Davene – The Village Granny, 1947 – 2023

Jan T:  

When I moved to Texas six years ago, I wondered if I’d ever meet anyone that I connected with. That was before I met Davene. In California, the walls of my house were blue in every room. With white trim. When I went to Davene’s house, wow, her walls were all painted blue, too! And, she had beadboard in her kitchen and . . . I had beadboard in MY kitchen! She loved the color blue and . . . I loved the color blue! We had a saying together that there were two colors in the world. One was blue and the other was not-blue! Once, we were at a quilt show – Houston as I recall – and as we were finally gathering to leave the show, I noticed a vendor who had a gorgeous blue fabric selection for sale. I went to the spot we were all gathering to leave and took her by the elbow and told her she had to see something gorgeous. She walked over with me saying, “get behind me Satan!” And, of course, we both bought the fabric.

Davene had had her bout with colon cancer and had spent a month in the rehab hospital. When my mom was sent there for rehab, she was mad. She didn’t want to be there; she hated it. Well, Davene went to visit mom (several times, bless her) and basically told my mom to put her big-girl panties on and suck it up. It helped soooooooo much.

When mom was dying, Davene sat with my sister and I and walked us through the hospice options and what would happen when, etc. It was so helpful. Then, a few year later, when my sister-in-law’s husband was in the hospital, vented, she actually spoke on the phone with my crying sister-in-law, helping her to know the next steps, encouraging her, and, of course, calling her sweetie.

I loved how Davene always answered the phone, “Hi, Sweetie!” And, every clerk, waitress, bellhop, you name it, well, they were also “sweetie.” It was magic; Davene’s magic.

Recently, I was at the Starbucks ordering a tea at Kroger and the clerk was crying as she filled my order. My mind was frantically thinking, “what would Davene do?” I conjured up my best Davene and said things I thought she would say. I think I left her in better spirits.

When Davene came to my house to drive with me to a quilt event, she would come in the house and hug and greet my husband, Dan. He is an amputee and in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs tend to keep people away, but not Davene. She never saw the chair; she saw the man. Once, we were loaded up and pulling out of the garage and she stopped me because she had forgotten to hug Dan! What a huge heart. He was a big Davene fan. My whole family heard Davene stories and loved her as well.

She took the early bus to heaven. I’m so stinking sad she is gone, but so very thrilled that I KNOW I will see her again! Thank you, Jesus!

Peggy S: 

I loved her blogs.  She was a masterful writer and had such a wonderful way with words…always thoughtful, lots of wisdom, and common sense, inspirational and humorous too.  I so looked forward to them, they always made me think and smile, no matter the topic…always Davene.

One of my best memories:  She always greeted everyone with a big warm all-encompassing hug.  She was a great hugger and could make you feel so welcomed whatever the occasion.  I was not from where ‘big warm hugs’ were the norm and one day early in our friendship, she chided me and said I needed to try again!  Needless to say I learned my lesson and hopefully have gotten much better at giving hugs and appreciating them!  All thanks to my good fortune to be able to count her as a treasured friend.  We will all miss her words, laughter, talents and creativity, you and family most of all.   

In sympathy and in joy for having known her partner, her love. I know you will miss her, she is all around you, in her blue and white dishes, quilts, her history is also your history. May you be comforted, as you adjust to the huge change.

Lynn B:

Friday morning I got a call from Bob, D died today after surgery.  What a shock, my friend is gone.  She came over and sat next to me when a family member died.  Didn’t say much, just sat close.  Then I told her I was thinking about a tattoo – she said she was, too.  Two ‘70s thinking about tattoos.  It came up at lunch one day, after that.  She said she was going to do it, and she did!

She was a selvage saver (decorative strips on the edge of fabric), and covered her sewing chair in assorted selvage strips, made totes, and even a jacket.  She quickly converted her sewing friends into selvage savers – for her.  Then we were taught to leave more of the fabric, as it was better for her projects.

She was all about blue and white, her favorite color combination.  Her home was blue and white, her purses were blue, the wreath on her front door was blue and white dishes, so if she made something in other colors, we weren’t sure it was her work.  Except for wool – she was serious about Sue Spargo wool work.  Lots of fancy stitches, color, and perfection.

We got lost often on our way to a Just Say Sew meeting, even if “Helen,” her GPS, was telling us to turn, we would be talking, not paying attention, and get lost.  She would quickly say, “The world is round, we’ll get there.”  Now, the world is round, and we’ll see each other again, in heaven.  The Word says, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.”  I’ll bet hers will be blue and white, filled with laughter.  She loved her family, her friends, her neighbors, her church, her quilting, her home, the 7-Eleven drink dispensers with Diet Coke.  I will miss her, seriously miss her.

