Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello Dolly!

My Favorite Moms-Day 2

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This is Blanche. Yes that is her name. She thinks it is horrible. I love it. When I had my daughters she threatened me when I was toying with using Blanche as a middle name. Not even kidding. She is my moms mom. Grandma Davis. Aunt Dolly. (said ahnt, not ant) Dolly of Jack & Dolly. Anyway she is great!

Dolly grew up in Nephi, Utah. It is just south of Provo...down the 15. So did Jack. They knew each other as kids, but mostly just acquaintances. Dolly is an Ockey...Nod to you miss A. They are a great pioneer family that is full of hard working and super fun people. Dolly's mom is the only Great Grandparent I ever knew. Susan Viola. She could play the piano better than anyone I know...and that is saying a lot! We used to dance around Dolly's front room while Grandma Ockey played "Wind, Wind, Wind the Bobbin" over and over. We never got sick of that song. She played the organ at the movies...as the background because the films were silent. I think that is the coolest job I have ever heard of.

Dolly has a lot of faith. She relies on the Lord so resolutely. Never a question. Jack went to join the Navy and only had a little break before leaving again. He gave her a weekend to decide if she wanted to marry him. They had barely dated, but she said the Lord answered her prayer and she knew he was "The One."

Dolly had 8 children. 5 girls and 3 boys. My mom is #2 with an older brother...just like me. They moved to Michigan for a while so Jack could go to Dental school. Then they moved to Washington for awhile so he could go to Orthodontics school. (that is why we all have amazing teeth!) Eventually they ended up in Pocatello.

Jack is a stalwart man. He serves the Lord in all he does...we all know what the prophets have said about men like him...there is always a better woman at home married to them. Dolly is that woman. When they were living in Pocatello and the kids were all young, Jack got called to be a Bishop in the University ward. Consequently he never went to church with his family. The Bishop of their ward was new and didn't know everyone very well. After several weeks of watching her come to church with 6 little kids by herself, he made a comment about what a great woman she was and how they needed to get her good for nothin husband to come to church and help her. Hee hee hee...little did he know.

When I was a teenager, Molly and I used to "work" for Dolly. We were there to help her clean her house. Except she had a weekly house keeper that did the actual cleaning. We helped Murphy's Oil the wood, or reorganize the china, or dust the millions of pictures of us grand kids, or clean out one of the 15 closets or storage rooms in their house. Jack is a pack rat and we always had to be crafty about trying to get rid of stuff. We would end up back at an area we had been working on a few weeks before and she would have us get rid of a few more things...we could never take too much at a time or he would notice. In the basement at the end of the hall there is a door that leads outside to the side patio. We stashed most things over in that corner...a place he rarely ventured...until it could be hauled off to the DI. Mostly we were there to get seriously over paid and a free trip to Taco Bell. We would "work" for a couple hours then we would hear, "Let's go to lunch" and we were done for the day.

Her house is really big...not even joking about the 15 closets. The bedrooms are all labeled by color. The blue room, the yellow room, the pink room, the purple room, the brown room and John's room. Yea...he still lives there. Another story for another day. The bathrooms are that way too. The yellow bathroom, the pink bathroom, John's bathroom (which by the way has a sauna in it. so cool!) They have a pool table. They have a play room for babies. They have a walk out basement because their house is built on a hill. When you exit the kitchen upstairs there are concrete steps to take you from the upper yard to the lower yard. My uncle's wedding reception was back there...it was the best day and I thought it was so cool. All the bridesmaids wore a different color of the pastel rainbow and my uncle was in a white tux. Cut me some slack, I was 10 when they got married.

I was a lucky girl to have her live in the same town as me. Most people are not so lucky to have their grandparents so close...I realize how spoiled I am that both sets lived near by. (sneak peak for tomorrow!) We spent a lot of holidays in that house. It wasn't until I was 16 or 17 that I realized I had never seen her sit down and actually eat a meal. She is the best cook! She always wanted everyone to feel comfortable and welcome and she did it with food. She succeeded too. I get that from her. I love to cook and serve people good food. Comfort food. She also taught me how to can. I remember doing peaches with her when I was pretty young. The floor was so sticky we could barely move around when we were finished. She has a storage room, one of the many, that is the fruit room. All of her home canned items were stored here. It has bottles that are made of green glass and 2 quart bottles in it still. They are empty of course, but like I said, pack rat.

As I have gotten older, I have been able to foster a great adult relationship with her. I admit I have not always stayed as close as I want to, but lately I see her a lot more and talk to her on the phone more often. The past few years she has given me a gift subscription to Taste of Home Magazine. Every time it comes in the mail I can count on a phone call in the next day or two to talk about which recipes look the best and the ones we can't wait to try.

Another thing I love about her is the relationship she has with Ally. They love each other so much. When Ally was 2 we lived in student housing. At the end of the summer all her little friends went back to school with their parents. She wanted to go to school too. So I enrolled her in the on-campus day care one day a week. I think it cost $14. She was there for maybe 5 hours but it was worth it to her and me. She even got to have lunch and naps there and I got to have one day a week with just Emma. Grandma Davis is one of those ladies who gets her hair done every week, on Thursday morning. It worked out that she volunteered to pick Ally up on her way to the beauty shop and take her to school every week. This started a long term relationship between the 2 of them that no one quite understands but is super sweet. She said to me once, "I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I think she is my favorite great grandchild."

During this same time, Dolly was always trying to give me things without really giving them to me. We were first married and didn't have a lot of stuff you acquire as your life moves forward. I wanted to roast a chicken one Sunday and didn't have a pan big enough to fit it in. So I borrowed one from her. When I tried to return in a few days later, she said, "Why don't you just keep it? I have so many and that one is so small I never cook anything that fits in it anymore." Slick. At Thanksgiving that year she asked me to bake the pies for dessert. I said sure, but did she have a couple pans I could use? I borrowed 6 pie pans and again intended on leaving them at her house. When it was time to go, she handed me a stack of clean and washed pie plates, "Why don't you take these? I have so many and I know you will use them. I never bake anymore." Crafty.

Dolly's health has not been the best in recent years. She had a routine procedure done that landed her in the hospital for a week a few years ago and she has never quite been 100% since. About a year and a half ago, she fell down on those cool concrete steps and bonked the back of her head. It bled and she got stitches, but the dizziness was a problem. We live about 45 minutes away from them, but we apparently have better specialists here. They brought her to the hospital here and it was a really neat opportunity for us to spend time with her. Not the most ideal circumstances, but we got to see her everyday which we usually don't get to do.

I loved knowing my great grandma, even as few times as I got to see her. I want my kids to have the same opportunities so we go see her almost every time we are in town. They take advantage of her generosity by raiding her cookie jar (which by the way has NEVER been empty in my entire life) and begging for trips to Honks. She is very generous. Our birthday cards from her always had money in them. Even at Christmas they still give every single person a card with money or a little gift for the small kids. She signs her checks Mrs. J.R. Davis. How cute and old school is that?

I love my Grandma. She is a huge part of my life. I am so blessed to live near her and to have the opportunity to know her well. I hope my kids have as fond memories of her as I do of my Grandma Ockey, so I am working hard to help them create them. She is a blessing in our lives that I love dearly. What a wonderful example of humor and respect. I love her so much and feel honored to call her mine.


Sandi said...

How lucky for your kids to get to know their great grandma!

the wrath of khandrea said...

and why is she NEVER home? i've been trying to call, and no answer.
kudos on the appropriate pronunciation of "aunt".

love her probably as much as you do.

lisha said...

Andrea, I believe you.

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