One mothers garden of love

Gresham's Amy Rose Davis writes of her children in 'Cup of Comfort' book
by: Carole Archer, Amy Rose Davis stands with her children in her overgrown front flower bed. She is holding Natalie, 21 months, and her other children are, from left, Sam, 3, Chloe, 5, and Ben, 7.

Gresham writer Amy Rose Davis bought the 'great lie,' the one that promised when she had a baby and stayed home she'd have time and catch up on her scrapbooking and grow flowers.

Now a mom of four, ages 7 to 20 months, and owner of a thriving one-woman writing business, Davis doesn't have time to finish a sentence. But she recently managed a funny, poignant piece for the just-published anthology, 'A Cup of Comfort for Mothers to Be.'

Her submission begins, 'I am not a gardener.'

Things thrive at the Davis house but they are all warm-blooded mammals, four kids, a husband Bryce, two cats, two dogs. The plants? They are either dead or enjoy benign neglect.

'When the kids come home from school or church with a little plant, I have to say, 'Sorry, honey, but it's probably not gonna make it.' '

It makes her sad in a wry kind of way. Her grandmother, Doris Kerslake of Corbett, is known for her bountiful loads of produce and her flowers.

'It's ironic that my name is Rose,' she said, casting a rueful glance at her landscaping, which she describes as 'early American hillbilly.'

Davis and her husband, both 37, had a tough time getting pregnant the first time. But after son Ben was born 7 years ago, Chloe, 5, Sam, 3, and Natalie, 21 months, came in quick succession. Their Gresham household is a busy whirl.

Part of the reason she wrote her story for mothers-to-be was to let readers know that 'it's not that scary. It's just a blur. I was already used sleep deprivation and diapers.'

The Davises planned on four children. She remembers advice from Mark Walker, former acting pastor at Springdale Community Bible Church, who said, 'Once you get three, it doesn't matter.'

But Davis is a writer. She has stories in her head. She sees her oldest son doing the same thing, reciting narratives, telling stories.

'I have always been a writer,' says the Corbett High, class of 1987, graduate. She attended Clackamas Community College and took courses at Portland State University. Every job thereafter turned into a writing task, ghost writing for executives, newsletters, articles.

Being a full-time mom given to blurting incomplete sentences didn't make any difference. From home Davis launched her freelance writing service. She keeps up professional contacts through Willamette Writers, though she confesses she has never attended a meeting. She has about 20 clients, many in technology fields, and with child rearing and home-schooling two days a week, still makes a 'pretty good part-time income.' And she is creating a Web site, www.TheWorkAtHome, on how parents manage to work at home.

Husband Bryce, also a Corbett graduate, just took a new job in sales for a phone network. Things are getting easier, she says, and maybe, someday … the yard.

But what Davis realized in the interim, was that the flowers in her garden bloom in the shining blue eyes and the smiles of her children. Even in Sam's wide grin as he jumps on a patio table appearing on each upward bounce in the kitchen window.

Her story is entitled, 'The Flowers in My Garden.' The Cup of Comfort books are for sale at Borders in Gresham and are published by Adams Media of Avon, Mass.

Davis and other Cup of Comfort writers will be part of a reading and book signing at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at Borders in Gresham, at 687 N.W. 12th St. For more information, call Borders at 503-674-3917.

Reporter Sharon Nesbit can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 503-492-5120.