Is This Normal?

How crazy is 2020? Well, we made a snowman and carved a pumpkin during the same weekend. Of course cutting out a jack-o-lantern is pretty typical for the fourth weekend of October but creating a Frosty is not—even in Spokane.

That was what I was trying to explain to Sidney when the snow started falling on Friday. Seriously, this does not usually happen. But our reality was a winter wonderland that surpassed the 3-6 inches that was forecast.

But don’t think we complained. Sidney got some experience driving in it, hot chocolate was made, and Sloan played in it non-stop. Perhaps our Southern belle does have some Washington blood in her.

Sid and Sloan out in the snow.

The fun started on Friday when Sid took Sloan outside with the snow still falling at a rapid clip. They wasted no time making a snow woman and decking her out in Myrtle Beach-inspired attire. Sloan couldn’t wait to take me out to the front yard to show me “Mommy” (No, not my wife. That is what Sloan named her snow person).

The snow woman that Sid and Sloan built. Sloan named it “Mommy.”

Saturday was a beautiful day. The sun shined brightly and bounced off the white snow as the snow-capped pine trees towered over us. It was my turn to play in the snow with Sloan!

Saturday was gorgeous.

We first did something that I did as a child. I filled a couple spray bottles with water and added food coloring to them. We then went out and squirted the snow as the vibrant blue and red immediately stood out.

Sloan squirted ‘Mommy” with some colored water.

Of course Sloan had to make a snow angel. While she was spreading her wings, she kept repeating “I love the snow! I love the snow!”

Sloan making a snow angel.

She then climbed the mini snow mountain…

Sloan scaling the snow mountain.

And explored the wilderness…

Sloan exploring her surroundings.

At the end of our adventure, she took time to snap a selfie with her daddy.

Snapping a selfie with her old man.

The snow has lingered through the start of this week but the temperatures will be returning to the 50s and the white stuff will soon be a memory…for a week at least. I do believe that years from now we will reflect on our first fall in Spokane and remember the snow storm that dropped several inches in October. Don’t Blink.

Connecting With History at the Davenport Hotel

It has always been a goal of mine to stay at the Davenport Hotel. For those not familiar, the Davenport is Spokane’s most famous and oldest hotel. Built in 1914, it was the place to stay in the city for several decades. If celebrities, sports stars, or sitting U.S. Presidents came to Spokane, there was only one place they would stay.

But as the years passed, the Davenport showed its age and fell into disrepair. In 1985, the hotel shut its doors. If not for asbestos in the guest rooms, the place would have been imploded. In 2000, an entrepreneurial married couple bought the property and renovated the guest rooms and brought the lobby and ballrooms back to their original glory.

For my birthday this year, I wanted to do something memorable. With us now living in Spokane and my parents chomping at the bit to host Sloan and Beau for another sleepover, I asked Sid if she wanted to stay at the Davenport. Wanting to help me cross off an item on my Spokane bucket list, or perhaps just wanting to spend the night in a luxurious hotel, she said yes.

Sidney at the Davenport Hotel on Saturday night.

On Saturday night, we checked into room 706. The check-in process was pleasant with the staff bending over backward to make us feel welcome. With the plan to check out the Peacock Room (one of the hotel lounges) and then eat at a downtown restaurant, we almost scrapped those plans after Sid tested out the world-famous Davenport mattress in our hotel room. But as easy as it would have been to sleep the night away, we did decide to venture out.

Our view of the Spokane streets from our seventh floor Davenport Hotel room.

We enjoyed our evening and returned to the Davenport shortly before 10 p.m. Before heading to our room for a night of uninterrupted sleep, we decided to walk around the hotel’s mezzanine. We gazed out at the elegant lobby below us and then started strolling. The mezzanine at the Davenport is an homage to its history. Large, framed photos of elaborate parties and socials from a century ago line the halls. Memorabilia cases also provide a glimpse into the hotel’s heyday.

A look at the Davenport Hotel from the mezzanine.

