Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Sister Paula

It was really great having an older sister. When I was little it was so much fun getting into her makeup, or playing 'Kid' with Helen, which was our way of pretending to be her, or watching her as she brushed her hair and made faces at herself in the mirror as she put on her make up. I loved to ease drop when she had a boy friend over or when she was giggling with her friends. To her I was just a little pest. She had to baby sit Helen and I and get us to bed and tell us stories.

When I turned 12 and started going to mutual, she was nearly 18 and so only had a few months until she was out of Mutual. The first evening I was going to go we were taking a bus to the church. The only change mom had was a dime and ten pennies. Of course Paula took the dime and left me with the ten pennies. As we were walking to the bus she told me not to sit with her and not to embarase her! Since I rode the bus so seldom, I wasn't sure if I should just dump all the pennies in or drop them one by one so the driver could count them. I opted for the latter idea and carefully dropped each penny into the change meter which made a loud ding with each penny. As each coin dropped in, Paula sank deeper into her seat. Poor girl, she should have taken the pennies!

In her mind she thought she had treated me awful as a child. I didn't think so as I idolized her. Once she was married and I was a much less obnoxious 15 years old, she loved having me around and constantly tried to make up to me all the supposed wrongs she had commited against me. She would invite me to her house in San Francisco each week end. Since Daddy worked for the railroad we could ride the train for free so I often got to go and spend the week end with her. When I would visit she would spoil me. She was a great listener and a great counselor. She was also fun and funny and I always felt her love and knew that she loved me. She would tell me that she was always so excited for me to come and then so excited for me to go!

Paula and I were great friends. I still idolize her a bit. When ever I had a problem I would call her and she would have the answers I needed. I still miss being able to call her and tell her my problems. It was great to know someone cared so much.

In my mind Paula will always be my glamorous older sister, after all she was a beauty pageant winner and how many little sisters can say that!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ardie and Helen

Helen and I have always been very close. As children we were inseparable and reading our histories is almost like reading the same story. In our teen years we were just as close as we were in our childhood but, because we moved from 8th ave to 18th and I street when Helen was 13, we attended different Jr.High schools. I finished up at Stanford and Helen went to Sutter Jr. High after a year at Stanford. We were always best friends and we shared everything , even our clothes.

When we were teens we made money babysitting and mowing lawns and I even had a job at a Dime Store. When we bought clothes we shared them since we wore the same size. We couldn't wear each others shoes though, my feet were always two sizes bigger than hers. When she got married we had to devide our wardrobe, it was hard to remember who bought what so we just sorted it out. It felt like I had nothing to wear! I'll bet she felt the same.

We moved again so we both attended Sacramento High School at the same time. Since she was a year and a half behind me in school and because we had different Jr. High friends we weren't as close in High School, at least not at school. We did go together to the Saturday Night Dances and to Firesides and other church activities. Helen was so cute and flirty that she always stole all my boyfriends (or so I thought.) Because of our rivalry mom made a rule that if one of us had dated a boy we had to get the ok from our sister to date the same boy. I seem to remember giving Helen a hard time about giving the ok as I had dated Frank first. I wasn't the least bit interested in him, but it was so seldom that I had any power over her when it came to boys!

Speaking of Helen's flirtiness.... She was impossible to walk down town with. We would have guys in cars whistling and she would wave and smile and guys following us, it didn't bother her. I kept telling her it was dangerous. I would say just don't respond to them, but she could't help it...she just loved flirting! She would make me laugh so hard sometimes with her antics.
I wonder if she told this story what it would sound like?

Helen and I are still very close. We love the same things and enjoy many of the same activities. I just love to be with her and know that she is the best friend anyone ever had and we will always be best friends. Better than best friends, she is my sister!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things My Mama Taught Me

My mom was my best friend. She taught me the gospel and helped me get my own testimony. I used to curl up in her lap and listen to her sing to me and teach me wonderful things. She told me the Joseph Smith story first before I had even heard it in Primary. She bore her testimony of the restoration of the Gospel to me. She was the one who instilled in me the importance of keeping the commandments. I learned how to pray at her knee. She helped me to understand how to listen for promptings and how important it was to follow them. She taught me about charity by word but more by her example. I have watched her help and counsel her friends and neighbors. I always knew that she would have good advice for me and loving suggestions whether I wanted to hear them or not.

I remember all my life her telling me to never talk about people unkindly or make fun of them. I never heard her gossip or speak ill of others. She was always a friend of the friendless and a shoulder to cry on, not just for her children but for others as well. She taught us at home to settle our differences lovingly. Of course we didn't always heed her advice.

When we children would get out of hand and things would overwhelm her she would just walk out of the house to go for a 'walk'. When mama left that way we always knew we had gone too far. We would quickly try to set things right so that when she came back we were all sweet and quiet. I heard from my older siblings that she had a very bad temper when she was a young mother. I never saw that side of her. She would just remove herself if she felt she was losing control.

My mom's advice was always good. I talked to her about everything. I told her when I felt picked on and I told her about my friends and arguments I had with my siblings. She was a good listener. Sometimes she would just ask me what I thought I should do about a certain problem I was telling her about. She would get me to solve my own problems.

One of the greatest heritages we got from our mother was our self esteem. She always loved us and made us feel that she approved of us. She taught us to make our own decisions and she taught us to value each other. Family loyalty was especially stressed. I think that feeling of self worth we Davis's all have in abundance is because of Mama.

