Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I have been thinking a lot about Aunt's this week.  Will's Aunt Uneva passed away last week and the funeral was Sunday.  I haven't known Uneva very long, but I could tell from the first time that I met her that she was a wonderful person and someone whom I would have liked to be my Aunt.  I am lucky.  I got some really good Aunt's.  First we need to get one thing clear, when I say Aunt I say it like the little crawly worker insect, not the other way that honestly I can't even think of a word that rhymes with it.  I have been in the South for over 25 years and I still can't get used to how Aunt is said here.

Now to my Aunts.  I could go on for pages on each of these remarkable women, but I am going to try and keep it brief.  I will start with my mom's sisters.

The first born (notice I did not say oldest- do I get brownie points for that?) is Bonnie. Christian name Margaret, I think, but the Church wouldn't let you baptize a Bonnie, so she got named after her mother.  I never have figured out why the Church cares what your name is, pretty sure God doesn't, but I digress.  Bonnie is one of the most amazing cooks I have ever met.  I remember her selling her cookies at Christmas and it was great because so many of the relatives bought them.  We got to eat them wherever we went.  The woman has been in charge of more than one community cookbook and I still use them. For my friends whom I have cooked for- she is responsible for Cream Puff Cake, Sour Cream Cookies, and Bourbon Slush.  She also bought Kraft Chicken Noodle Dinner and my mom would never buy it.  I have vivid memories eating this in her kitchen.  Weird, I know, but it makes me feel good just thinking about it.  

I get confused if Mary or Sue came next.  I didn't really know Sue because she passed away when I was young.  There is something about Mary.  No really there is.  Mary was like Pinterest before the internet.  One of the craftiest people that I know.  She can sew, she can cook, she can arrange flowers, she can do it all.  My kids have tents, sleeping bags, blankets and clothes that were lovingly made by her. I have very rarely heard Mary say a bad word about anybody or anything.  I think my favorite thing about Mary is her voice.  She should be a narrator of children's book.  I swear if she read me a book it would lull me to sleep with a smile on my face.

The youngest (notice I said youngest- do I get brownie points for that?) sister is Fran.  Fran is closer to my age and her kids are closer to Liam's age.  Frances Ann Gallager is her full name.  Imagine the snickers when my grandmother put her initials FAG on a bag.  Grandma didn't get it, but it has been the butt of many jokes.  Really I think Grandma should have just marketed the FAG BAG.  I would think they would have sold very well in some areas of the country. Fran is one of the coolest motorcycle mamas that I know.  She isn't like so many women that buy the fancy Harley Clothes and ride on the back of bike.  She can actually fix a bike.  I am pretty sure that she could fix just about anything.

My dad didn't have any sisters but he did have an Aunt that was like an extra grandmother to me.  Her name was Muriel, but she was called Minnow from the time my uncle was a baby and couldn't say Muriel.  Everybody called her Minnow.  Her CB handle was "The Little Fish".  She did not have any kids so Graham, Ness, Jason, Ashleigh and I became her surrogates.  I think she worked early in her marriage, but not during my lifetime.  For somebody who didn't work she had quite the routine though.  Breakfast at Bob's Big Boy which sometimes turned into lunch because the waitresses at Bob's became like family to her.  I am pretty sure she never cooked a dinner my entire life.  She always ate out.  She was always going to Kmart and always running around.  Really not doing anything, but always in a hurry.  We would tell her that a party would start at 2 when it didn't start until 4 because the woman was always late. She had a heart of gold, but she was the person at the party that you didn't want to get stuck by because she could have an hour long conversation about the most mundane things.  She was forever cutting out news articles and giving them to us.  Now I wish that I kept some of these, but at the time I was like "what in the world?"  The picture above is of her at my grandmother's house.  Don't get excited, the cake was one of those square frozen Pepperidge Farm  cakes.  You didn't think Grandma baked a cake did you????  Minnow was always the last to get the joke and when she did she would yell "oh for crying out loud" or if it was a particularly bad one "you are a horse's ass".  She was obsessed with our teeth and would grab our chins and look in our mouth's and say "you better be brushing those choppers".  I would like to send a message to her in heaven - I had no cavities at my last checkup. And yes I go for a cleaning two times a year.  I would go more Minnow but the insurance won't pay for it.  Yes I know that I only get one set of teeth.  Yes, I know how important a good smile is.  Yes, I will make sure the kids brush their teeth.  No I didn't know that the waitress at Bob Heaven's just got a new cat.  Yes, Fluffy is a cute name...

 I don't have a sister so my kids don't get "blood related" aunts.  I am really lucky to have two amazing Sister In Laws, Hye and Rachel,  that I am proud to call my kids Aunts. They are like sisters without all the sibling rivalry.  I get to be an Aunt to some pretty amazing kids too.  I am not crafty like Aunt Mary and I think we would all bust out laughing to think of me fixing a motorcycle like Aunt Fran.  I will probably never be as good of a cook as Aunt Bonnie (although I can make some mean Kraft Dinner).  I hope one day these kids feel as much love for me as I feel for my Aunts

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