My sister Kathryn is 19 months younger than I am. My mom tells me that when I saw her, I said, “Put her back inside your tummy!” I wasn’t exactly thrilled. One day I rocked her so hard in her little cradle that she spilled out of it.
In spite of that inauspicious beginning, I love my sister. Kathryn and I are different in many ways. Kathryn was always a tomboy, and I loved baby dolls and playing house. I wasn’t always happy to have to do active things, but I wanted to be with my sister, so I often gave in. (She gave in sometimes too.) When we lived on our home on 16th east, our road ended in a dead end. At that dead end was a wonderful apple tree. We loved to climb the tree—and to eat the apples. Unfortunately, they were very green, and we became pretty sick. We knew they would make us sick, but we ate them anyway.
Later, we moved to our last family home at 1394 E 7340 So. We were in a brand-new part of our subdivision. At first, not even the roads were finished. We lived on a dirt road. Soon other homes started appearing. And for each new house a deep hole was dug, and all that dirt from the hole was piled into what appeared to us to be mountains. Kathryn and I and Jim and Joanne loved those hills. We climbed them and played on them. We dug holes in them. We got on opposite sides near the top and dug into the hill until our hands met. It was always so exciting when we could grab each other’s hand.
A few lots away behind our home was a small grove of scrub oak. Kathryn and I pretended it was our secret forest. We found little glass bottles, wrote messages to each other, put them in the bottles, and hid them in the forest. We spent hours finding new places to hide the bottles and just playing in our forest.
Further behind our house the land dropped off into a valley. At the bottom of the hill leading to the valley was a stagnant pond. We loved that place. The four older children would ask Mom if we could go “over the hill” (a mile or more away) then we’d head down into the valley. We never worried about getting lost or drowning in the pool. People didn’t worry about those things then. The pond held magic—dragonflies and pollywogs or tadpoles. We took quart canning jars to the pond. scooped up the little tadpoles, and took them home with us. Once home, we got a box, put a shallow dish of water in the box and built a dirt floor around the water. Then we waited and watched—for weeks. Soon little back legs appeared, then little front legs. As the body and legs grew bigger, the tail grew shorter until it finally disappeared and a finger-sized toad appeared and made its way out of the water. We kept them a bit longer until they were about half the size of an adult toad. Then we released them into the garden. (Our yard had lots of toads. None of us were afraid of them. We loved to catch them and hold them.) Watching these toads grow is one of my favorite childhood memories. I always wanted my children to have the same opportunity, but it never happened.
As Kathryn and I grew older and got into junior high and high school, we didn’t do as much together. We were interested in different things. I loved academics and she did well in school but really loved gymnastics. She was good at it. People were often surprised to find out we were sisters. We shared a room in the basement. My half was messy and her half was clean. I think I drove her crazy. Sometimes at night we stayed up late playing Monopoly. We were the only ones in the basement, so if we heard someone on the stairs, we pushed the game under one of our beds, turned the light off, and hopped in bed. Our games would go on forever, because neither of us could stand for the other person to lose. We kept loaning each other money.
Finally. I went to BYU and the next year she went to Ricks College. I sent her “care packages” with fun little things and candy so she wouldn’t be lonely. After she graduated from Ricks she came to BYU. We didn’t see each other much, but at Christmas we got together and made sugar cookies to give to friends. I was living in the German house at the time, and we had a nice kitchen in the basement (two kitchens in the house) and we had a fun time with the cookies.
We both graduated that next April—I with my bachelor’s degree in English and Kathryn with an associate’s in family history. She got married that summer to David Carlton Moon and soon had Kelsey. I loved babysitting Kelsey and letting Kathryn and Dave take a break from their little apartment in Wymount at BYU.
Kathryn has become one of my heroes. She is compassionate, generous, industrious, humble, and diligent. The Lord richly blessed my when He gave me such a sister.