Monday, April 9, 2007

Childhood Memories Week on Edit Cafe

For those of you who ever wonder just where, exactly, is your editor coming from, maybe it would help to know where we've been. :-) This week, we three editors will take a look back at our beginnings. Perhaps you'll glean some fresh insight as to why it is we do the things we do today!

(age 1)

BIRTHPLACE: Wesley Hospital, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Same delivery room where her future husband was born 18 mos prior.)
PLACE ON THE FAMILY TREE: Third of four children born to James V. and Betty J. Watson. I have two brothers, Ron--six years my senior, and Dennis--four years older than me. My sister Shelley came along when I was ten--as a result, I'm convinced, of my fervent prayers. (Although my mother, who found herself pregnant again at age 40, wasn't so sure she was happy about the Lord granting my request...particularly since she and my father had both just quit their "day jobs" and sold the family home in order to move to Yukon, Oklahoma and start a small town weekly newspaper in competition against a paper that had been in existence since before statehood. Whew! There's a lot of living packed into that sentence. . .and all a story for another day. . .but Shelley turned out to be a tremendous blessing for/to us all!)
WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: I wanted to be a children's book author/illustrator. Well, I came close. :-)

(age 2)

BOOKS I READ AS A KID: I set the class record in first grade for number of books read. Still have the list somewhere. I'd have to say books were probably my best friends growing up, despite my perpetually failing eyesight. (I suffered migraines from age 7 to age 11 as a result and had Coke-bottle-bottom thick glasses until I got my first pair of contact lenses at age 9.) I read everything I could get my hands on. I loved my mother's childhood books--FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS AND HOW THE GREW and THE BOBBSEY TWINS series. In sixth grade, I read GONE WITH THE WIND through twice. In seventh grade, I memorized the entire text to Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET. Strange child, I know!
BEST FAMILY VACATION: There are three vacations that really stand out in my mind as memorable if not the "best." The first occurred when I was seven, the summer after my grandmother died. My mother offered to take her aged and increasingly senile father on a tour of his "roots," through the Missouri backwoods and the southern states. She took my brothers and me along for the ride. My grandfather dared us to eat hamburgers every meal--including breakfast--during the entire trip. Of course, we weren't about to lose that bet! Suffice to say, my mother was NOT pleased. At one point on this trip, we had car trouble and found a dealer in Georgia to work on the ol' station wagon. (This was right after surviving an Atlanta black-out and driving throughout the darkened city in a deluge in search of a hotel with any kind of a vacancy.) In the confusion of reloading the car, I was left behind when they drove off after repairs were complete. They didn't notice my absence until they pulled into the drive of a relative's home--one hour later.
Then, there was my 7th grade Christmas vacation when my parents went into deep debt, I'm sure, to fly the family to California for a week at Disneyland and curbside seats for the Rosebowl Parade.
Last but not least was the weekend family trip to one of the Oklahoma state lodges, leaving on Friday the 13th of June, 1969. I was 14 years old. My brother Dennis invited a certain guy friend along to keep him company. That friend ended up keeping ME company instead. . .and he's been my constant companion and best friend ever since!

(Age 17)

FAVORITE RECIPE FROM CHILDHOOD: Peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches--but must be made with BROOKS TANGY KETCHUP!

SOMETHING YOU'VE HELD ONTO FROM CHILDHOOD: As a first or second grader, a missionary visited our local church. Rev. Donald Owens spoke of his love for the Korean people and his passion gripped my young heart in such a way that I remember the emotion still today. They had arrived in Korea at the end of the war and his tales of the suffering and heartache of the Korean people seared my soul. After the service, I told his wife I wanted to be a missionary, too. She gave me a hand-embroidered hankerchief to remember them and to serve as a reminder to pray for them. The embroidered art showed two Korean girls jumping on a see-saw. I still have the handkerchief in my dresser drawer today. I carried it with me to Korea, where we served a five-year term as missionaries. :-) (a side note: the Korean Christians gave my husband the same Korean name as Don Owens--Eun-Soo, which means Grace-Receiver. My Korean name is Soo-Jin, which means Reciever of Wisdom.)

