, mini cars and fireworks, it gets pretty dang exciting at times. This year I opted out and we had a BBQ instead. The 4th starts early and ends late, but boy is it fun!! I love the 4th of July! It is always a riot!