I am so grateful for all my mother's teachings and all her love and all her great advice. I will never forget her wonderful laugh! I hope my children will remember me with as much love and gratitude as I remember my Mama!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Family 1961

Having three kids is the hardest time for a mother, ask anyone with over three kids. All of a sudden they out number you, and as you can see from the photo you can't hold all of them on one lap!

Sandra and Sherry were born only 10 months apart as Sandra was premature. Sherry wasn't walking yet and Jay was 3 and into everything! It was a busy and a happy time. I never wanted to be anything but a mother since I was 4 years old. I was ready, and I loved all the wonderful things about motherhood and I was learning how to cope with the hard parts and tollerate them.

Jay was such a fun and inquisitive three year old. One time I bought him some new argyle socks just like his dads. He loved them so much that he put them 'away' somewhere where neither he nor I could find them. I looked for months and finally gave up. When he was 4 yrs. old I found them. They were in an ironing board cabinet that was built into the wall. Right after we had given him the socks we had put the kitchen table in front of the cabinet to make more room in the kitchen. Of course they didn't fit him anymore and we only had little girls to hand them down to.

Sherry was the sweet quiet baby. She was our 'budda' baby, so chubby and cute. She had little ringlets, and always wore a smile. She was a thumb sucker. She learned to walk when Sandi was 3 months old. That was a relief! Now I only had to carry one baby, but I still had two in diapers. Remember, we didn't have dispossables in those days. Just like twins we had to have two of everything. Two cribs, two highchairs etc.

Sandra was born early and when we brought her home she weighed 5 lbs. Since Jay and Sherry who were no longer tiny, she seemed really small. At first she wouldn't take more that 2 ounces of milk and then 2 hours later she needed more. She woke up in the night forever!!! I'm not kidding, she probably still does! She was still waking me in the night when she was a year old. I finally just stopped getting up and as soon as she was big enough she would get up and raid the fridge! (That was before she was 18 months) We would find crumbs in her bed and pieces of food under her pillow every morning.

There is no greater joy nor any greater sacrifice than being a mother. I love and appreciate all my children and grandchildren for making that sacrifice. I know that they will be forever blessed for doing it. I know, because I have been and continue to be the most blessed of women.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Earning My Way

My first year of College I took a job as a waitress in a little Cafe in Sacramento. There were actually only 2 waitresses, myself and Maria. She was a short latino about a foot shorter than me. Everyone called us Mutt and Jeff. She was a professional waitress, she had been a waitress for about a million years and I was new at the business. I was grateful for her tutilege and we enjoyed each others company.

Several months later, realizing that I needed more money to save for the next semester and pay my expenses I took a job selling Sarah Coventry Jewlery. This was quite ironic as I had never worn jewelery. I found however that I was pretty good at selling and was able to nicely supplement my waitress wages. Of course I was still working on most week-ends playing gigs with my jazz combo.

By the second semester of school I found that something had to go as I was the paid assistant to the drama director and that meant many evenings of rehearsals. Since that brought in a little wages I dropped the waitress job. In a few months an opportunity came up for me to become the assistant to the Art teacher which also paid me some and I took on some modeling for art classes which also paid a little. I have no idea where I found time for homework but I did. I had actually gotten such good grades that I had qualified for a scholarship which had paid for all my tuition for that semester.

Beginning my second year I continued all of those jobs. That is what I was doing when Larry got home from his mission and we got married in November. Every available hour was taken with one of those jobs or the other, (and I was stake drama director in charge of roadshows.)

Larry just tagged along to my rehearsals, and even came to a Sarah Coventry Party once. He sat in on some of my combo rehearsals too, but soon he was busy with his own school and job.

After that semester I quit all my jobs but the music because I was pregnant and had morning sickness. ( I took my finals as I was running to the bathroom to be sick.) I was grateful that I had been able to put myself thru nearly 2 years of college, and what wonderful experiences I got as I earned my way to my MRS degree!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Three Friends

When I started Jr. High I met my friend Lynn. Because we had been to different Grammar Schools this was the first time we met each other. Lynn was an only child and her parents were really cool. She had a rumpus room in her house with a pinball machine! She was in the orchestra with me. We had a lot of good times together. Lots of times I went over to her house after school. One time her mother signed us up for Charm School at a big department store. Lynn really didn't need it, but I did! We learned many things including how to walk like a lady. Boy did I need that. Between walking like a duck like Grandpa Cram and walking at a speed that wasn't only not lady like, but was unsafe,which I got from my Dad, I really needed help! We also learned how to sit and stand politely. That meant no throwing yourself in the chair and slouching, or crossing your legs, or spreading your legs. Every movement needed to be sloooww, a complete change from my usual 13 year old, boyish, fun loving self! I think the course helped me, I certainly never forgot it.

I also had a friend named Beverly. She loved to come to our house and she and my Dad got along great. They were always joking together. Beverly was usually quiet. She had suffered with Polio as a child and her mouth was pulled to one side. She was very sweet. At my house she was completely herself. One time I told her she should speak up and say when she had an opinion or something was bothering her around other people. She told me 40 years later that those words were very important to her and she eventually learned how to be more assertive.

My third friend in Jr High was Dee. Her real name was Darlo, but she went by Dee. She was outgoing and talented and fun. She had no trouble telling anyone her opinion! We mostly just hung out together at school. I don't think I ever met her family.

All three of my friends will always be special to me. You don't forget friends like they were. Dee and Beverly are gone now but I still get to see Lynn sometimes at school reunions. It is always such a pleasure being with her again. Dee and Beverly and I all got reaquainted in our 40's and stayed friends until they passed on. You don't think about it when you are young, but true friends are friends forever. They are part of who you are, and you will always be part of them.