The People I Admire Most

I was going to use this blog to talk about the bestest movie ever, but I’ll instead go back to the well a bit and hit on the next topic suggested by Darren Barefoot and talk about the person that I admire the most. Well, in this case, it is people, and I do not think admire is really the word I would use to describe how I feel about them. But the answer (though it’s not really a question) as to the people I admire most is my parents, Ronald and Stella Eberhard.

No, I know that it is easy for someone to say that their parents are their heroes or that they are appreciated or “admired,” but I don’t think that I have ever really laid it out exactly why my parents are a big influence on my life. Sure, all the normal reasons are their: they raised me not to be a psychopath, they fed me, kept me in clothes that fit, made sure I went to school and learned, etc. But it goes beyond that. Even though I live far away, and we don’t necessarily communicate as much as we probably should, they are always there for me when I need them most.

I don’t think my parents have ever really told me no. Sure, they would give me the normal “no” when required, but with everything else… not really. For example, growing up, many of our (my siblings) friends had curfews at ridiculous times on occasion. What kind of tyrant makes their child come in at dark during the summer? As long as my parents had a general idea what we were doing, we could come and go as we pleased (within reason). As we left the house with vague intentions as to what we were going off to do, my mother always told us “Just remember what your name is.” Sure, Mom. Growing up, we really paid no attention, but we also knew that if we did something really stupid and had to call our parents, the fact that we had done said embarrassing or stupid thing was worse than any punishment that they could give us. Knowing that we let our parents down was often worse than actually doing the stupid thing. Needless to say, we never really did anything too stupid.

But it goes beyond that as well. Growing up at times was difficult in the sense that we were never really wealthy. My parents didn’t start making “real” money until long after most of the kids were out of the house. But we were never left wanting for anything. Sure, it would have been nice to have (insert something someone else had), but that’s what we had friends for. It would have been nice to have cable television growing up, but I suppose if I ever really wanted to watch Beavis and Butthead, I could go next door and watch it at Jeff’s house. Or a Super Nintendo would have been nice, but Brandon had one so we didn’t really need one. Or a box full of Transformer toys, but Steve Porter had plenty to play with. Et cetera, et cetera.

But we always were able to do what we wanted in regards to activities. We all spent part of a couple of summers at Mill Hollow; we played sports growing up; we went on business trips with Pops. Until Dad started working at the post office, we would go out nearly every Saturday, often to the Children’s Museum for the umpteenth time and spend all day with him, and eat Arctic Circle on the way home. Dad never ordered food of his own; he always just ate whatever we didn’t. There was the summer we had the inflatable raft and went to Utah Lake once or twice, or the Father and Son’s Outings that the church always put on with the biscuits dipped in grease.

When one of us kids would have to sell candy bars for a fundraiser, we knew we would always get at least $20 out of it because they would just by the box from us so we didn’t have to go back to school with nothing to show. Sure, we were never top sellers or anything, but we always sold something. Mom helped out with Cub Scouts on a couple of occasions, and Dad always helped me make crummy Pinewood Derby cars. Dad was typically home no later than 6 o’clock during the week and would be around to take us to our various activities, or catch for Stef and Kathy when they were learning how to become a pitcher for softball even though he couldn’t throw the ball overhand because of an old shoulder injury.

Beyond just being there for us kids, they also did inspiring things, or inspired us to do more. My mother spent more than half of her adult life being a mother; when her children were old enough, she went back to school to be a nurse, something that she had pursued before getting married to my father and had suspended to be our mother. She is still a nurse 15 years later, and probably will be until the change the locks at work and tell her to be retired. But her dedication to nursing was really just an extension of being a mother. I remember her struggling through some of her math classes, one that she failed numerous times. The only thing that kept her from getting her RN was the math. She pushed through and met the requirements and focused on being the best LPN that she could be and found her niche working with the people that she has been for the past 15 years. I wish I could find a career like that; hopefully I won’t have to wait nearly as long as she did, but my mother’s passion is one of her strongest traits that she has passed on to her children.

