I can swing higher than the chicken coop. The fun of picking and chewing pine gum. Or every kid ought to have a cow like Blossom. I wish I could tell you all about these and dozens of other stories about my life, but I’ll try to pick out the highlights.
I was born in a small community in the Four Corners country of the American southwest. My father was a sheepman, cattleman, rancher, and owner of a real western mercantile store that supplied goods to the inhabitants of a wide area including members of the Pauite and Navaho Indian tribes. Whatever anyone needed they could find it at the mercantile, or Dad would get it for them. Groceries, clothing, and western gear and supplies were staples, but they could also obtain cloth, toys, coffins, stove pipe, draw off their own vinegar from the large wooden vinegar barrel, or even order a new automobile. Before I was born men could even get a free haircut.
As a child, I explored the wonders of that marvelous store almost everyday. The candy counter was my favorite. But when I began reading I liked it better than eating candy.
I had an idyllic childhood. The outdoors was as familiar to me as the inside of the dwelling that was home to me, my parents, three brothers, and a sister. In the summer I rode my horse, Toby, with my friend Patsy, up the Blue Mountain that towered next to our community. Sometimes we hiked to the lower levels and waded in the streams, or hiked to the “big hill” north of town that was covered with scrub oak and sagebrush. The smell of sagebrush was delicious to me.
Our orchard was my haven. I climbed the fruit trees daily, watching and waiting for the fruit to ripen. It seemed to take an eternity. My favorite place was sitting behind the gooseberry patch eating the green sour gooseberries. My brother, Mason and I had contests to see which one of us could chew a mouthful of these without pulling a face..
When I was ten my life took a drastic turn. I contracted polio and spent a year on my back in a hospital three hundred miles away from my home and family. It was in the isolation and homesickness of the hospital ward that I discovered the need and joy of writing, putting my thoughts in letters to my family, friends, relatives, and even my beloved dentist.
The medical prognosis was that I would never walk without braces or crutches. With the faith that often comes to children and through my prayers and the prayers of my family I was able to leave the hospital, walking unaided, a living miracle. Though I could never run or jump because of atrophied limbs, I was determined to outdo my contemporaries in hiking, arm wrestling, handling a gun, and riding a horse. I began helping my father herd cattle from the winter range to the summer range in Colorado, reversing the process as winter approached.
For quite some time I was forced to wear high-topped shoes to strengthen my weakened ankles. I went to a school dance in junior high wearing these awful shoes.. Guess who was the “wallflower” of the evening. I walked home that night crying.
Later on, in order to gain more strenth. I had to undergo muscle transplants on my right foot, and on my left hand.
I adored my father. He was like the morning sun to me. Even as a small child I would sneak into the living room, hide behind a chair, and listen to him talk to or give advice to people from every station of life. I’m sure those conversations helped spark an interest in the way that people speak to each other, and the differences between men and women.
My mother was quiet, gentle, and loving.. She was totally selfless in her service to her husband, family, and others of the community. She taught us spiritual values and lived what she taught.
It was when I went to college that I felt a new sense of of my own ability. I always wanted to write. Though I began with a truncated love story at age twelve, I never really thought I could until my advanced creative writing professor called me into his office and suggested that I ought to seriously consider writing. I was thrilled.
In college I met a wonderful man from Texas and we were married soon after graduation. His employment took us to Phoenix, Arizona where all five of our children were born. Then back to Texas. A number of my books reflect my love of both states.
During the growing up years of our children I wrote extensive life histories of each, adding pictures to illustrate the stories. I couldn’t have done this without the help and encouragement of my husband!
I chose to table my desire to write until my children were grown and on their own. I’m thankful for this decision, because my love of writing is so all consuming. and I would not have wanted to neglect my children. Again, I couldn’t write without the help of my husband, who is my helper, champion, and critic..
From time to time, some of my thoughts and life expeiences will find their way onto my blog. I hope that you will return again and again to share with me the wonders of life.
I love and appreciate all of you who find enjoyment, inspiration, and hope in my books. I hope we may enjoy many exciting adventures together in the future.