The mezzanine also provided us access to a couple of ballrooms rich in history and architecture. The Marie Antoinette Ballroom and the Hall of the Doges made us feel some type of way when we walked inside them, especially the former. It smelled old—but not a musty smell. Rather, it was a distinguished old smell that seemed to really convey the colorful parties and the important banquets that took place in the space over the decades.

A photo I snapped of the Davenport Hotel’s Marie Antoinette Ballroom.

Multiple times we talked about the people in the group photos that lined the walls. Many of the images were taken from the mezzanine of a packed lobby. Individuals in their primes with nice clothes and distinguished looks were captured in these photographs. One image from the 1910s showed all children packed in the lobby and around the mezzanine. We couldn’t help but think that these cute children were all now gone from this earthly world. It was kind of a weird feeling.

The famous Hall of the Doges at the Davenport Hotel.

Riding the elevator up to our room, I reflected on the rich history of the hotel and thought of the thousands and thousands of guests who stayed in the property before us. I slept well knowing that we were now connected to them in a small way. Don’t Blink.

Turquoise Thursday Rundown

Happy belated birthday to my brother. Glen turned 31 years old yesterday and I hope he enjoys his “Baskin-Robbins” year. In honor of his constant suggestion that I keep all my blog posts as brief as possible, I will try to breeze through this Thursday Rundown…

Sunset – There is nothing better than a Spokane sunset…well, actually there is…but I digress. I chased the sun on the interstate this past Saturday on my way home. Although I never caught up to it, I did snap this photo.

This was a pretty cool sight.

Golf Adventure – I played for the first time at a Liberty Lake golf course over the weekend. My dad, brother, his fiancée, and myself hit the links at MeadowWood Golf Course, a site located 18 miles east of Spokane. I found it to be a rather difficult course with a ridiculously long 16th hole par 5 but it made for a fun afternoon. My dad bested Glen by one stroke to win. Don’t ask about my score.

Posing for a photo during our round of golf at MeadowWood Golf Course.

TikTok Creativity – People like me who spend too much time on TikTok can rejoice. Facing a ban in the United States, a last-minute deal was made to save the insanely popular app. Speaking of TikTok, I love the creativity coming out of our account at Washington State University (@WSUPullman). One of our social media interns, Chloe, is creating content that even has our biggest trolls recognizing its creativity. Her recent hit was a play on the #GhostPhotoShoot trend. Check it out.

The ghost in this photo shoot is a stuffed Butch.

Jeopardy – The 37th season of Jeopardy looks different. The set has been updated, the contestants are physically distanced, and Ken Jennings has a role. Sadly, Sid and I aren’t the obsessed viewers we once were. Our cross country move, the coronavirus, and lack of cable have all contributed to the decline of our nightly habit of watching Jeopardy. On this date two years ago, I wrote about how Sid and I documented our competitive rivalry by actively keeping a running tally of who performed better during each show. We “kept score” for close to 200 different games. Will we ever return to our intense Jeopardy rivalry? You never know.

A page of our spiral notebook that displays some of our early games.

Punctuation Day – We celebrate National Punctuation Day today so everyone who uses the marks (f!@#$%^) to cover up their bad words can rejoice. Nah, I am actually thinking more about the people who use punctuation for its intended purpose—like me! Whether it be my day job or with this blog, punctuation is extremely important. But let me give a special shoutout to all the copy editors who are punctuation masters and save the butts of so many.

Happy Punctuation Day!

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Usually I remark about how quickly the week goes by but, to be honest, this week seems to be dragging a bit. As you can imagine, I am ready for the weekend. Please pray for an end to the coronavirus. Don’t Blink.

The World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru

Yesterday, I did something for the first time…I went to a fair food drive-thru!

As a way to give a small taste (pun intended) to the thousands of people who missed out on this year’s canceled Spokane County Fair, organizers staged the World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru. This was an event that Sidney really wanted to attend and on the final day of the event that spanned two weekends, we made it happen.

The scene as we approached the start of the line for the World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru.

