Day 19: Stepping Out Throwback

I started walking when I was 10 months and by the time I was a year could walk quite well and, according to mom, quite quickly. The photo below was taken during my first walk outdoors. The day must have been a warm winters day, as it had to be February (a month before my first birthday).  It's hard to tell but the sweater I'm wearing appears to be handmade. Mom would have put the pants on under my dress to keep me warm.

The picture isn't very clear, but the sweater looks like its crocheted, which is likely, as both my mother and grandmother were crocheters. I'm wearing the same sweater in the picture below (but not the same bonnet).  There are many pictures of me in bonnets, but only until my first birthday and I have no idea why, unless my curls became to cute to cover. 


The sweater was pale pink and I know because it's in mom's cedar chest. What else would you dress a baby girl in in 1951? As you can see, the leaves have been cleared from the yard and I look slightly older than in the first photo, and since my birthday is in March it appears the winter of 1951 wasn't much of a snow producer.

Birthday walking

This photo was taken on my first birthday. The trees have not started to bud. In Idaho. In March. I'm surprised!  My birthday dress was bright red and had a matching bonnet. The walking shoes are the ubiquitous white baby shoes of the day and, since my sisters wore the same style, they must have been the standard for years to come.

More walking

This picture was taken when I was close to 18 months and you can tell it's summertime. I'm dreaming of walking in the summertime today, as it was another cold gray day in Utah.

Did you notice the new look of my blog? It was a subtle change, but Vicki updated the header (3 new pictures) and I made a slight change to the background color. 

Day 12: Way Back When


When you are the first child and, even better, the only child for three years, there are many advantages. Every event in your life is noted,  pictures taken, the big days and the every days captured. You are completely doted upon by every member of your extended family.

My parents had not one but two baby books for me. This one goes through my third year and both my mother and my father wrote (in fountain pen) notations on my life. I can see the two of them, my mother standing near my father while holding me and dad sitting at the table writing in the book.  They are having a conversation about my day, any "firsts" that may have occurred, and taking care to document them. 

 This page, makes me laugh as I am the same today. I dislike beeping, raspy noises, rattling, or anything too loud. My father wrote "Singing" and my mother wrote the clarification.


This page, which may be a little hard to read, tells of my first "real" haircut, the one that cut off my ringlets. My mother had a brand new baby, her second, and must have found it difficult to take care of my hair, as well as, a brand new baby.


Me at 3 1/2. The ringlets were cut off the next day. Mother kept the locks and I still have them safely tucked away. 

This record of my first 4 years, kept by my parents hands, is one of the most cherished items I own. 

Day 5: Throwback Memories


The other day I walked into our butcher and saw this old cash register and thought "Hey! I can get a Throw Back Thursday post out of that!" My dad worked for NCR (National Cash Register Co.) for most of his working life. I took this picture to send to him, as I knew he'd get a kick out of it. 

When I was 2 weeks old my parents took me on my first trip to a small town in Idaho where he was sent to fix an old cash register. He must have thought it would be nice to have his new little family along for the trip. I have no memories of that time, but I've heard the story over and over. 


We lived in Pocatello, but dad traveled the whole state to repair old machines. Back then, cash registers were sturdy and well worth the effort to fix no matter how old they were. He traveled as far as Yellowstone Park, where the machines were vintage even in the 1950s. He would come home with stories of how he had to make parts for machines as old as the wild west!  Dad always had a pen protecter in his pocket and his sleeves rolled up to keep them from getting dirty and inky while he worked. We loved to  played with the pens in his pocket. I can still picture him relaxing in a chair, reading the paper and talking to us while he unwound from his day--white shirt, pen protector and tousled hair (he still run his fingers through his mop of hair). 

A Long, Long Time Ago

Once upon a time, I made amazing pieces of lace, they were a frippery, a lovely indulgence, a glorious bit of fun, and, often time, challenging, demanding, a test of endurance. In the end, they would be tucked away and rarely if ever worn. This amazing Hidcote had a spectacular photo op at Bryce Canyon, but then it languished, waiting, tucked in a cupboard. It was when my sister said she would like a shawl to wear at her wedding the idea of giving it a new life struck me.

I feel as if there was a reason I made this shawl in 2007, a reason that came to light in 2015.  My sister needed a hug of support and love during one the most important moments of her life and I am very happy I could be there for her in every way.

The Early Days

Something shifted in my life, I'm not sure exactly what or why, but before 2010 I was more productive when it came to knitting (and probably, everything else).  I've been thinking about some of the very large projects I've knit in past and, while searching through the blog, found two of the very large shawls from the early days.

HangingvinesOne of the largest shawls I ever made was Hanging Vines, which was knit with Judy's beautifully dyed single from her company, Ball and Skein. I remember how quickly the lace repeat was committed to memory and how easily the yarn flowed through my fingers. Once finished, I carried it along on a hike and had a great photo shoot at Willow Heights Lake.


The next big shawl, and one of my most favorite shawls ever is, Hidcote. The photo shoot for this shawl is a forever favorite too, as Smith and I took pictures when we visited Bryce Canyon where the views can't be beat!