That's all for today, folks! Thanks for the opportunity to stroll a bit down Memory Lane.



Christine Lynxwiler said...

Oh Susan!! What a beautiful walk down memory lane! I'm all teary-eyed. You're a gorgeous baby and a radiant bride. But even prettier now.

eileen said...

Omygoodness gracious! This is going to be my mostest favoritest blog to read this week! LOL
Thanks for sharing with us! I love love love the pics.

Susan said...

Aw, you gals are too sweet for words. I have to confess, though, I deliberately left out the pics of 7-8-and-9-yr-old me in cat-eye glasses! sd

Kim S. said...

Susan, we have more in common than I first imagined! And how I enjoyed reliving your memories with you...what a lovely lady you are, inside and out. Thanks so much for sharing!

Crystal Warren Miller said...

Oh, you girls belong on my blog! (smile) This was wonderful and I love the photos. I'll try and link you on a blog one day soon. Ok, you must now try Red Gold ketchup--Hoosier ketchup is best! (with the PB.) I used to like my PB with pickles.

I hope to get to see you girls when you come to Doc Hensley's class. Thanks so much for sharing this. (Love the childhood book list, too!) Fun.

Mary Connealy said...

Susan, your life is a roller coaster rides. Down for the migraines adn thick glasses, up for the trips and the the baby sister, a steep plunge for the peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches, a strange trip through a dark tunnel while you ... uh ... memorized ALL? of Romeo and Juliet??? Up again to meet the love of your life at 14...that's the age I met my husband...but we didn't start dating for nearly three years.
Such a beautiful smile, such a beautiful bride. Thanks for this.
How'd things turn out with your parents newspaper?

gerry said...

Hey this is really an amazing post...just loved the photos...thanks for sharing this with us...also visit my blog sometime and check out all that i've posted there...and while you're at it do share your thoughts!!!

Susan said...

Mary, you asked about the newspaper outcome. . .within a year, the competition was out of business. In the early days, we often didn't know where the money would come from to even buy newsprint to print the paper on, but the Lord proved faithful again and supplied all our needs. When my dad sold the business 20 yrs later, it had become a thriving enterprise with several small town weeklies. (My father developed severe glaucoma and could no longer see to drive, which is a rather important task for a newspaper man. However, his retirement lasted less than a year. He was so bored, he went to school and got his stockbroker's license. Oh, and he was also the state's chess champion for his class. He died in 1986 at ate 61 after suffering a heart attack while jogging at the community center. A great man, my dad! And always ready for the next life adventure.) sd

Kristy Dykes said...

What an interesting thing--to tell your life stories. I loved the pics, esp. the bride one. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh,my! I read those exact same books, and Gone with the Wind betweenfifthand sixth grade. I waited until 14 to read War and Peace.

Lynette Sowell said...

What a wonderful adventure. :) And what a tender heart you had a 7, wanting to be a missionary. Just shows how kids can hear God's voice too! :) Thanks for sharing. :)

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Susan, I loved reading about your growing up years and seeing the pictures. What a lovely bride! You met your husband when you were 14?! Wow! Thanks for sharing from your heart. It was great to hear how the Lord planted your love for the Korean people in your heart. Blessiings, Carrie T.

Janelle said...

What a cutie you were...inside and out. Made me want to reach in and pinch your cheeks. LOL. Now that you're grown, what a beautiful person you are...inside and out. Made me want to reach in and hug your neck. Well, except for while you're eating peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches. Yee gads, woman! LOL.


Mary Connealy said...

I think sharing about the peanut butter and ketchup was so risky of Susan. The kind of thing that makes you really vulnerable to TEASING.
Very brave.