Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad!

If I could collect an hourly fee for the time I have spent trying to post this, even at minimum wage; if I could package and send to you the time this has cost; if I could attach a value to the frustration and indignity I have suffered from my technological ineptitude—this would be a valuable birthday gift, indeed! (That is, if it actually gets accomplished, sent, and received; I have never yet succeeded in all three, and I've been diligently trying since before Father's Day!... but there is always hope, isn’t there?)

When I considered attempting to chronicle even the most major events in our lives during the past 14 months since my last post, the words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride came to mind: “Let me explain…no, there is too much. Let me sum up…” Even that has become too daunting. Instead, I’m just going to put in something I know that you will especially appreciate – hopefully including some pictures – and pray that the Spirit will convey what my efforts cannot.

On 29 May 2011 we held Joseph’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. (That is another thing the significance of which may never be understood or appreciated by casual observers.) The board of review was an exercise in and trial of nearly every point of the Scout Law, and tested the Spirit of Scouting on both sides of the board. Joseph finished all his requirements for Eagle rank, including the project, well before his 18th birthday, and was told by our troop committee that he had 90 days to complete and submit the write-up and appear before the board, which he did. During the review before the district committee, he was asked if all had been completed by his 18th birthday, to which Joseph replied affirmatively; after listening to other questions, and reflecting on their significance, however, he began to suspect that they were including the paperwork in that 90 days…. Realizing the very real possibility that his long-cherished goal of Eagle could be denied him, he interrupted the interview to clarify. When he made it clear that he had NOT completed the write-up until several weeks after his 18th birthday, under the impression that he had 90 days to do so, the committee chair barked, “That 90-day period belong to us!” All our hearts sank in horror, disappointment, and incredulity. We left the room while the committee deliberated, proud of Joseph for having been totally honest but dejected that it would not compensate for his misinformation. You will appreciate our joy and relief when the committee called us back in and informed us that it would, indeed, compensate; they were impressed that Joseph epitomized the values of Scouting, and his being forthcoming about the 90 days was in his favor. Toward the end of our visit, the committee chairman approached Joseph and took his dog-eared Scout Handbook from him with two fingers, as if picking up something he’d peeled off the bottom of his shoe, and asked, “Whose Scout book is this?” as though he suspected it had been around since Baden-Powell himself. It certainly looked as though it had been on a century’s worth of Scout outings. He opened the front cover and read: “Michael [crossed out] David [crossed out] Caleb [crossed out] Seth [crossed out] Joseph Weiler” and looked at our fifth son accusingly. Without missing a beat, he responded, “Sir, a Scout is thrifty…”

I was personally so relieved and grateful for the end of that drama that I magnanimously and recklessly told Joseph he could have anything he wanted for his court of honor… Never say this to a kid who is hollow, always hungry, and burns 12,000 calories a day...

I ended up spending nearly as many man-hours as his project had taken, decorating dozens of mini-cupcakes to look like merit badges. (The worst part was that few people recognized them for what they were, even after having it pointed out! Oh, well—Joseph appreciated them, and that’s why I did it.)
Joseph was honored by many; here are some of his favorites: niece Anne, bro-in-love Erik:

Proud parents and friend/fan, Reid Cornish:

Multiple adoring young women: the Maggert girls, with whom Joseph and his brothers did some curbing jobs (their dad bought Curbs By The Yard from us):

Sister-in-love Shannyn (Caleb’s wife), family friend Michelle Baumgart, sister Tabitha with niece Hannah, sister L’Anita, friend Gretchen Baumgart:

So there you are, Dad. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more! See if that will do you for another year… LYDYCYB

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Our family is contrary in many respects, but recently we've experienced some actual oxymorons! See how many you can identify in this current history:

Almost exactly a month ago, Bob took a working vacation and drove out to BYU with Seth, just the two of them alone together. They loosely packed all Seth's belongings, as well as a set of bunkbeds for David and Char's family, into the light-weight Dodge Dakota, and embarked, hopelessly optimistic that they could make the journey in two days.

