I’ve been in charge since the day I can remember. If something went wrong, it was my fault. Put in charge. I always had one two or three little sisters with me, and if someone was naughty, it was my fault. I got far more spankings for what they did instead of what I did. I enjoyed having sisters. I didn’t want to be an only child, but one day, my cousin Loraine said she wanted a sister, and I said, “Which one do you want?”
We lived in a small town, and older people were special to me. A lot of people my age never knew
their grandparents. I knew my grandparents and my great-grandparents. I went to school to be a bookkeeper, and I did a lot of bookkeeping, but my last thirty years was with seniors, which seemed pretty natural.
I had three kids and was fortunate to raise them in the country. I grew up in one of the best eras. You could walk anywhere. Nobody in those days wanted any more kids so nobody was taking kids. There were no mind-altering drugs so readily available, and you couldn’t drive over 60 miles an hour because cars wouldn’t go any faster. It was a more laid back time when life was family oriented. People weren’t so busy. We got to be kids.
I was not an athlete, but I enjoyed school. Those were good years. I was a
fairly good student, I guess. I certainly made sure I did not get in trouble at school because if I did, I got in more trouble at home. Disobedience was not tolerated.
The hardest part of when I started school, was the teacher called me Marva, and Mother wrote a very stern note saying, “Her name is Marva Lee, and you will call her Marva Lee.” I had to carry it to the teacher.
I met my husband to be when I was a junior in high school. Daddy never did get over that, I guess. They were not happy with me because he had been to the service and five years older. They were very protective of me. I always wanted an older brother, because then my parents wouldn’t have been so hard on me. They trusted me and expected perfection, which is, I guess, why I would get in trouble for what my little sisters did. I never figured it out.
I always felt loved, and lucky to have the parents I had, partly because they were young. We were poor, but nobody knew it.
In high school, I worked in the kitchen at the hospital. I volunteered as a nurse’s aide; a charter member of Just Us Girls. (JUGS) Other jobs I had were babysitting and cleaning house. To a woman I cleaned for, Mother made me say, “I can’t come back unless you give me a raise.” The nice lady said, “Oh, of course. I meant to increase your pay anyway. It was the hardest thing.
Because Daddy was a carpenter, we lived in a very nice house. He was a plumber, electrician, bricklayer; you name it.
Dr. Waski took all the JUGS to Denver with our sponsor, Mary Ellen Baker. We did a presentation at a hospital, and then he took us to the Brown Palace and ordered trout for all of us. He wanted to teach us how to debone a trout. It was the first time I had seen a fish with tail and eyes on a dinner
plate. He also took us to see a contortionist. It was crazy what those kids could do. The trip was something for sheltered kids from Akron, Colorado.
My Christian faith has been very important to me. I don’t know where it came from, but it was always there. It was a special day when Dick (husband) was baptized along with our kids.
I feel like I’ve had a good life. It wasn’t always an easy life, but I knew I was loved and I felt safe. I was able to go to kindergarten through twelfth grade, go to college, get married, have kids, and grandkids, and live close enough to enjoy them. I also survived getting run over by the front and back tires of a fifteen passenger van, and I don’t want to do it again. I told God if I ever had to hurt that bad again, just let me die.