I hope your Memorial Day weekend was great. My Memorial Day vacation has been full of family, especially two lovely, elderly aunts.
On Sunday we celebrated my Aunt Joan’s 90th birthday with a theme party. She loves the Kentucky Derby, so it was derby day at her house. We donned hats, her great-grandchildren had stick pony races, and I listened to wonderful family stories. Her five children were there, and many of her grandchildren too.
Aunt Joan is an amazing woman. She had seven children–one died at birth and her second oldest son died from heart problems about ten years ago. She was a hard-working rancher’s wife, contributing to the school activities and local community.
She is my Dad’s youngest sister, and she loved to ride horses. My Dad’s favorite story about her was she could rope a calf better than most men. In fact, when she was the rodeo queen, she did a roping demonstration.
My brother and I sat next to her to eat at her party. She told us she’d like to go sky diving–how about that!
On Monday we went to visit my 98 year old aunt in a nursing home in Pueblo, CO. We had a delightful day with her enjoying holiday barbecue fare–hot dogs and hamburgers. We visited, laughed and did a FaceTime phone conference with my husband who wasn’t able to come.
“I’m mad at you,” was her greeting to him. He wasn’t able to come on this trip but reassured her he’d join me on my June visit.
Aunt Willie worked in Albuquerque, NM at Sandia Labs for her career, raising one daughter. She loved decorating cakes as a hobby, and we all loved her humorous, gorgeous cakes.
Aunt Willie was nine years older than my Mom, her sister. My favorite memory of those two was at my Mom’s house at Christmas a few years ago. They were standing nose-to-nose, fists quenched, reigniting an annual disagreed–all in good fun.
One said, “You add milk.”
The other said, “No, Mama taught us to add water to make the turkey gravy.” This good-hearted disagreement went on at any holiday they served turkey.
My Mom passed away five years ago, and recently I asked Aunt Willie, “Are you the water or milk person in the turkey gravy dispute?”
She giggled and said, “I don’t remember!”
My life has been richer with these two. Long lives, happy dispositions–these two women embody what I hope my future holds. I hope you enjoyed my small portrait of two strong women that have influenced me. Who are the women in your life? Let me know–I would love to hear your stories.
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