Upon entering the fairgrounds, we were given a menu that listed everything available. The selection was vast and there was something for everyone. Of course we didn’t really need the menu because we had already memorized it by looking at the online version (nerds).

The Spokane World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru menu.

We were then pointed toward three long lines of cars. We entered one of the queues and waited…and waited. Ladies and gentlemen, this event was a smashing success. I am sure everyone who dutifully attends the fair during normal years showed up plus everyone else who usually doesn’t. I tracked the fair’s Facebook page throughout the weekend and there was consistently a two-hour wait from entering the line to receiving food.

Entering one of the lines of cars.

Luckily for us, this wait was cut in half. Because it was Sunday and because we went during the lunch hour, I think we missed out on the insanely busy hours. Although swamped nonetheless, the event was superbly organized. After waiting in the wasteland of the fairgrounds, we inched up to a checkpoint where a couple workers asked us the vendors we planned to purchase food from. They then put slips of colored paper under our windshield wipers that corresponded to those specific vendors.

More time passed and we eventually turned a corner that brought the World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru in sight. Things seemed to pick up from that point. Before we knew it, we were right in the middle of all the booths!

Approaching the food booths!

Employees from the two places we wanted to order food from, Azars and Uncle Bill’s Homemade King Corn Dogs, came to our window and took our orders…

This Azar’s employee would eventually come to our window.

From Azars, Sid ordered a deep-fried cheesesteak. She gave me a couple bites and it was immediately obvious that it was worth the wait.

Sid with her deep fried cheesesteak from Azar’s.

From Bill’s Homemade King Corn Dogs, I ordered a corn dog, naturally. We also got a “Brick O’ Curley Fries” to split and chicken nuggets for Sloan. The corn dog was fantastic, the fries good, and the nuggets tasted like they were from the frozen section of a supermarket. But since we went 3 for 4 on our choices I wasn’t too disappointed.

Fair food!!

The World’s Largest Fair Food Drive-Thru was a nice Sunday activity. The food was good and both our kids were patient in the car. Even in future years when the fair is in-person again, I think they could bring the drive-thru back a couple months after the event and capitalize on extra revenue. The endless stream of cars proved that this concept is a hit. With that said, now I just need a couple weeks to burn all these calories off. Don’t Blink.

SMOKE-an

This past weekend was a little hazy. No, it wasn’t because I hit the beer cooler too hard—heck, I am on a dental medication that won’t even let me take a sip of alcohol—but because of actual smoke that turned the Spokane air into a hazardous mess.

During this time of the year, South Carolina has hurricanes and Washington has wildfires. Although the former posed a more serious threat to my family than the latter, that’s not to say the byproduct of devastating fires is anything to brush off.

This month I have watched the local news solemnly as wildfires rage all over our state. These infernos have literally destroyed communities and burned hundreds of thousands of acres. There is no such thing as a break in 2020.

On Saturday, the Spokane Valley was reminded of the catastrophic flames in other parts of the state by hazy smoke that ushered itself in prior to breakfast. As the sun rose, I stood out on my back deck to this…

This is what it looked like outside from my back deck on Saturday.

What was supposed to be a 90-degree day never even topped 80. The sun remained a weird pinkish orb. Walk outside and the strong smell of smoke automatically overwhelmed you. Walk back in and you smelled like a campfire. Forget the bright September day, it was dark and eerie.

A look at the smoke as we drove down Sprague. Notice the sun in the top left hand corner of the image.

But for all the oddities that came with the smoke settling in the valley that is Spokane, the threat it posed was definitely most concerning. When the air category is at a “good” level, it hovers under a value of 50 on a scale of 500. On Friday, when the smoke started to settle in our area, it reached a mark of 170. By Saturday and through Sunday, it reached a staggering 499! That isn’t just unhealthy, it is HAZARDOUS.

The conditions climbed to 499!

The smokey conditions didn’t improve much today. I am still not comfortable letting my daughter go outside to play. Unfortunately, the wildfires still rage. Although Spokane will soon be spared the smoke, other towns will still be engulfed by the flames. We need to pray for favorable weather conditions, smart decisions by citizens, and the safety of fire fighters. Don’t Blink.