My father always challenged us to do well in school. Not necessarily directly, but I for one was trying to take harder classes so that one day he wouldn’t be able to help me on my homework. Never reached that point. No matter the subject (AP Calculus, AP Physics, History), he would simply refresh his memory a bit and help walk through the steps to completing that math problem, or understanding the concept, or just knowing some new angle to address in a paper. Because of this, he stimulated debate in the household, and as I grew into my rebellious, liberal self, we could have sensible conversations that usually ended with me calling him a Communist and me being labeled a Socialist, but it was all in good fun. He even got Willard to focus on school by paying him for good grades. Growing up, Pops was the smartest person that I knew. Now, he is probably second only to me. But I still value his opinion and knowledge in all things.

For these reasons, and many, many more, my parents are the reason that I am the person that I am today, for better or worse. They allowed us the flexibility to learn from our mistakes, but they were, and still are, there to help pick us up and dust us off when we fail and need a little help. They even came to a few of my Little League games, even though I sucked way worse than Stef or Kathy did at softball. But that quiet support was always enough, and they have helped me through many hard times in my life. I don’t know how in the world I will ever pay them back, but I think the best way to do it would be to raise my children the same way they raised me. They seemed to do an alright job on the six of us, and if I ever have the opportunity to have children of my own, they are the perfect inspiration on how to be a loving parent.

I could write forever on this topic, but I think I’ll stop now. I’ll have to save some for the book I want to write some day (#4).

I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything that you ever have done for me, and everything that you will ever do for me. You truly are my inspiration and have shaped my life in more ways than I even realize.

Left Unfinished

I was really hoping that this blog would be all good things and happy thoughts about Her. Unfortunately, it is not. I have been left hanging, and if the situation changes over the next few days, all will be be happy again. Until then, I just don’t feel all that great anymore.

The past few weeks, as mentioned previously, have been some of the best days of my recent life. It all came to a screeching halt today. Maybe I was expecting too much. I would have almost preferred a straight no answer as opposed to the one I received, as now I am left hanging, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think I put myself out there enough; I really shouldn’t push the issue.

Or should I? Should I seek some sort of closure to this whole situation? I, and others for that matter, thought that things might be headed in the right direction. That maybe I could at least get a date out of it to see what happens. I don’t want to scare her off and have her go off to school thinking that I am madly in love with her or anything; this definitely is not the case. I think she is cool people, and I really just want to get to know her better. We share inside jokes… we have a similar sense of humor… I just don’t know what else there is to do.

Does She go home after seeing me and think about all this crap? Or am I alone in this? God, I am so miserable right now. And I don’t even no why…

18 Days In

Eighteen whole days into this little experiment, and I must admit it was a little harder than I first anticipated as you can see from some of my posts recently. But A Blog a Day for 30 Days is what I said, and that is what you are going to get, even if it ends up just being something really random and stupid. I think today, I am going to write one of the topics from my recent Writer’s Block post, if only because I don’t really feel like thinking all that hard and they are kind of started a bit with my little short answers. I think I’ll just start at the top for now and begin with…

The Story of My Most Serious Injury

Luckily for me, I have made it through my 28 and a half years relatively unscathed on the injury front. This surprises me a bit because I am known to be very clumsy at times, and you would think with that awkward teen growth spurt I had that I would have fallen down a little bit more or something.

If I had to really think about it and pick a major injury that I remember, it is, in all retrospect, a very minor injury and one that is shared by my Pops. I still have the scar to prove that it happened, though I do not remember exactly when it happened, only that I was in elementary school at the time, and it involved a trip to the doctor, but not the emergency room.

It all stems from my mother’s affinity for buying stuff. Her thing now is movies. She is even worse than me. I but a lot of movies, probably more than I should. But my mother buys WAAAAAAAY more, and numerous copies of individual titles at that. Anyway, back in the day, my mother purchased a couple Ronco Food Dehydrators. Anyone that grew up around the time that I did remembers these things. You cut up fruit and dry it! You make fruit roll-ups for a fraction of the cost! You make your own jerky! And so on.

As part of the special promotion for buying within the next XX minutes, she also received something called the Dialamatic Food Slicer. It was a blade with a flat thing on it and a holder, and you used it to cut stuff up, most likely so that it could be placed on your Food Dehydrator and saved for the next nuclear event. Little old me…I decided I wanted to cut an apple up for some reason, I’m assuming to eat it and I was too lazy to just bite it and chew; I needed perfectly cut pieces of apples to enjoy or else the apple would not be nearly as wonderful or something.

