This is an introduction to who we are! As those reading this will be mostly family and close friends, you probably already know all of this, but there may be some pieces forgotten, or some who haven't heard the entire story, or would like to have it refreshed for them. Enjoy! The following is "our story" as first recorded in a Mayer Moos newsletter which we used as our informal wedding announcement and invitation. Updates will appear later and in individual family pages of each child.
Ruth and Joe first met at a regional Single Adult dance in Beaverton, Oregon in January 1994. Over the next few months they attended several dances, firesides, and church functions where they got to know each other better. By April they were conversing regularly and finding many places and reasons to spend time together becoming better friends and learning about each other.
After their respective divorces, Joe was looking for a future companion; Ruth was most definitely NOT. But she was willing to be a friend and listen. They spent time together during the next few months discussing gospel principles and insights, expectations, and learning and growing experiences gained through their individual studies and healing processes. Although Ruth still didn't consider herself ready for dating, Joe was willing to take a chance on spending more one-on-one time with her, hoping for the possibility that someday even she might consider remarriage an option in her life.
It was a "safe" alternative for them both as they worked through the many fears of re-entry to a new lifestyle and possible remarriage. The impossibilities of the arrangement loomed larger and larger as they individually contemplated the implications of trying to unite two strangers with children from previous marriages and differing backgrounds.
June 24, 1994 Ruth and Joe attended a Single-Adult conference at the Beaverton Stake Center of their church. One particular class, taught by Mike and Dixie Millet of Hillsboro Stake, had a lot of answers for Joe. Afterward, skipping his final class, on learning to overcome stress, he went home to rest before a temple session later that evening.
He was awakened by a strong feeling, or thought, that he needed to get Ruth aCTR ring: a strange thought that circled in his head for some time before he called Ruth on her cellular phone as she was en route home to change for the temple session and subsequent dance.
Joe had learned in dealing over the months with strange ideas that when strange thoughts or ideas "bounced around and around" in his mind, it was easiest to discuss and deal with them in order to move on with other thoughts. So he asked Ruth then if she'd ever considered wearing a CTR ring and whether he could buy her one--a nice one, possibly to substitute temporarily for an engagement ring at some point. (A promise ring!)
With tears streaming down her cheeks as she drove, she agreed that after the temple session he could take her to the Deseret Book Store to look at rings. She got her ring that night with an ominous warning that this was not an official engagement yet. He still wanted the opportunity to properly ask and give Ruth some time to consider an actual marriage proposal.
Joe had been surprised at the speed at which Ruth chose her ring that night since they arrived only moments before the closing of the store. But it became clearer to him when she asked, "Were you listening when Teonei, Kandle and I were in here last week?" "NO!" was the immediate response, " I've never been in this store with you and your daughters!" "I know!" I answered, surprised at how the Lord gives nudges. We'd been choosing our "wedding" rings!
They had known for several weeks that Joe would be going to Boston for business the week immediately following the Single's conference, and from there he would fly to Los Angeles to drive his parents back to Oregon in their motor home from visiting his twin brother there. He had earlier half jokingly suggested that Ruth fly to L.A. to meet his family and ride back with him so he wouldn't have to miss being with her for so long. Ruth is not very familiar with anyplace in California, but she is aware that Disneyland exists somewhere in the L.A. area. And from there the dreaming and scheming began.
She had dreamed of a trip to the Magic Kingdom with her children while Sebastian was still at the wonderful age to believe in magic and fantasy. Therefore, they made travel arrangements for her and her children to fly to L.A. Kandle arrived home from a two-week sister-city trip to Japan the morning that they flew to L.A. Teonei flew from Salt Lake City to join them for a holiday weekend away from Brigham Young University.
They had a fabulous time from the flight on June 30th to the arrival home on July 8th when the motor home pulled into Ruth's driveway and they were met there by a yardful of life-sized plywood cows cutely painted black and white with adorable individualized faces. Where had these come from? As the family circled the yard in wonder, Joe explained that he had to get his parents home, but would return as soon as he could.
When he returned, showered and smiling, he was wearing a bright Hawaiin shirt and a colorful plastic leii. He then asked Ruth, "Johnny Lingo style", if she would consider being his ten-cow wife and eternal counselor. Of course she replied that "becows" she thought she loved him, she'd accept the offer.
The cows created a mild sensation from their first "planting" on a Rose Festival Airshow weekend until their herding into the back shed in late October to avoid further Halloween vandalism. Their original creators continued to replicate happy animals by the scores and got themselves out of debt in the endeavor!
Since their engagement and subsequent marriage, Joe and Ruth have been busy getting better acquainted with each other and their ten children.
By linking back to the home page, you can get a quick overview of each of those ten and their added components since our first encounters.
CTR is a commonly used acronym in the LDS church meaning "Choose the Right."
Chldren receive a ring bearing the emblem of a shield with the three letters emblazoned upon it. This is a reminder for them to make right choices as they prepare for baptism. The emblem has gained popularity and is now used on a variety of objects and jewelry, including adult rings. Ruth sometimes tells people the letters stand for "Ten Cow Ruth" as the central letter is larger in the monogram.
The story of Johnny Lingo used to be a fairly commonly known parable of helping gain self esteem through the way we are treated by others. It is the story of a wealthy Polynesian trader who sets his sights on a girl deemed unworthy of a marriage dowry which the custom requires. Johnny however is not dissuaded and in fact presents a dowry of eight healthy cows which is an outrageously high price for the finest of women! Joe did two better than Johnny and gave 10 cows for Ruth, stating that only time and money prevented there being far more!