Have a Picnic

This summer we have made it a point to pack a picnic and go to a park. Why? Well, for one, it is a very enjoyable thing to do. And, two, we simply never had the opportunity to do so in South Carolina. The humid weather simply isn’t conducive to eating outside and the area of the state we lived in didn’t have the lush, green parks that dot the Spokane Valley.

In eastern Washington, the month of September is gorgeous and still perfect for picnicking. So, if you still haven’t embraced the outdoors while eating a sandwich on a comfy blanket, put a picnic on your calendar and let me give you five tips for a perfect experience.

We have enjoyed numerous picnics at parks this summer.

Choose the Right Park – The Spokane and Spokane Valley boast countless public parks for citizens to enjoy. But before you choose a park based solely on a Google search, do a little bit of scouting and make sure it has everything you need. Our family looks for a fun playground, plenty of big pine trees for shade, sturdy picnic benches, and lots of green space. Parks that meet all these requirements aren’t hard to find but that doesn’t mean places that lack them don’t exist. Just do your homework.

Bring Stuff – The playground and human interaction should be enough to keep your family entertained, but it isn’t a bad idea to bring some items from home that could optimize your afternoon or evening. You can never go wrong with a frisbee or football. Sidewalk chalk is a hit with Sloan. If you are like me, bringing a croquet set is a great way to take advantage of the vast space offered by a park and it also allows you to set up the course of your dreams!

Remember to bring blankets!

The Food – A picnic isn’t a picnic without the food. In fact, I feel like a picnic is an excuse to overdo it just a bit. Sometimes this means picking something up at a favorite restaurant. On separate occasions this summer we have brought food to the park from our favorite cheesesteak, sandwich, and fried chicken joints. But if you want a more traditional picnic, pack it yourself! That’s what we did for our picnic lunch yesterday. We met my sister and her kids at the park and we split up the food duties. Sid and I brought hot dogs and chips while my sister brought oranges, cookies, and drinks. It was a blast and pretty tasty.

At our picnic yesterday, we packed hot dogs.

Pack a Cooler – The drinks are just as important as the food. Grab your ice chest and throw in bottled water, soda, and some Capri Suns for the kids. Oh yes, don’t forget the beer. Just remember to bring Solo cups with you. You can empty your ice dispenser to keep the drinks cool but I prefer to pick up a bag of ice at the gas station and dump it in. When you get to the park, crack open your beverage and enjoy. Whether a soda or an adult beverage, an ice cold drink tastes incredible in the middle of beautiful scenery outside.

Be Prepared – It is important to be ready for any obstacles you might face once on-site. In terms of pests, you could encounter a member of the bee family buzzing around your picnic. Keep that in mind and bring appropriate repellent. During this time of pandemic, bring plenty of disinfectant wipes to scrub benches and play equipment. Most importantly of all, make sure everyone goes to the bathroom prior to arriving at the picnic. I have been in the park facilities and they are not pretty!

I mean it folks, don’t let this summer slip away without a picnic. With the Labor Day weekend approaching, pick a day and make it happen. Don’t Blink.

A Short But Sweet Spokane Holiday

To use a cliché, it was short but sweet. From the time Sidney, Sloan, and I landed in Spokane to the moment our plane left the city on New Year’s Eve, we had spent less than 100 hours in my hometown. The minimal amount of time we had at our disposal just meant we had to make every second count – and we did.

Sloan and her “papa” once again bonded when they were together.

We arrived in darkness at 1 a.m. on Thursday and left my parents’ house in darkness at 3 a.m. on Monday. But this was a trip that was punctuated by light. I am talking vibrant, joyful light – the type that can only be produced by love. Throughout our time in Spokane, the true Christmas spirit filled up my childhood home as my parents and siblings embraced us.

Sloan was welcomed to Spokane with a sign that her Uncle Glen made.

