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. :-)
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!
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.