Sure, I probably should have put the apple in the finger guard thing. But I was a big boy and I didn’t really need it. I was holding onto the apple, slicing away, making these perfect apple slices, really proud of myself, when the apple got a little to small and my fingers (two of them!) were cut by the blade, the tip of my right index finger and a smaller piece of my right middle finger. Nothing too major, but boy did it bleed. I went to the bathroom and grabbed a wash cloth and just tried to stop the bleeding enough to put a band-aid on it. It would not stop bleeding. It was not clotting. If I removed direct pressure from my finger, it would erupt like a volcano. Not very fun.

But could I tell my mother? Of course not. When she, or my dad, finally came to see what was going on, after I was in the bathroom for quite some time, they asked why I hadn’t used the little guard thing. Pops showed me his battle would from the Dialamatic Finger Slicer from a few days prior, so that is the injury that we share. We got in the car, didn’t even put shoes on, and drove to the after hours clinic to get it looked at. Mom asked for stitches, doctor said I didn’t need any, and they just wrapped it up and sent me home. One reason I remember it was in elementary school was because my mom came into my class the next day and told the teacher I might have a hard time writing for a few days because of my “accident” and the rather large wrap on my right index finger.

So that was probably my worst injury. I have never broken any bones or had major surgery, so I guess this will have to do. I sprained my wrist because I fell ice skating one time, and I got hit in the face with a softball too. Other than that…

P.S. Couldn’t run outside because of the stupid rain, but I did manage a mile and a half on the treadmill and another 30 minutes or so on the bike. Weighed myself and the scale reflected what I think is my actual current weight: 294. I knew the scale at the gym had to be off.

Fear and Loathing in Enfield

Thanks for the shout out, Jen. It is appreciated. We really should talk more. I’m as just a bad sibling as you are.

Anyway, just a quick update on the running for the week and other stuff mentioned here. I was able to log a little over 2.5 miles today before the lightning and rain started. Did it in a little over 30 minutes, really slow I know, but it was the first time that I have really run outside in a while, and it felt good. I did the first half in around 14:30, and walked a bit on the way back, so it was a pretty good second half of the run. I came back and weighed myself and was happy to see that the scale stayed below 300 pounds, deciding to balance at around 294.5, so we’ll just say 295 for the sake of argument. Not to shabby, as I weighed in last week at various points between 288 and 305 depending on the scale. I think I might go on a fast or something in the next few weeks, but I enjoy eating, so we’ll see about that. Maybe a Slimfast fast or something.

Speaking of lightning, I determined today that I might have an irrational fear of it. When people ask what I am afraid of, even if it is me, I often answer “failure.” This can be considered irrational too, since it is hard to quantify. But I think I’ll cover that in another blog later. I also tend to state that I am afraid of spiders. But I am not really afraid of spiders, per se. They do not make me fear for my life. I just don’t like seeing them come out and go boo. Otherwise, me and spiders would be cool. In any case, I am bigger then every spider on Earth, so if the really offend me in their spider-dom, I just murder them.

But how is my fear of lightning irrational? I’m glad you asked. Like many things that have a small chance of happening in our life (plane crash, winning the lotto, finding your exact twin somewhere else in the world), I think it would suck to be struck by lightning. Don’t know why; it has never happened before, and I think I would probably be okay (hopefully). But I was really glad that I got finished with my run before the thunder and lightning started. Perhaps the lightning would have made me run faster, but whatever. I can be afraid of it if I want to be, okay?

Speaking of irrational fears…flying on planes bothers me. Let me clarify: landing and taking off in planes scare me. Once the plane is in flight, I do not worry about it plummeting from the sky, resulting in my imminent death. Nor am I afraid of hijackers on said plane; I would kick their ass and their fake bombs. The take off bothers me for no real reason. Nothing has happened in my lifetime that burned some horrific image in my head. This is just the irrational part of me thinking. But landing, on the other hand, is always a rough time for me.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing the footage of United Flight 232 on the news at night. The plane crashed in Sioux City, IA, which stuck in my head because it is where my father was born. 111 people died in that crash. Now, I realize that this happened nearly 20 years ago and planes have come a long way from that point. It is just another irrational fear that I have. It is not so much of a fear that I no longer fly (I fly, it seems, at least once a month), but it is a fear nonetheless.

So there you have it. I am afraid of stupid things for no good reason. Irrationality at its finest.