It wasn’t a trip that was spent cramming as many things into a short period of time as possible. Instead, most of our 98 hours were spent inside my mom and dad’s living room, the exact same place my siblings and I grew up. It was in that space where the grandchildren took center stage. Sloan joined her cousins, Mikayla and Johnny, as they played hard together (sometimes nicely, sometimes not). As the babies played, the adults talked. Our Reser Pride text message group came alive. No longer did we need iPhones to communicate with each other from thousands of miles away. Rather, the common roof over our heads allowed for simply our voices (not thumbs) to do the talking.

Sloan had a great time playing with her cousins. Johnny is the son of my sister, Miranda.

The living room also hosted our special Reser family Christmas, games of Heads Up, and plenty of delicious snacking/drinking. It was our hub for the vacation and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My mom loved being with her grandbabies in the living room.

Not to say that we didn’t leave the house entirely. We hit a couple of our favorite spots, attended mass at St. Thomas More, enjoyed a family dinner at a popular restaurant, and capitalized on a couple of post-Christmas sales at the mall.

We attended mass at St. Thomas More and posed in front of the beautiful Nativity.

But for the most part, we stayed home. If we weren’t all gathered in the living room, you could have found us…

Our family eating at Prospector’s, a delicious restaurant in North Spokane.

– Eating a prime rib dinner and other meals in the dining room.
– Watching Washington State’s Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa State in the basement.
– Playing in the snow in the front yard.
– Stealing Christmas candy out of the freezer in the kitchen.

We had a great time playing in the snow.

Of course the best part was watching relationships continue to strengthen. Sloan loves her grandparents so much and would constantly say Grandma hold you (“hold you” being her phrase for wanting to be held) and Love you, Papa. The bond that my sister and brother have with Sidney is special and they picked up from where they left off in the summer. I continued to get to know Glen’s girlfriend, Carrie, and I had a nice time getting drinks with my brother-in-law, Jay. Everyone got along so well and it was such a warm and welcoming environment to be in – one that makes it tough to leave.

There is a special bond between my siblings and Sidney.

But we are back in Myrtle Beach now and are left to reflect on our time in Spokane. It was another special trip that exemplified how much my parents and siblings love and support our little family. At the same time, it allowed us to reciprocate the same sentiments as well. Until next time, Spokane! Don’t Blink.

Couldn’t end this blog post without a picture of the LIVING ROOM.

Kicking Off Vacation Season With a Trip to Spokane

This year, the month of July is cut into two distinct halves for our family. The first half, which just concluded, was a couple weeks of summertime bliss right here in Myrtle Beach. We celebrated the Fourth of July, made several trips to the pool, ate lots of ice cream, and enjoyed some of the most carefree days of the year. It was all about taking it easy right here at home.

We enjoyed a relaxing and fun first couple weeks of July right here in Myrtle Beach.


But, with the first day of the second half of July now upon us, things are about to change. Get ready to do some traveling because It’s vacation season!

We are off to Spokane. If you have read this blog over the past few years, you know the drill. We will drive to Charleston to catch an Alaska Airlines flight that will take us all the way to Seattle. We will then do the famous one hour “backtrack” to Spokane. We will land in my hometown at 11 p.m. with my parents waiting eagerly at the airport to see their precious granddaughter and to take us back to their house for eight days of family fun.

We are off to Spokane!

Our timing couldn’t be more perfect. My nephew turns 1 tomorrow and we will be able to attend his big birthday bash. On Saturday night, my dad’s family will be in town for a backyard BBQ (out west that means a hot dog and hamburger cookout). We will also get the chance to meet my brother’s girlfriend for the first time. And, you can bet that throughout the week we will visit some of our favorite restaurants and bars.

Nothing too wild or crazy this time around, something we are certainly not disappointed about. We are just so thankful to visit Spokane and see the people who give our little family so much support and encouragement throughout the entire year. Group texting and Snapchat are both great ways we all keep in touch, but nothing beats being physically in the presence of each other. We can’t wait.