The shawl is gigantic, soft, elegant, and simply stunning. I'm not sure I ever wore it again, but it's going to a fine new home, as my sister will be wearing when she marries in September. I'm sure this shawl will engulf her, but I think she knows I'm surrounding her with love.

Happy America's Day, friends! Have a safe and delightful 4th of July!

Another Beautiful Box

18908195261_8b065fb37f_oMy sunglass are pictured for size comparison.

My brother made this box when he was in high school woodshop.  By that time I had my own place and had no idea he was working on something so grand.  The year must have been 1978 or 79 and he gave it to me for Christmas. You could have knocked me over with a feather--I was so touched! 

He knew, at the time, I liked and wore a lot of jewelry and that I had a thing for boxes. He knew I would love and use it to hold my treasures, although, now, it holds the special pieces I rarely, if ever, wear. Years ago I wore bracelets and necklaces, earrings and pins, but now I only wear earrings, maybe the occasional pin. Necklaces bother my neck and bracelets just get in my way. I'm more of a minimalist overall, but especially when it comes to my wardrobe.  

By way of an update, the box I received when I graduated high school went to a friend (Susan, I'm looking at you) who said she would love it. I feel very good about giving it a good home, as she was delighted when I put it in her hands. 

The Boxes

Moms graduation

Kym posted about high school graduation and the keepsake box she received to commemorate the event. Many furniture stores sponsored the program to encourage young ladies to buy a cedar chest (hope chest). My box is almost identical to the one Kym received and I graduated years earlier, but my mother was 20 years older than me and graduated in 1948. I'm grateful to have my mother's graduation picture, as well as her beautiful box.


Her box is has a ornately carved top and it is full of memories, both hers and mine (and perhaps my sisters, too). I remember playing with her box and the jewelry inside. It was fun to wear her dime store earrings and fancy necklaces. 

The hole in the top is from a knot of wood, which is visibly on the inside of the lid. The box is now in my hands and houses a few of treasured items and it is more cherished to me than my own graduation box, which I was surprised to find I still had.  I'm not very attached to high school memories and there is nothing inside. I found my box stashed in the back of a closet and now I wonder if I should even keep it. 

Pretty Yellow Dresses

Mary posted her first appearance as a flower girl and shared her pictures and memories of the dress she wore. Her post reminded me of my first appearance (at the same age) as a flower girl.  I shared my pictures and memories with Mary and she said I should blog about the dress, which was a very good idea. Thank you, Mary. 

Valene's Flower girl

I am old enough that my pictures are only black and white, which means you can't see the pretty pale sunshine yellow of my dress. The collar is white with lace trim and there is a black ribbon around my waist. The ribbon was long and tied in a bow in the back, the ends streaming almost to the floor.

I wore the dress for my Aunt Valene's wedding and I still remember that day. I remember how I loved walking around in a floor length dress (my first) and how I loved the bouquet (which I had possession of only for the photographs). My mother made the dress (as she made most of my clothes) and I was heartbroken when she told me she had made the hem extra long to save the fabric for a second dress. (Can you see the wide hem in the photo?)

I think I remember a tantrum. 

Which as any kid (and parent) knows, does no good. The dress was rehemmed and a second dress made for my younger sister. We had matching dresses for Easter Day 1955.

Karen and me

You might have noticed my hair is shorter in this photo. I have a memory of Mom telling my grandmother she left my hair long for the wedding, but had plans to cut it shorter when we returned home.  A permanent wave would have been involved as I had, and still have, very straight hair.

I enjoy looking back at childhood memories  and reminiscing, but I wonder how close to the truth the memories are and how different the stories might be from one person to another. Memories are capricious, but they are our own. 

TBW-Merry Christmas!

This picture always threw me off, as I was sure I remember our "first" house very well. Everything was wrong, the windows were in the wrong place, the chair was in the wrong spot, and why was the stenciling in the window facing in? Mom would have made sure it faced out so everyone on the outside could read it. 


I finally realized the negative had been flipped in production because the tech (someone in 1955) could read the words. It was when I thought to flip the picture back (through the power of today's technology) that the room of my memories fell into place.

On the very edge of the photo, laying across the back of the chair, is my new Christmas skirt. My new doll, a ballerina doll, sits in the stroller next to the chair. Dad built the doll house, telling us the whole time it was a train station for his railroad. 

Christmas 1955

I was 5 and my sisters were 2 1/2 and 8 months. Christmas was quiet and there was time to play with new toy, try out new crayons (the big set), and talk to my new doll.


My skirt was black wool with a gold and red flower design and the sweater was Christmas red. My memories of this day bounce around, as I remember clearly the hassock that held the vacuum, the wooden nut bowl, the chairs and the drapes. I loved running and sliding on the new hardwood floors. The memories of my 5th Christmas are strong and clear.

Happy Christmas, friends! May you make happy memories that stay with you always. 

Christmas 1954


My sister is 19 mo. and I am four. Mom would have been pregnant with daughter #3, who will be born the following March. Some time in the next year Mom and Dad would build a new home. We were a growing young family, much like many other pre-war growing young families. I've many flash back memories of this happy sisters, my home, my friends, my young parents, and the safe happy life they created for us. 

Life was good. It still is.