Sunday, May 14, 2006

Influential Women in my life

On this Mother's Day, I am thinking of the women in my life who have been most influential. Of course, my mom, Carol Stanton, ranks up there pretty high. She was the one who gave birth to me, fed me and has watched out for me for these past 36 (almost 37) years. But to quote Hillary Clinton, it really does take a village to raise a child. Here are a few of the women who have made me who I am today. (in no particular order)

Carol Stanton
The aforementioned mother, has always been there for me. Without Mom, I wouldn't have learned to cook as well as I do. I wouldn't know how to do just about everything I do.

Dot Stanton
Della Jane "Dot" Stanton, affectionately known as Grandma Stanton was a big-breasted, loving, but stubborn woman who was the "mother hen" of seven kids, a multitude of grandkids, and cooked meals for hundreds of kids at Logan Public Schools for a good portion of her life. My favorite memories about Grandma Stanton are flavored with food. Chocolate whipped cream, fried chicken, gravy, green onion dip on baked potatoes, root beer barrel candy, and many other goodies that Grandma had around her kitchen. I still have the red/blue flannel quilt she made for each of her grandsons. Although it is about ready to fall apart, it is one of Jack's favorite quilts to snuggle up in during the cold months.

Bernice Fox
Grandma Fox was an (almost) daily staple in my life from the time we moved to Logan in 1970 till the day I moved to Boulder, Colorado after high school graduation. I was lucky enough to live just two blocks away from Grandma Stanton and four blocks away from Grandma Fox during my days in Logan and spent a good majority at Grandma/Grandpa Fox's house. Grandma was my babysitter, my friend, my mentor and one of the sweetest women that I've ever met. The thought of her raisin cookies still makes me want a fresh batch (although I'm not a big raisin fan, her cookies were awesome!). I'd love some of her fried chicken, fried catfish or some of her calico beans in the brown casserole dish (I'm not sure why, but she always fixed them in the same brown corning ware covered casserole). I remember when I was about four years old, rocking with her so hard that we tipped the rocking chair over. We ate lots of wheat thins and apple juice and she had the most beautiful flowers in her yard. I know that she is reincarnated in our back yard here in Hays. A wild pink rose bush that is exactly like hers graces the east side of our house and every time I smell those roses, I think of her.

Frieda States
My first grade teacher.

Joan Simoneau
My high school music teacher - made me work hard and helped me be the musician I am today.

Dr. Sharol Little
My boss at Dodge City Public Schools. Taught me how to be the PR person I am.

Ruth Dobbins
High school Home Economics teacher who was one of my "surrogates" my senior year in High School.

Carol (Gokey) Long
My mother-in-law. I thank Carol every time I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night for giving so much love to my wife. She also makes some of the best rice krispie treats this side of the Mississippi!

Leah (Stanton) Hesting
My big sister. Why is it that we have to be adults before we can appreciate our siblings? She is the one who makes me laugh, gives me advice and reminds me to grow my spirit and creative side.

Dana Stanton
My wife. My best friend. My lover. Without her, I wouldn't be where I am today. She is my sounding board, my confidant, my accountant, my dream-sharer, and my partner in life. Tomorrow is our seventh wedding anniversary and I really can't remember much before I met her. My heart is alive because of her!

Linn Ann Huntington
College Professor. Friend. Colleague. My writing skills are much improved because of the dedication of this fine Okie.

Nancy (Demuth) Richards
I still remember the day that Nancy crossed her parent's back yard and into my grandma' Fox's back yard to ask me if I would sing in her production of "Logan Salutes America". It was 1975 and she had a red bandanna around her hair. Nancy showed me how to perform and sing and enjoy it!

Sue (Eckhart) (Krouse) Jackson
Sue taught me how to swim, then was my third grade teacher. Every time I'm in the pool with Jackson and Grace, I remember the days in the pool with Sue.

Grace Jo Yingzhen Stanton
My daughter. Wow, what would I do without this little woman in my life? She has opened new doors for me throughout the world! Getting Gracie was a life-changing experience for me and I am so glad we went to China to get her.

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