A vacation with Sidney’s family will come later this month. More details on that later but we got to hit the road now. To all my Spokane friends and readers – feel free to reach out. It always makes me happy when I get to visit with people I have not seen in a long time. Please know that for the next two weeks it is just not me going on vacation – the blog is too. I will try to write a few times over the course of the rest of the month but no promises. Please pray for our safe travels. Don’t Blink.

A Holiday Week With Family In Spokane

It was short, but it was so sweet. Last night, my little family arrived back to South Carolina after a special holiday visit to Spokane. It was the best way possible to conclude 2017.

You can’t beat being around family during the holidays. We just got back from a great trip spent with mine.

We departed in the afternoon on Christmas Day. By the time our plane touched down in Spokane, it was the very early morning of December 26. Nonetheless, my parents were at the airport with big smiles (and a happy tear or two) to greet us. A memorable trip was underway!

Sloan and I watching a movie on the plane.

After my mom had her chance to hold Sloan and give her plenty of kisses, we all went to bed for a few hours. Perhaps not well-rested, but more than awake because we were fueled by happiness and adrenaline, we enjoyed a great first day.

My mom holding Sloan in the wee hours of the morning of our arrival.

My brother arrived at the house first that Tuesday morning. Shortly thereafter, my sister pulled up in my parents’ driveway with her daughter and baby son in tow. A big draw of the trip was to see Johnny again. We were in Spokane when he was born in July but had not seen him for six months. It was so nice to hold Johnny and to watch him play with Sloan.

Johnny and Sloan spent a lot of time together.

That first day we celebrated our family Christmas. We played games, took photos with our custom Snapchat geofilter, admired the snow, and watched over the babies and toddlers. When my brother-in-law showed up we ate our prime rib dinner, opened gifts, and looked for the pickle.

My parents with Sloan, Johnny, and Mikayla on Christmas day.

The next day, Wednesday, December 27, I woke up early to work out with my dad at a gym I have grown very fond of over the years. I returned and shoveled the driveway as Spokane had received even more snow over the night. During this all, my mom joyfully took care of Sloan, savoring every moment. After I returned to Myrtle Beach my mom told me, “I sure loved my mornings with Sloan.”

On Wednesday morning, I shoveled our driveway.

My sister and her kids soon came over. Miranda and Sidney went to Target and Glen and I went to Costco. Later that evening, Glen, Sid, and I went to the historic Davenport Hotel in Downtown Spokane where we had drinks at a place called the Safari Room with my brother’s friend, Courtney. The atmosphere and conversation were both lovely. We came home and ate with my parents (and Sloan) as we heated up the leftovers from our Christmas dinner and made sandwiches. Later that night, Glen, Sid, and I went to a neighborhood bar where we caught up with old friends.

Enjoying ourselves at the Safari Room at the Davenport Hotel with Glen and Courtney.

On Thursday, our entire crew, strollers and all, went shopping at the mall. From there we ate lunch at a place called Fatburger, a joint that Sidney had wanted to try since we visited last Christmas season. When we arrived home, Sid and I took Sloan out in the snow for the first time. We took her on a sleigh ride and even though she certainly didn’t love it, we were able to make some cool memories. We came inside and we all played a Jeopardy board game (congrats on winning, Glen). Then, we all invaded the basement to watch the Holiday Bowl between Washington State and Michigan State. The outcome was far from what we wanted but the appetizers we made for the game sure were good. We concluded the evening by watching a movie.

Sloan experienced snow for the first time.

Friday rolled around and my dad and I got in another gym session. When we arrived home, Sid and mom were having a great time playing with Sloan. My mom cooked up a big breakfast for us all which was delicious. Later in the day, my mom gladly watched over the babies as my dad, Miranda, Sid, Glen, and I went to Birdy’s, another neighborhood sports bar near our house. We had the best time. We told stories, we laughed, and we enjoyed each other’s company. It was one of the highlights of the trip. We returned home and then our entire group went out to Tomato Street, a restaurant with some of the best Italian food you will ever enjoy. We had a very nice time. Upon returning home, we watched another movie to finish off the night.

Our crew at Birdy’s in Spokane.

