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My mom was born in Salt Lake City, UT

Her mother died at a very young age.

One of the schools she attended was St. Mary's of the Wasatch. Later she went into nurses training, where she met my dad.












My dearest mom passed away April 6, 2007.

Note: I wrote down my mom's memories as she related them to me. Many of our adventures involved exploring the desert, although some of them apply to life in Midland. I have added some notes and stories as well, which will be in green. See Candy's Pics for more on the desert.
---Candy,  Sept. 2003

My next update will be to add photos of the years my parents lived in northern Arkansas. The process involves scanning the photos, not my favorite thing to do, so I am dragging my feet. My mom is now quite frail at age 84, and much of my time is spent caring for her. Please be patient. ---Candy, January 2005

Update on my mom. She spent a week in the hospital in February 2005 because of dehydration. She has moderate to severe dementia. Every day is different and presents its own challenges.

April 2005 Update -- She is doing much better now after stopping some medications that were disagreeing with her.

June 2005 -- My mom sleeps almost all of the time now. I am very sad for her.

July 2005 -- Things are very bad.

September 2005 -- My mom is now living in a nursing home. She participates in the activities. She has adjusted well and made friends. I am much relieved, but this is very stressful.

I would like to remind everyone to take a few moments now and then to WRITE down their family history and childhood memories while you are young and your mind is clear. My mom never bothered to write about her childhood and only told a few brief stories. As the dementia set in and became worse, the lines between reality and dreams began to blur, and I found myself anxious and frustrated listening to her "stories", which became confused.

I am not in any way trying to shame my mom, but encourage everyone to learn about dementia, how to spot it, and how to care for a loved one when they get it. 40% of seniors over the age of 80 have some type of dementia. If you have no prior experience or knowledge, dealing with dementia is a shock. Get help and find a support group.         ---Candy, March 2005

Desert Memories

Speaking of the Environment

Desert Memories

 Desert Walks

"I used to take walks in the desert when Candy was in school. I could identify most of the plants, but not one. One was a small, gray shrub with red heart-shaped berries or fruit. They were bright red and perfectly heart-shaped. I never marked it's location so I could never find it again. I bought books of desert plants and never found it."  Marjorie

"I used to run to and from school across a rocky field. My shortcut became a challenge, as I taught myself to quickly navigate the endless clutter of various sized rocks without turning an ankle. I picked up some of the rocks and kept them, including a nice piece of rose quartz." Candy

"The mountains are full of caves and the Indians used them to live in. There are lots of natural basins that would fill with water and stay full for a long time."  Marjorie

"There were old mine shafts as well. We never explored the gypsum mines as they were actively used. But my mom, dad and I did take a hike into the foothills of Big Maria. We found a small cave and a mine shaft. My dad did not allow me to enter them for fear of unstable dynamite, but we did find evidence that it was a small copper mine, and collected some pretty peacock ore. We also found two grave headstones. I don't remember the dates but they were very old and the names were written in Spanish." Candy

"My dad taught us to always carry a pocket full of small pebbles. They were for pelting the bushes and rocky outcroppings to startle rattle snakes so we could hear them and walk around them. In out 8 1/2 years in the desert we only saw three and heard one in the bushes." Candy

 The Woman's Club

"I was instrumental in the integration of our Woman's Club. I was elected president at a time when the nation wanted people to integrate. The club used to be exclusively white, but there was one Hispanic member. Midland had a "white section" a "Mexican section" and a "black section". When I walked to the commissary (store), I would walk through the other sections and say hello to the neighbors there. I knew it was time to act. I encouraged the club members to contact these ladies and some became members." Marjorie

"I don't think any of us kids understood the "sections". I know I didn't. Most of us all played together. Most of us just saw kids, not black and white and brown. If any of us kids were prejudiced, I was too naive to see it." Candy

 Our Town & the Drive to Blythe

"Midland had a small church, a commissary, a post office (with boxes, we had no mail delivery) a one-room library, and a first aid headquarters headed by a nurse.  The town didn't have TV reception until later, when they put up an antenna on the top of one of the Little Maria mountains, but we didn't buy a TV.

Doctor visits, hospital emergencies, and shopping for anything other than the most basic items required a half-hour trip to Blythe." Marjorie

"The drive to Blythe was long in summer, when temperatures were in the hundreds and the only air conditioning was '4-40' (four open windows at 40 miles an hour). I usually felt nauseated because of the constant dips the road made in and out of the washes (dry riverbeds that were formed by rainwater draining from the Maria mountain range) on the way.

I loved the washes because they were sandy and full of desert bushes and interesting boulders. But one time we were driving home and it began to rain. Silver threads appeared on the sides of the Maria mountains.

My dad told me to listen for a roaring sound, because that meant a flash flood, which could wash away our car. Once we saw boulders three feet across in the road after a sudden storm. So here I was, a kid, trying to listen for a roar so I could tell my dad not to drive into the wash. Talk about relief to be home!!" Candy


"I used to play with the fire ants that lived in a colony near the telephone pole behind our house. It was a challenge to approach the nest undetected by the huge-headed soldier ants and perch quietly on a rock. I would bring offerings of crumbs and insects. They were ever fascinating to me.

One day I came home from school to find red paint dumped all over the nest. Someone had painted the fire alarm boxes (we didn't have phones in our homes. If we needed to make a call, there was a pay phone in the commissary). But I was upset! 'My' ants were in terrible trouble! They were dying all around me. Surviving ants struggled to pull dead ants from the sticky paint. They carried the bodies off to the side and dug tiny holes with their legs. I watched in amazement as they covered the bodies in the sand. Then I noticed a group of ants, four or five rows of ants, with maybe four ants to a row. They were all facing forward, toward one ant that was facing them. They were all wiggling their antenna and making the tiniest squeaking noises. I told my mom the ants were having a meeting and that they were talking. She didn't believe me. The next day the ants moved." Candy

"I never believed your story about the ants until after you were married. There was an article in the LA Times about a scientist that discovered ants could talk. The funding for the study was $50,000. They should have paid you!" Marjorie

Update---the ant colony is still there! After all these years! I took picture at the reunion.


Speaking of the Environment

One cannot escape the fact that we are all passengers upon this beautiful planet Earth. Our careless and thoughtless attitudes have brought Earth to the point where we can no longer afford to flee our mistakes. We must turn around and face them directly.

In this age of instant gratification, we must change and start planning for the long-term. We must find acceptable compromises between industry, business and the environment, so that people can make a living in harmony with nature.

Again and again, our choices are collectively wounding our only home in this vast universe. Though the events of September 11 left us with deep scars, let us not forget to pray for harmony on earth as well as peace. 

Written for my mom by me (Candy), as a representation of my mom's beliefs as she told them to me, fall/winter 2001

design by Candy2001

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