HI! I'm Ruth. As this site is created and maintained by me, I get to tell the story as I see it! So here's my version:
I was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Ardys Adel Follett and Joseph Asbury Miller. I was born on the birthday of my paternal grandmother, Lydia, on 15 November. At that time I had one older brother, James Edward, born 23 November 1948 and one deceased brother born (14 June 1950. ?) I was later blessed with other siblings. Their stories may appear elsewhere later.
When I was about two and a half years old, my parents moved to Salem, Oregon where my mother began working for the Oregon State Hospital as a registered nurse. She remained there for the next 35-36 years until her retirement. By this time I had added other siblings as well. My sister, Carol, who was my on-again -off-again "best" friend throughout our lives, and my sister Patricia, who has a story all her own. About the time I entered first grade, my parents went through a divorce and I was left in a single-parent home with an absent alcoholic father. I met him only twice more before he died in 1983 I attended church and schools in that area, beginning at Fruitland Elementary, which was a three room, eight grade country school in a district of Salem known as Four Corners. By the time I left at the end of my 5th year, they had moved the 7th and 8th graders out into the city schools. When I entered the 6th grade, I attended Englewood Elementary School in Salem, where we have moved due to a subsequent remarriage of my mother and an etension of our family....my youngest sister,Ellen Kaeppeli.
Also my baby brother, Shawn was born while I lived there. He was my "sister's baby" since I had been Ellen's "surrogate" mother while mom worked. Later I attended Parrish Junior High and North Salem High where I was an average student of great shyness who did not join in outside extracurricular activities. I was active in my church programs of Primary, MIA and the Young Men and Gleaners programs however, and enjoyed friendships there.
After graduating from North Salem High School I attended Merrit Davis Business College in Salem and was placed in a job in the state capitol building and later working for the state of Oregon at Vocational Rehabilitation. I was working there when I met the father of my children whome I married on 3 September 1971 in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We lived in Salem for a time and I worked as a secretary until deciding on a career of motherhood. We soon moved to Sweet Home, Oregon into a logging community where our first children were born and raised while their father established himself in the business of administrating nursing home facilities. While there we began our family and added Jason, Teonei, Kandleand Ryan. I served in many Church capacities during this time, among my favorites being all those within the Young Women's program, and working as Primary nursery leader. I was active in the YW camp program from age 12 until 1995. Our family moved to Troutdale, Oregon for employment reasons in the summer of 1986 and then to Hillsboro, Oregon in the summer of 1988. In October 1990, the youngest of my children, Sebastian,was born.
Before Sebastian's second birthday, his father decided he wanted a different lifestyle and bowed out of our relationship to marry "someone more fun". I began my journey as a divorced mother of five with no real education and no employment background for the previous twenty years. My marriage of 23 years netted me absolutely no financial security or future stability, inspite of five subsequent years of legal battles which left my current marriage financially drained. Inspite of trials and abuse, I continue to survive and progress. I am learning to bloom where I am planted and to plant where I can bloom!
Life with Joe has not been any easier than any other marriage, but it has had it's definite ups and downs and lots of benefits along the way. He is certainly a better man in most ways than a lot of those I have had to deal with in my lifetime!
JOSEPH DAVID MAYER was born in Los Angeles, California, two minutes before his identical twin, Michael. They joined an older sister, Judy. His parents, Max Leo and Eva June were active in the Jewish faith until the boys were about six years old, when a set of missionaries knocked on their door and they listened to a message that changed the course of their lives. As babies in the early 1950's, the twins played "Little Rickie" on the "I Love Lucy Show." Later, Joe graduated from Crescenta Valley High School in 1970 and went on to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obisbo until 1976. In the middle of his college years he took two years off to serve a mission to Japan for the LDS Church. He is still able to communicate fairly well in Japanese! The mission home at the time was in Tokyo, where the temple now stands. Married in 1974, he lived in Highland Park, Norco, and La Crescenta, CA after graduating from Cal Poly. He worked at Times Mirror Press. In the fall of 1979 he moved his family to Oregon City, a suburb southeast of Portland, OR. Besides being very actively involved in his church, he has always enjoyed Boy Scouts, has earned the Eagle Scout award, and has served as scoutmaster several times. He has also served in an Elders' Quorum, has been a counselor in a bishopric, and has been a stake clerk. For the past 18 years he has worked in computer-related assignments at Portland General Electric.
Joe enjoys simple things. He likes the outdoors, ice-cream, trains of all kinds, relaxing with his wife, Ruth and spending time with familyand friends socializing. He is a true computer geek, a real boy scout, always doing good deeds, and an all around nice guy who is forever looking for ways to make those around him happy while growing through the experiences. He is an out-of-the-box thinker that comes up with some real "different" ways of looking at life and the world and keeps things interesting, to say the least!
These clippings make great conversation openers for Joe! He has them downloaded into his palm-pilot for easy display! I can't say that being married to a movie star has been what one might expect, but it's certainly interesting! And it's still a pretty well-known sitcom around the world, offering ready conversation openers even for the Japanese people that Joe encounters.
--The 50th Anniversary of the I LOVE LUCY SHOW --
These pictures came from the Lucy Fan Club site that is linked above.
The "I LOVE LUCY" info is at the bottom of this page.
We had Joe's side of the family together for a portrait this Christmas. Ruth's were all there, excepting Teonei who could not travel due to her pregnancy. We opted not to have only "some" of them there for a picture. It's difficult enough to get half of them together at a time!