Saturday was our last day in Spokane and we made the most of it. The morning was spent sitting in the living room as Sid, my mom, my dad, and I chatted while watching Sloan play. Sid and I made our traditional visit to a local haunt called Selkirk and we roamed the aisles of Fred Meyer. When we returned home, Miranda and her family had arrived. I was able to play with Mikalya and hold Johnny one final time. We then went off to vigil mass at St. Thomas More, one of the moments I always look forward to when returning to Spokane. After the service ended we drove by a house in the area that is decorated in a holiday Disney theme each year. When we got back to the house, my parents prepared a steak dinner. It was fantastic as it was my favorite meal of the trip. We then watched another movie and savored the remaining time we had together.

Sidney at Selkirk this past Saturday.

We left my parents’ house at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. They took us to the airport and we said our tearful goodbyes.

I had an amazing time in Spokane with my family during the holidays.

It was a special time in Spokane. We all stuck very close and enjoyed each other. It was nice to watch Sloan interact with her fellow baby cousin. Just as we were impressed with little Johnny, I know my parents, brother, and sister were impressed with Sloan. We were treated so incredibly well by my parents. We were also touched by how much time and love my brother and sister gave us. It was tough to leave my hometown and the people I love but we brought so many memories home with us. To my family – thank you and we love you. Don’t Blink.

The $25,000 Man 7 Years Later

Today is an anniversary that is commemorated by the Reser brothers. Seven years ago on December 11, 2010, my brother, Glen, hit a major jackpot at a seedy bowling alley casino in Spokane, Washington. On a cold and snowy night, his stroke of luck won him $25,000 on the spot. He was 21 years old at the time.

After Glen won the $25,000, we went to Vegas a few days later. This is him at the original O’Sheas playing some Blackjack.

I usually mark this anniversary by sharing on social media the blog post I wrote about the crazy night. Although over six years old and terribly written, this particular piece of content is one of the most viewed blog posts in the history of Don’t Blink. The piece chronicles the pandemonium that took place at Lilac Lanes when Glen hit it big, along with the shenanigans and gross mismanagement of money that immediately ensued.

I also commemorate the anniversary by either calling or texting Glen and asking him how much of that money is left? The question is always expressed with a heavy dose of sarcasm because practically every cent of that jackpot was sucked dry before the first anniversary ever came around.

But perhaps that sobering fact shouldn’t be met with much surprise. I mean honestly, what 21-year-old is going to make sound decisions with a large sum of money?

I am not here tonight though to poke fun at Glen or detail how the money was spent/lost. Rather, I just want to put in perspective the amount of money that was won while also reinforcing a point I have made in an earlier blog post.

Last night, Sidney and I watched “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” The grand prize was $10,000. The family that took home the top honor on that particular episode celebrated as if it was a life changing event (I would have too!!). Now, contrast that with some kid winning 2.5X that amount just for being dealt some cards.

At the time seven years ago, both Glen and I had no idea how much of a gift and blessing that amount of money was. Let me try to explain that better. We knew it was a lot of money but we didn’t appreciate it. We had no idea how it could come in handy in the future when we eventually graduated to the status of responsible adults.

(I say “we” because Glen was generous to me with his winnings and, looking back on it, I encouraged him to make one or two not so good decisions with his loot. I hold myself accountable for contributing to the squandering).

If Glen strolled into Lilac Lanes tonight and defied all the odds and won that fat jackpot again, you can bet things would be a little different. That money would stretch a little longer.

But, it is my hope that Glen doesn’t set foot in a gambling venue. Over the years, I have come to believe that gambling is a destructive activity, especially for the younger population. I feel it cultivates a distorted view of money, one that can potentially have long term consequences. Although a gambler once myself, I now identify more with the anti-casino stance.

Yes, the story from seven years ago is still a great one. Honestly, read my blog post, it will take you for a ride. But winning money is so much different from earning it, especially when you are young. Looking back on the episode from 2010, as hard as some might have trouble believing it, I don’t think it was the best thing that ever happened. Don’t Blink.