Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy 25th Birthday, Tim?

While in Utah in February at the Home Show, Carol Anne and Tim joined Scott's family, Grandpa Olsen and Edna for a birthday party for Tim. Through Amy's efforts, the family stayed for the week of the home show at a place called World Mart, a condo association for vacation members. Carol Anne brought Tim and cake and we celebrated his 52nd birthday, not his 25th birthday. He's such a funny guy!
Amy and Carol Anne enjoy Lyndsay's new baby girl.
Chris, Carson, Judy, Mark and Dora enjoyed the evening's festivities. (Although, they looked pretty wiped from the days festivities.)

Gracie and Riley and Ryan enjoy the anticipation of delicious chocolate cake.
Ryan, Shelly, Judy, Scott and Jon seem contented after a good dinner and delicious cake. So much of the home show is walking and climbing stairs and riding around the entire valley of St. George, Ivans, Bloomington and Washington. It's a big area to cover, but they're undaunted.
We already in the planning stages of next years home show parade in St. George. If you want to get away from the winter's cold and snow, make plans to come to St. George and enjoy the warmth and spectacular homes. A good time is usually had by all.

Family Trip to St. George

Once a year some of the Olsen family make a pilgrimage to St. George to scope out the very expensive homes on the annual home show tour. February 2009 was no exception. Reed and Jeannie, Dale and Sharon, Scott and Judy and some of their children make this a special event. Jon and Shelley, Lyndsay, Ryan and their kids, Mark and Dora and their kids, Amy and Matt and their kids, Mandy and Jim and their kids, Chris and Stacy and Carson.

Tim and Carol joined them this year and spent time visiting with Grandpa Olsen and Edna.The weather in St. George was ideal for the home show. On occasion there was overcast clouds, but unfortunately, no rain. Once again the houses chosen for the tour inspired jealousy and envy. Swimming pools, home movie theaters, magnificent furnishings, elaborate kitchens and pots. Yes, that's right pots!A lady stopped and blocked traffic while entering a house in Sand Hallow. She moved back and forth and spied closely the above pot as if it were a rare treasure and a very unusual find. Carol studied the pot and could find no tell tale signs of antiquity or rarity. However, this woman's unusual behavior was intriguing. So Carol did a study of pots. Here's a few of these fascinating pots:

There were lots of favorites during the tour. Homes with more square feet than sense, houses with unnecessary rooms and irrational use of space. One house had a basement that looked more like a sports complex: basketball court, climbing wall, handball court, weight room, and gold putting green. Who needs all that? Yikes!

Carol Anne had favorites. Bathrooms seemed to be one her list: Isn't that something? Neat huh?
Swimming pools were also a source of great fascination and admiration. This is really special. This house butts up against Snow Canyon and Tuachan's area. Spectacular:
Any's favorite was a house in Bloomington that featured a private pedicure foot bath. No expense was spared: I think we should all run out and have a foot bath installed in your homes. It's what the rich, discerning individual would have.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Death--The Final Frontier!

No, it's not a bad thing to think about death. I was just thinking the other day and wondering exactly what mom might be up to right now. As I said in a previous post she loved her extended family, and believe me, she had an extended family. Her dad was one of eighteen children. That's right, EIGHTEEN. (It took two wives to produce all those kids, but it's a fact!)

The first major funeral I attended that of my grandfather Edward Price Oldham.I was one year old. The picture at the heading of this blog is our family in 1956 at Grandpa's funeral. If I could recall that time, it was probably the first and last time I ever saw Max's wife, Kay and her oldest children. Funerals are a time when families gather--probably the only time in some cases.

It was said that grandpa had about one thousand first and second cousins. I don't doubt that for a moment. So you see, mom is probably having the time of her "death" enjoying the family once more. They were a tight knit group, one that was highly interested in each other and in the comings and goings of each.

The next funeral that I remember with a lot of pain, is Grandma Annie Obray Oldham's funeral in 1968. I was thirteen. She'd had a stroke and spent the remainder of her days slipping away because she loved life too much to remain inactive. I loved my Grandma Oldham veraciously.

Dad's mother, Geneva Lund Olsen, died in 1972.She had suffered from what they lovingly referred to as "hardening of the arteries". We might call it something all together different these days. But she passed peacefully away on her couch. She was a marvelous lady and a great cook. I gotta tell you that was the last time I've seen some of those cousins pictured on the left. Like I said before, funerals bring families together.

Traditionally in Utah, the fourth Monday in May was referred to as "Decoration Day". It was set aside to honor those dearly departed with flowers--real or plastic. We never missed a decoration day even after moving to California. Our first stop was Mantua, Utah where dad grew up.The next stop was Paradise where mom was raised.
For the life of me I don't recall going to Grandpa Abner Scott Olsen's funeral and that's just tragic. But lastly I shall never forget my own mother's funeral. It took place on Christmas Eve 2005. Isn't that a wonderful day to hold a funeral? Not! What can I say. It was my mother who died. Sometimes in your mind you think they'll live forever and always be there for you. Her impending death wasn't suspected, however she was ninety years old and had been sick and needed a lot of care, but she was mentally as sharp as a tack and just as prickly. In fact I was ticked at her the very day she passed away because I selfishly wanted her to come to California and spend Christmas with my family. She died that night. Boy! Try to get over that heartache quickly. But being with my not-too-serious family helped immensely. We had a celebration instead of a wake, although it was sad and buckets and buckets of tears were shed; we partied. She wouldn't have wanted anything other than a big Olsen family party.

Which brings me back to my thought. Death! Is it something to be feared or welcomed? Someone in their testimony today said how wonderful a plan it is of the Lord's to provide for a passing from this mortal existence when this mortal body is incapable of living past a certain age or physical ability. To some it is a blessed release. Others think it is a terrible shame that some people are taken much too early. Yet who are we to say they really were too young or taken too soon? We just don't know the plan of our Heavenly Father and we certainly don't know what their mission in life or in death was. For an excellent discourse on death, the ramifications and the blessings see Tim's blog. This is part of a talk he has given at many funeral services.

Death--such a pleasant New Year's topic, don't you think? 'Cause we never know what the new year will bring. Are you ready?