Sunday, December 21, 2008

and the busy holiday season arrives..

The last few weeks have kept my day-to-day very structured. The majority of these appearances were Christmas-related, so I'm definitely "in the spirit!"

I had yet another Christmas parade, down in Millsboro! I was able to visit with Chelsea (Miss Sussex County) and her cousin Krista (Miss Sussex County's Outstanding Teen) before the parade stepped off. Donald (my driver) and I had a great time! Once we reached the end of the parade route, I had to book it up to Dover for the Miss Mid-Atlantic Pageant. Surprisingly, I got there early so I spent some time with the contestants in what was once a room, but looked like a tornado-stricken clothing store! We sure do know how to make ourselves "at home" backstage! I was joined at the podium throughout the afternoon by Tiffany and Heather (two contestants for Miss DE '09) and Mandie, MDOT. I don't know what was more fun; emceeing or hanging out backstage! Mandie and I definitely amused ourselves when others were at the podium. A round of congratulations go to Lauren Gagliardino, Heather McKinney, Jenna Brindley, and Shaila Gillis, as they were the new titleholders crowned that afternoon! We sure are collecting a great group of girls for the Miss Delaware 2009 Pageant!

Once the pageant titles had been awarded, I was off to Clayton to join Kayla, Miss Newark, at the Saint Joseph Center Christmas Event. I met a good number of the guests, sang Christmas Carols, played carols on the piano, and just enjoyed everyone's company. I also met a little girl who was my buddy for the evening. It was even snowing that night!!! which made it seem all the more festive!

The following week brought me to the State Trooper stations throughout Delaware. Together, we made visits to hospitals like A.I. DuPont, schools for the disabled, and full-care, live-in facilities. I had a great time getting to know the troopers and seeing them all dressed up in costumes, but most importantly, it was wonderful to bring some holiday cheer to the patients, students, and residents. Most were extremely excited to see us! Batman and Spiderman definitely proved to be among my biggest competition ;) but together we made a great team! One of the troopers even handcuffed me..just for fun, of course! For three days, I made visits with different troops in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.

That evening after the last Trooper visits lead me to the Whitten's Fine Jewelry store in Wilmington. Fortunately cars have tail lights, because I don't know that I would have made it up north without following other cars. The rain was coming down so hard that the lines on the roads were lost! Slowly, but surely, I made it. Whitten's had an event called Men's Night Out. An evening of food, snacks, wine, music, and of, greeted and entertained those in attendance. I mingled with the guest/customers and performed pieces on the piano as well. It was a beautiful event that allowed people to jump-start their Christmas shopping!

I missed a few appearances the next couple of days because I came down with a stomach virus and was not feeling well at all!! Fortunately it didn't last long and I was back on my feet in no time!

I helped award and congratulate children, K-8, for their work on fire prevention. Firt, Second, and Third prizes were given out for each grade to students from all over Delaware! For the first time in my life, I was told to stand in the back row of the group picture because I was too tall! That would only happen with young students! They have done excellent work, and I was glad to have been able to take part in their recognition.

As many of you may know, my sister, Windsor, is an elementary school music teacher and director of their Chorus. The Chorus Concert was held this past week and I was able to see them perform and watch her direct. They all did a great job! and I even snapped a few shots for the record.

This past Friday brought me to the Hope Clinic in Dover. I was with the same volunteers as usual, Dr. Mercer and Joanne. We had a steady schedule of patients throughout the day which was very good since it's not all too rare to have a few cancelations or "no-shows" in a day.

This weekend, I was with the Governor for her annual Christmas Open House. The Booker T. Washington Elementary School's Chorus sang many songs for the crowd who also saw Santa Claus and enjoyed cookies and punch. I met a good amount of people that I didn't know, including Reverend Gilmore..the man who married my parents!! That event was one of the last appearances I would have with Governor Minner, since she will be passing the job over to Jack Markell in just a few weeks. I will post pictures later when I receive them from Sue.

Just last night, I celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family. We had family from PA, DE, and FL all together at my house and we had a wonderful time! My favorite part of any holiday is visiting with family and enjoying their company..and that's exactly what we did!! I was sorry to see everyone go at the end of the night, but we will reunite in Las Vegas for Miss America!!, which by the way, is only a few weeks away!!

I'd like to end my post with a little note about my platform. As you all know, I am very involved with dentistry and I have a little story about how dentistry affects your overall health. My dad was admitted to Kent General Hospital yesterday and it turns out that he has a blood infection that has begun collecting deep in his muscle near his hip. He's had an EKG to make sure that no infection has collected in his heart, but the results have yet to be determined. The doctors have traced it (possibly) to some fairly invasive dental work that he had done in the last month. Because the procedure was invasive (to an extent), it gave the bacteria in his mouth access to his bloodstream more easily. Of course, nothing is not certain, as he is still undergoing many tests, but it just goes to show that dentistry can in fact affect your overall health in many, many ways. I've been in and out of the hospital visiting him, and will be there all day tomorrow as well. He will not be home before Christmas, but will hopefully be getting better soon! Please keep him in your prayers! I'll keep you updated on his progress.

Have a wonderful holiday!!! and get your resolutions ready!..a new year is right around the corner!



Cindy said...

Hey Galen!!!
This is Cindy Spillane, Debbie Obrien's daughter :) Remember we used to play house when we were younger? hahaha! She just told me that you were in the Miss America pageant, thats so amazing, you look gorgeous! Well good luck and hopefully we will talk again soon :)

John said...

How is your father? I hope all is well...scary how things that seem small can go awry and have serious effects on your health. These kinds of things must be much more common in places where resources are more scarce. Are you planning to practice abroad as a dentist?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Galen,
I'm getting ready to call your Aunt B. S. (that would make her laugh!) back...she called me from Vegas to tell me about you. We're college roomates.

You clearly work so hard to represent your title. Congratulations!

And a big THANK YOU for the dental outreach example you described about your dad. My son had what I imagine is invasive dental surgery this month (five, yes five wisdome teeth and a bone graft) and I just called him down and told him to make sure he takes his antiobotics fully!

Hope your dad is okay,

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