Then there was Lent.  I had given up calling other drivers names, but she would call them names for me.  Sometimes she would say, “Was that bad enough?”  If they had done a particularly jerky thing I would say “No,” and she would think of other names to add in!  We would laugh a lot.  I don’t think the Lord was impressed, but we both remembered that Lent for years!  The same day, Randy and I were part of three couples playing the Newlywed game at the church.  Davene would have liked that we had answers taped to our arms.  Cheat sheets to remember wedding date, first date, color of eyes, favorite food…we wanted to make folks laugh, and we did.

Matt R:

I can’t talk to you any more, but there’s so much I still wanted, NEEDED, to say.  I love you, I love you so much.  You helped me through the thick and thin and gave me experiences I NEVER would have experienced without you.

I guess life is like a fire.  It starts out of nowhere, or it’s started by sticks and stones and that is its foundation.  Fire only lasts for awhile though, and eventually it fades out by force or naturally.  Things happen when we least expect it.  But I love you and I will never ever ever stop loving you until I die.  Thank you for everything you’ve done.

Jacqulyn W:


If you’re really very lucky, you meet someone rather early in your life and keep them with you for all the decades that follow.  Somehow you know that the two of you are inextricably connected though time and distance may keep you physically apart.  Yet you’re aware that there’s an invisible thread, laced with shared memories, which binds your friendship with love.

So it was, and ever will be, when I think of dear Davene.  We were so terribly young.  She a mere nineteen.  Me, her elder, at twenty.  It’s been 57 years since that first encounter.

There’s much to remember and cherish as grief over her passing becomes acute.  I can hear her sweet voice and most of all, the ever-present laughter.  There’s her fondness of addressing dear ones as “Sweetie.”  I was honored when she used that special sobriquet with me.

As I write, I’m envisioning Davene sitting beside me.  Perhaps she’s sharing her latest award-winning quilting creation.  Maybe’s she’s talking about her beloved husband, other family members or friends.  Now she’s recounting funny incidents where the unexpected experience became a story to be retold and/or the subject of a blog.

I’ll recall her passion for the color blue and how it appeared throughout her home.  I’ll be thankful that there were many years in which I could be inspired, comforted or informed as I eagerly read her most recent blog.  Often, I’d copy her words and share them with others.  No matter the topic, Davene retained her belief in humanity, kindness, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and a willingness to share herself honestly with appreciative readers.  I always felt that Davene was speaking directly to me in those blog posts.  I knew she was not, but somehow it seemed so.

We were the type of friends who didn’t need to say much to be understood and accepted.  Though we could be described as loquacious, there were times when we were silent but still said a lot.

Last year, Davene decided to get a tattoo.  She did so with boundless exuberance, and, not surprisingly, chose a theme that was perfectly suited for her.  The new body art held special meaning as it linked to her daughter, Laurel’s, own tattoo.

This decision is exemplary of Davene’s effervescent appreciation for life itself.  She remained, always, someone eager for fresh experiences and open to welcoming new people into her life.

For myself, I know I’ll never have another lifetime friend like Davene.  It’s been a blessing to be her friend and I shall miss her forever.

Mother’s Apron

Aprons enjoy a long and illustrious history, as a protective garment, as a fashion accessory and to indicate status. The word ‘apron’ comes from the French word ‘naperon’ meaning little tablecloth.

Soldiers of the French Foreign Legion wore leather aprons as part of their ceremonial dress and Egyptian pharaohs wore jeweled-encrusted aprons.

Distinctive aprons could also indicate a man’s trade. English barbers wore checkered aprons. Stonemasons wore white aprons to protect their clothing from the white dust created by their tools on the stone. Cobblers wore black to protect garments from the black wax used on shoes. Butchers wore blue stripes. Butlers wore green aprons. Blue was commonly worn by weavers, spinners and gardeners.

Native Americans wore aprons for practical and ceremonial reasons. The early American colonists often wore aprons. People of that era owned few garments and had to protect and keep them as clean as possible.

Aprons became very popular in the 20th Century as the icon of the perfect housewife. It signified a cozy kitchen and enough food for everyone. Aprons were often the first garment made by someone learning to sew. They could be simple and tough or delicate and attractive fashion accessories.

Homemade aprons were a popular use of fabric remnants and made welcome gifts or sale items at church bazaars. Aprons can be made of cotton, muslin, linen, canvas, leather, rubber or lead. The apron has long been a symbol of generosity and hospitality.

My mother wore an apron every day of her life. It served, of course, to protect her clothing from spills and dirt. She cooked, cleaned house and did laundry in that apron.

As I look back now, I see that her apron had many other functions as well. It was a washcloth to clean a dirty child’s face and a towel to dry wet hands. It was a potholder to remove a hot pan from the stove or oven and it wiped many a sweaty brow on a hot summer day.

