Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Life Story, (Memories) One Cousin at a Time - Laurie

When I think of my cousin Laurie, I can't help but giggle to myself.  She was a lot of fun, but she must have thought we Idahoans were backward and weird.  If she did, she never made us feel that way, I am just saying, knowing what I know now, I would have found us weird. When I was young she lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was amazing that I grew up in Idaho but had cousins that lived in Nevada on both my mom’s side of the family as well as my dads’. It was very confusing to me when I was real little as to why they were not related to each other since they were related to me, especially since they both lived in Las Vegas. I eventually decided it was just too complex and I would figure it out when I was older.

Laurie was the older, wiser cousin who could really teach me the ins and outs of what it was like outside my own private Idaho. For instance, I always had a million questions about the big city. One day she told me, that the name was "Las Vegas," but there was no reason to keep calling it that. Locals just said, “Vegas.” She had a lot of very important insights. Let me give you an example, but this example will be preceded with a back story.

Growing up on a farm with eight siblings, we had a regular ritual that happened each and every Saturday. You see to us, Saturday was a special day, it was the day we got ready for Sunday. In fact we often sang a song about it. The lyrics go like this:

Saturday is a special day,
It's the day we get ready for Sunday,
We clean the house, and we shop at the store,
So we won't have to work until Monday,
We brush our clothes, and we shine our shoes,
And we call it our get-the-work-done day,
Then we trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair,
So we can be ready for Sunday!

We actually did all those things, with the exception of brushing our clothes, we washed instead of brushing, but it was all done on Saturday. In our home after our Saturday chores and baths were done, we would sit in a chair and mom would put our hair in rollers. We slept on them and in the morning we had curly hair for our church meetings.

On Saturday evenings my mom would roll our wet hair into rollers and we would sleep on them.  It was always the worst night sleep.  It felt like sleeping on rocks.  I also hated curly hair, but that's the way it was.

As we were waiting our turn to get our hair done, we would watch two shows on television. One was The Lawrence Welk Show and the other was Emergency. We didn't watch TV very often so this was a real treat. While watching Emergency, I was able to see what it was like in big city life, but to be honest; it gave me more questions than answers. The part that peaked my interest the most was the fancy hospitals with fancy uniforms.

Look at this awesome uniform.
Anyone can see that the nurses hat is a dream dress up outfit.

Laurie, was the one to go to. She knew all the answers to my questions. First of all, she was so wise, not to mention, her mother was a real nurse who wore real uniforms. In Aberdeen we didn't have a hospital or a clinic. The closest hospital was in American Falls, and it was just a small community hospital and they didn't wear uniforms. I loved the look of the nurse’s hats. My sister’s and I would try and make our own nurse’s hat, but we couldn't figure out how those darn things stayed on their heads.

Laurie was able to explain this major mystery to me, bobby pins where the secret trick. 

We made nurses hats out of paper and pinned them on our heads and pretended to be Aunt Carol. Over the next few years there were a few television shows that even had chase scenes in Vegas and they filmed in the actual hospital Aunt Carol worked at. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that this made Laurie the absolute authority to all things television in my eyes.

The other thing Laurie taught us about was fashion and style. She knew what was going to be “trending” in Aberdeen years before it ever made it there because it was popular in the big cities first. We were lucky enough to get hand me down clothes from Laurie and Kim and by the time they got to us, they were just coming into style in Aberdeen. Talk about a sweet arrangement!

I remember when she told me that the next big fad was Levi’s 501 jeans.

I could hardly believe my ears. Why on earth would anyone where those I wondered? The only folks that would be caught dead in them in Aberdeen were old worn-out farmers. I was so sure this fad would never make it all the way to Idaho, but just to be safe, I kept a pair of hand me down 501’s in the back of my closet just in case. Boy was I ever wrong. I think if I still had those pair of jeans I could make money today selling them at a Pawn Shop.

Thank you Laurie for all the good memories!

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I had forgotten so much of it! :-) Great trip down memory lane :-)