On the way they stopped at a couple of Church history sites, including Liberty Jail, where they saw an original replica of the dungeon sometimes referred to as "the prison temple." Another stop was the Temple Lot in Independence, where they stood in pronounced silence, contemplating one of the most hallowed spots on earth.

Nothing much happened for several hundred miles, until they saw a night light on the dashboard and heard a quiet noise from under the hood... Their engine had overheated, and they came to a rolling stop near the mini-metropolis of Fort Bridger, Wyoming, population 150. (Bob was amazed, but unless he was given some incorrect facts, there are six wards in the surrounding area of six square miles!) A small crowd gathered to commiserate, but the only choice our boys had was to spend the night and wait for the local auto parts store to open. A couple of individuals were awfully nice and after giving them an exact estimate, helped them replace the thermostat and resume their journey, with nothing more dramatic than some poor quality gas.

Their next stop was at the home of Char's brother Tim, where they had arranged to drop the bunk beds until they could finish their journey to Oregon. Was Seth deliberately thoughtless or just talking on his cell phone while driving? Same difference: he backed into a neighbor's car. It was pretty ugly. (I let out a silent scream when I heard about it over the phone, but fortunately was able to act naturally.) We were terribly pleased when the benevolent neighbor settled without appealing to insurance; she was very understanding, realizing it was not an intentional accident.

They finally pulled into Provo, feeling like the living dead. Bob was able to meet some of Seth's new roommates. One of them is of small stature; another is a serious joker. On campus, they were surprised to notice a common rarity: numerous coeds wearing tight slacks! Despite BYU's dress code, this seems to be unusually normal.

Bethany clearly misunderstood their communications; when they arrived at her apartment they found her missing. Eventually she turned up, and they all went out to a cheap seafood joint for some fresh frozen, genuine imitation jumbo shrimp. (Bob was sure it was undercooked; he complained of freezer burn to the waitress, but it did no good as she was a resident alien who spoke no English... Usually he enjoys seafood, but he felt his dinner was fit only for a sanitary landfill.)

As for the rest of the family, we are keeping busy. Every Tuesday we have a "cousin day," where the local grandkids convene at Grama's for a few hours. Abigail constantly entertains us with her precocious vocabulary--everything she says is an instant classic. Whenever she and Clark have one of their passive agressive altercations, Adam is there to serve as a peace force. Jane, Anne, and Hannah alternate playing the roles of "sweet" and "tart"! Hyrum and Melody are favorite babysitters, without question.

In addition to Joseph's amazing cross country running (he recently ran a 16:13 5K at county!), Tabitha and Tommy also participated in a 5K "fun run" sponsored by Tommy's employer.

Suellen is either a real faker, or a neurological anomaly. Several weeks ago she started complaining of a numb feeling; it has become uncommonly ordinary for her to experience icy hot tingling in her extremities, but the doctor finds absolutely nothing to account for it. Good grief!

Well, that about wraps it up, so I will close. I believe it was Shakespeare who said, "Parting is such sweet sorrow." Let's drink to that...bottoms up!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In an attempt to keep a promise to Grampa, we are creating this blog and sending it out into e-space. No doubt it will undergo numerous transformations as we feel our way around; as much as we would like to start off with an amazing blog and just get better and better, let us remind you that we are slow to acquire new skills, and we learn best by doing. At any rate, here goes!

Our motto, we think, is going to be "Come what may, and love it." This will be much easier for us if y'all keep your comments (if any) positive and cheerful. If you have constructive criticism, please keep in mind what "constructive" means...

Our first offering will be several thought-provoking quotations for your pondering and edification. Please feel free to share your own cogitations with us.

"Hold fast to the blessings which God has provided for you. Yours is not the task to gain them, they are here; yours is the part of cherishing them." (J. Reuben Clark)

Peter Drucker, known as the "father of business management," once told a seminar at Harvard University that "the Mormons are the only Utopia that ever worked."

"The Lord gives us more to do than we have time to accomplish so He can see where our hearts lie." (Vaughn J. Featherstone)

"Goals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat ourselves with." (Barbara B. Smith)

We have tried several times to attach a picture, without success. We will try again another time.

Thank you for your patronage and patience! Someday you may be rewarded for it...

The Weiler Family