Mother’s apron could be used as a fan to cool you down or wrap around your arms to warm you up. It could be used to clean a surface when needed in a hurry or dry a plate for an extra setting.. It was an all around tool that could be used wet or dry, for everyday or holiday. It was always there, always available, always the right choice.

Some of mother’s aprons were plain and worn to the bone, some were fancy with ruffles and lace, some were homemade, some were gifts. All of them were used for the proper occasion or event. Several of the aprons were even holiday specific. She employed and enjoyed them all.

When I got married, mother saw to it that I got several aprons as shower gifts. She saw it as her duty to get me started off right in the “domestic household” department.

Today I wear an apron when I cook. It just seems the right thing to do. Every time I put on my apron, I think of mother and her apron.

And I smile.

It’s Never Too Late

My daughter just recently told me the most exciting thing. Her biggest regret in life has always been that she was never able to march in a DCI Corp. She absolutely adores music, marching and performing with a flag.

As a family, we have followed Drum Corps and loved it for over thirty-five years, so she comes by her addiction naturally.

A few months ago, one corps, celebrating a sixty-fifth anniversary, issued an invitation to alumni, other corps members and anyone interested to join a performance at the International Finals this year. Well, my daughter was certainly interested and applied. She was accepted and will be performing with a Drum Corps this year.

Her all time wish has been granted! Her excitement is beyond belief for a middle-aged woman fulfilling a dream she has had since she was a teenager.

And as she said to me – it’s never too late!

How true that is! A dream is a dream until it has a deadline and then it becomes a goal. A goal then requires action to become a plan. My sweetie has graduated to a plan from a dream after thirty-five years.

She never gave up. She never lost hope. She never let her dream fade. And Voila! She is going to be living her dream day this August in Indianapolis.

My son-in-law wanted to fly since he was a little boy. He couldn’t see how that could ever happen when he was growing up. It seemed too far away to ever become a reality for him.

As an adult he finally had the time and the finances and began taking flying lessons. One at a time, step by step, over the years, he progressed to the point where he qualified for an Airline Transport Pilot rating.

And one day, he was hired by a Regional air carrier. It wasn’t too late after all! He could fly for a living, revel in his dream and support his family, all at the same time. He was one happy soul.

Living your dream brings a joy like nothing else, even if it comes after years of hoping and wishing. Maybe even more so because of the years of hoping and wishing.

The secret is to keep the ambition alive in your soul. Keep feeding it with hope and possibility. Never let it die. Never let it disappear. Never let the negative words in your head convince you it will not happen.

Because it is never too late!

Granny’s Ridiculous New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Will lose weight and keep it off.
  2. Will remember to send cards for each of my family and friends’ birthdays and anniversaries.(Because of course, my memory will be getting better, not worse this year.)
  3. Will eat a salad everyday. (Yuck!)
  4. Will finish one quilt before I start another. (Hah! Like that’s going to really happen!)
  5. Will never disagree with my husband.
  6. Will not lie. (See #5)
  7. Will lose weight again and keep it off. (Pardon me a moment while I laugh right here!)
  8. Will share control of the TV remote. (Really?)
  9. Will never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. (Not even a single glass?)
  10. Will keep all my resolutions all year. (See #6)

Be Present

I don’t know about you, but I have been so busy these past few weeks. Always looking at the next thing on my list – what comes next – what is ahead. Constantly peering forward. Hardly paying any attention to what I’m doing.

To stay on time, I have to hurry, which means I have to be early. Rush, rush, rush. That’s the name of the Christmas game. Get everything done and get it done fast.

Who cares how you feel while you’re doing it, right? Just get the stuff done! Oh my, I’m exhausted just thinking about it, much less doing it.

I can hardly remember everything I’ve accomplished this last month or two. I don’t remember having very much fun and I don’t remember . . . well, I hardly remember at all.

And that’s the sad part, isn’t it?! I can’t remember being in the moment for any of it. My mind has always been a step ahead, going to the next task. My body was performing one task while my mind was performing another.

Always there was that disconnect because I was never really there to enjoy any of my Christmas. It has been very forgettable and exhausting at the same time. So this year I’ve decided to slow down and take one task at a time, mindfully. I’m going to be present for my Christmas Day. I want it to be a conscious Christmas where I notice details, little things and nuances.

I want to remember everything – bits and pieces, words, looks and touches. I don’t want to miss a thing, not anything. Every precious moment I want to savor and record as a memory. Faces, tastes, smells, lights, songs, laughs, hugs, warmth, everything the day has to offer, I want to enjoy and memorize.

Being aware of the present truly makes the future easier and less hectic. You really don’t have to be early for all your deadlines. Be brave. Be fearless.

Live for now. Look around. See what and who is there. Make a memory. Be present.