Friday, January 15, 2010

The Early Years

This is a picture of my three older siblings, myself and my younger brother Scot. I am the little girl in the front who is looking totally confused.
And here I am six years later, along with my younger sister Becky. I love this picture!

I had an entirely different blog post planned for today until I read Dawn at Momza’s House and decided to follow her example (sounds better than “copy”) and do a little “getting to know me”—the early years. Some of these things my kids don’t even know.

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am intentionally omitting the year—but Barbie and I do have one thing in common. I was welcomed into the family by loving parents, two sisters and a brother. (Four more kids came later)

As a toddler I was either precocious or dumb. I prefer precocious. When my mother was trying to teach me my name, she would say my name and then ask me to repeat it. But instead I would say “Duff.” “No”, she would say, “that isn’t your name. Now let’s try again,” and again I would say “Duff”. Later I changed it to “Duffy,”. Finally my family gave up and called me Duffy—a name I went by until I was nine and we moved to Costa Rica. However, my dad does still call me Duffy on occasion.

Marbles were big when I was little and my older siblings loved to play them. And I liked to get in their way. One of my first memories is of my sister tying me to the rocking chair in the living room while they played so I couldn’t mess things up. I am pretty sure my mother was not very happy about that one.

That was the same chair my parents would pull up to the kitchen door so I could watch them eat dinner when I was three and too sick with hepatitis to join them. Also over the course of my first few years I had mumps, measles, German measles and chicken pox.

I hated Barbies, but loved baby dolls. My favorite was Thumbelina. I would bathe her, take her for walks in a little stroller and rock her to sleep. I also loved to play “teacher”. I spent many hours in my father’s office, holding my flannel board and teaching my imaginary students.

My first real hero was John Glenn---the astronaut who was the first person to circle the earth. I was fascinated by him—until I grew older and learned he was a Democrat. :-)

My best friends were Mary Ellen McMurray and Ann Marie Rasmussen and we lived on a quiet little cul-de-sac where everyone knew each other, everyone was friends and our summer evenings were spent playing “Kick the Can” and “Hide and Go Seek”, with all the neighborhood kids. Our summer days were spent learning to waltz and putting on plays (under my sister’s direction) or watching magic shows in the McMurray’s garage, with the neighborhood’s teenage boys as the stars.

The first boy I ever liked was named Frank, who also ended up being my second cousin. He always wanted me to walk him home from kindergarten, and if I didn’t want to do it, he would get mad and tell me he wouldn’t be my cousin anymore. The second boy I liked was Mitchell. We used to play kissing tag during recess until the principal told us we had to stop. (The entire class played, not just the two of us.)

It was a very happy, very secure, and very comfortable life which all came to a screeching halt the night my parents told us my father had been called to serve as the mission president of the Central American Mission. This included the countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. I was nine years old at the time and my mother was in her early 30’s. (My father is 8 years older than my mom). So we sold our house, packed up our belongings and moved to a foreign country where Spanish was the only language spoken and there were no other members of the church our age.

But that is a story for another day. . .

May you all have a wonderful weekend and may you always find . . . joy in your journey.


MissKris said...

Wow... I hadn't ever seen that second picture before. You were such a cute kid :)
Thanks for the stories- I'm copying this entry into my journal :)

Momza said...

Wasn't that fun? I so enjoyed learning more about you! I had a thumbelina doll too--the one where you pull a string and she moved?
Kick the can was a huge favorite when I was a little older.
Good memories!

Suzanne said...

Oh, you were a gorgeous little girl!! You poor kid with all of those sickness. Your poor mother probably got gray hair a little early from being worried about you. How cool is it to move to Costa Rica. Do you speak fluent spanish then? Thank you for sharing this history with me. I really enjoyed reading it! Hope you have wonerful weekend. -Suzanne

Carolyn said...

old photos are my favorite. what a fun post.

i want to hear more about south america. do you speak spanish?

what an adventure!

Lisa said...

How fun learning more about you and Dawn today. I played kick the can with the neighborhood kids too. My son thinks he will go to Costa Rica on his mission. I have no idea why.

Lisa said...

You left us was growing up in the mission field?

Dave and Camille said...

I loved that! It was nice learning more about your childhood, since I've (obviously) only known you as a mom:)

Jill said...

Oh my goodness, you look like Katherine in that pic

Terri said...

I can't keep up with all your memories. I often have to print out your blog and post it on my fridge so I can be reminded all the positive things you write about. This was great. Sorry for tying you to the chair, I was always sick of constantly being the babysitter instead of being able to play with my friends - so sorry about that!

Marilyn said...

I can't wait to see the next installment!

Kristin said...

How wonderful is this! It was great to read along and find out so much about you. It really is a great idea for a post. I appreciate you stopping by and encouraging me on. . . I've been overwhelmed the last few weeks, but catching up slowly. Thus my blogs have been blogs of few words, but meaningful to me nevertheless. I hope to get back to some more fun posts in the near future.

((hugs)) to you!


Christina said...

I love the rocking chair story. Thanks for sharing!