Me, according to my blessed mother...

Dawn's day

Today is Dawn's birthday, born as our first in 1973.  I quickly posted pictures of her on FB to commemorate the day and figured I would add an entry here.


Robert was finishing up his degree in Provo (I had completed my degree the year before) and we moved to Parma, Ohio.  My daddy Center had died in September 1972 and Robert got a job at USSteel and my mom needed some support so it all worked out well for everyone.

It was fun being pregnant altho back then you never knew if you were having a boy or girl.  My mom had secured a tiny little house on Grantwood Avenue, just east of State Road.  Our wall telephone cord could read to all 4 corners of the house!  We had a bright, large kitchen, a front room.  The bedroom had an 'attached' room at the one end which would be Dawn's room.  The utility room housed our very tiny bathroom, food storage shelves and hot water heater/furnace.  Mom had bought a crib and baby dresser for the little room and had painted it aqua before we got home!  We had a changing table with baskets to hold things from Carol Etzel.  Robert found me a rocking chair.  It only had one arm (yes, I would say we were scraping the bottom of the barrel) but it worked just fine.

I went picking strawberries a the Historic Johnson Farm in Hiram, OH when I was very pregnant and everyone worried or laughed that I might deliver in the fields and then would have to name whatever baby came, Strawberry Patch Hatch.  Nope, not that day.  Not that month. Nor the next.

Finally on August 2, I visited the doctor and he said delivery was very near.  Well, it had better be!  I was so far over my due date (and did the same with 3 of the rest of my 4 kids).  I had just gotten home, and felt the first signs of labor.  Knowing that once it all started I would not be able to eat anything, I drove the 67 Buick LaSabre to McDonalds.  I kept the car running since it often had trouble starting and there were no drive through windows in that day.  Grabbed a burger and fries and headed home.  Robert came home from work and we waited awhile.  Finally we went to the hospital with my mom. Robert went off somewhere...didn't know at the time but it turned out he went Home Teaching AND to the auto parts store. Thanks a lot!

But finally we had our baby daughter!   She was named Dawn Mercedes...Dawn after a Robert's best friend's wife (Robert had been their best man) and Mercedes because Robert had promised me that once day he would buy me one since I had drive one at BYU when I typed for the underground newspaper (rag) called Zion's Opinion.  Dawn Mercedes. I stayed in the hospital for nearly a week which was standard back then.  Since Robert couldn't get off work to bring me home (don't ask me why not) my Aunt Carol picked us up in her big ol' truck. She had a cinder block for me step on to get into the truck.

My mom would come by each morning on her way to work and then stopped by each evening.  (She and Aunt Ven Gaul went to Hawaii almost as soon as we came home.)  I had the very classic British baby buggy that was used by my sister.  I would put Dawn in it and we'd stroll to the store, to the laundry and to my mom's house.  It was delightful.  Dawn HATED cloth diapers and we finally gave in and used paper diapers which were a fairly new item in the day.

We were very excited to take Dawn to church for her name and blessing.  Robert's first cousin, Craig White, happened to be serving in our ward at the time and assisted in the blessing. Robert was overcome with emotions and altho the blessing was short it was long on love for his daughter and has always been so.

In 1973 we were still having Sunday School and Priesthood in the morning and then returning in the late afternoon (6:00) for Sacrament Meeting.  To this day I remember dressing Dawn in my grandfather's christening gown.  I had knitted the Baby Mary Janes booties but had forgotten or had been too tired to remember that I needed to make a bonnet out of a white lady's hankerchief.  I hurriedly sewed it together the night before and in the morning, when I put it on her, I had to laugh. I had forgotten to gather the lace around the hanky and so it was flat.  I laughed and Dawn laughed.  It was a great moment. 



I am still in the process of sorting through pictures and scanning them...and boy do I have the photos!  Bag and Boxes and Albums filled with them.  So I will be adding more pictures as I get to them.

But here's a picture of Dawn's first visit to Santa.  Because my dear, beloved Scottish Terrier, Bonnie Lassie, had gotten very old and needed to be put to sleep, my Uncle Al came to do the deed.  I just couldn't stay around the house so I took Richard, Al and Carol's son, and Dawn and we went to May Co. at Parmatown to visit Santa. Dawn didn't cry at all.  Not sure what she told him she wanted for Christmas but I remember quite a few boxes that year. 

Dawn keeps in daily contact with me.  We have been known to craft together, cry together.  Work things out together. Yell at each other together...well, ok not exactly yell but spoke loudly.   The kids are good at keeping in touch altho most it's Evan.   Just this morning as I had been chatting with Dawn for her birthday, Connor helped me sort out how to make my handout for Visiting Teaching using MS Word.

Dawn's encouraged and pushed her kids to excel in what they wanted/needed.  They are as smart as she is.  And just as independent.  This is a good thing but doesn't always fit comfortable.

I'm a lucky mom in so many ways.  Happy Birthday, Baby Dawn.


Michelle VP said...

What a wonderful tribute from your mom! I enjoyed reading her special memories of you when you were young. :)

Karla Yungwirth said...

This is such a wonderful post! I love that your mom wrote it :) Very special!