Day 14 of NaBloPoMo/My Aunt Anna (cont.)

Anna and MarionWhen Anna came alone to visit, she usually gave my Mother a lot of advice about how to run her life and raise her family.  After she left one day, my Mother groaned and said, “I am so sick of listening to her give me advice.  I wish she would not come so often.”  So being an outspoken ten year old, one day when Anna was at our house and started to give advice to my Mother, I piped up with, “Why don’t you mind your own business and not come over so often?”

Well, Anna was incensed!  She slowly raised her arm, which had an umbrella at the end of it, and approached me.  Her eyes ablaze, her nostrils flaring!  I ducked behind my Mother.  My Mother grabbed Anna’s hand and took the umbrella and asked her to leave.  That was a close call for me and one of the many times my Mother would save me from God knows what!  Anna was insulted and huffed out the door then.  Needless to say, we did not see Anna for awhile after that.  I guess the story became legend in the family as my Uncle John said to me one day when he was visiting, “I heard you told your Aunt Anna off the other day.”  He had a sly grin on his face.

Anna couldn’t stay away too long though, as she loved my Mother’s cooking and she loved to eat.  Months later when she was over for dinner, the main course being pork chops, one of her favorites.  And they of course, had a wonderful aroma especially with onions the way my Mother cooked them.   Anna wasn’t exactly a quiet eater.  So she was going at the chops very noisily and obviously enjoying herself.

When all of a sudden a scream escaped her throat!  Our little kitten had latched onto Anna’s greasy hand and was licking it, the smell of the pork being too much for him to handle.  Anna had put her hand down without wiping the grease off it.  So still screaming and in order to get the cat off,  she shook her hand and the kitten went flying!  The kitten still howling ran outside and confusion reigned for awhile.   Anna had a few scratches on her hand and she was moaning and groaning until Mother put a clean plate in front of her.  Things did settle down after a bit and we all went back to our dinner.  The kitten was okay though, just a little scared but he avoided Anna after that time.

To be continued.

Day 16 of NaBloPoMo/The Wake

To all my followers:  I have been very busy during the Holiday Season and since I do not want to neglect my blog, I am going to be posting some old Posts for your reading pleasure.  Hope you all enjoy them.  Be back in January.

THE WAKE

Aunt Mamie was an old maid.  Everyone called her that behind her back of course.  She was my father’s aunt and therefore my grand aunt.  She was called other choice names by her nephews and nieces.  I never paid much attention.  I don’t remember knowing just how old she was but that Summer I was only nine years old and she seemed ancient to me.  She always wore long black dresses with the same black coat and black high top lace up shoes.  She wore her gray hair in a bun, pulled tight to the back of her head.  This made her nose which was pointy, even more so.  Her eyes were small and wary, constantly darting here and there.  She reminded me of the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz.  Sometimes my Aunt Anna called me Mamie or Mame, which was Irish for Mary.  I would be very insulted being compared to Aunt Mamie and not speak to Aunt Anna.  That always got a laugh from the grownups.

When Aunt Mamie would come to visit us she always sat stiff-backed in a kitchen chair and gave her opinion on everything from cooking to the state of the union.  She always carried a little black purse with snaps at the top so whenever she closed it, it made a sharp click.  She would do this several times during her visits.  She would sometimes take out her lace handkerchief and snuffle into it.  Other times she would take out a mint of hard candy, unwrap it slowly, then put it her mouth and suck loudly.  Mamie never offered us kids any of the candy.  But whenever we saw her open the purse my sister and I would run and stand in front of her hoping to get a treat or maybe a few pennies.  Our faces would fall as she would snap the purse closed!  We never gave up though, every time Aunt Mamie came we gathered around her hopefully.  I don’t remember ever getting any candy or money of all the times she came.

Even though she was my father’s aunt, there was no love lost between them.  One time my father went to Mamie and asked to borrow some money to buy a truck.  He wanted to go into the coal and ice hauling business with his buddy.  But she refused to lend him the money or even discuss it.  After that he never spoke to her.

Even after my parents separated, she continued to come to visit us.  Probably because my Mother was too sociable to turn her away, as some of the other relatives did.  Also, everyone knew my Mother was a good cook and would always offer a meal to company.  And Mamie loved a free meal.  I had heard her called a skinflint more than once.  She was at our house for a visit at least once a week.

To be continued.

Day 16 of NaBloPoMo/The Wake

THE WAKE

Aunt Mamie was an old maid.  Everyone called her that behind her back of course.  She was my father’s aunt and therefore my grand aunt.  She was called other choice names by her nephews and nieces.  I never paid much attention.  I don’t remember knowing just how old she was but that Summer I was only nine years old and she seemed ancient to me.  She always wore long black dresses with the same black coat and black high top lace up shoes.  She wore her gray hair in a bun, pulled tight to the back of her head.  This made her nose which was pointy, even more so.  Her eyes were small and wary, constantly darting here and there.  She reminded me of the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz.  Sometimes my Aunt Anna called me Mamie or Mame, which was Irish for Mary.  I would be very insulted being compared to Aunt Mamie and not speak to Aunt Anna.  That always got a laugh from the grownups.

When Aunt Mamie would come to visit us she always sat stiff-backed in a kitchen chair and gave her opinion on everything from cooking to the state of the union.  She always carried a little black purse with snaps at the top so whenever she closed it, it made a sharp click.  She would do this several times during her visits.  She would sometimes take out her lace handkerchief and snuffle into it.  Other times she would take out a mint of hard candy, unwrap it slowly, then put it her mouth and suck loudly.  Mamie never offered us kids any of the candy.  But whenever we saw her open the purse my sister and I would run and stand in front of her hoping to get a treat or maybe a few pennies.  Our faces would fall as she would snap the purse closed!  We never gave up though, every time Aunt Mamie came we gathered around her hopefully.  I don’t remember ever getting any candy or money of all the times she came.

Even though she was my father’s aunt, there was no love lost between them.  One time my father went to Mamie and asked to borrow some money to buy a truck.  He wanted to go into the coal and ice hauling business with his buddy.  But she refused to lend him the money or even discuss it.  After that he never spoke to her.

Even after my parents separated, she continued to come to visit us.  Probably because my Mother was too sociable to turn her away, as some of the other relatives did.  Also, everyone knew my Mother was a good cook and would always offer a meal to company.  And Mamie loved a free meal.  I had heard her called a skinflint more than once.  She was at our house for a visit at least once a week.

To be continued.

Day 15 of NaBloPoMo/Aunt Anna (cont.)

  Anna and MarionAnna continued going with Jim as the years rolled on.  Towards the end of their relationship, he was little more than a bum.  He was now renting a room and drinking pretty heavily. His mother had died some years before and he went downhill after that.  He contacted lung cancer from his constant smoking and was now living on a small pension.  Still, Anna was loyal to him and she tried to do what she could for him, see that he ate and took his medicine.

They would still visit us sometime but he now sounded strange as he had throat surgery and wore a voice box.  My Mother would offer him a good meal but he could never eat much now.  He died soon after and Anna decided to move to New Jersey and live with one of her two sisters who were living there with their families.

Soon after moving, she got a job as a hospital aide and found another apartment.  She visited her sisters on her days off and found herself another boyfriend.  He was an Irishman of course, and Kelly was his name.  He was quite a bit older than Anna but they got along famously.  He was a gruff truck driver and generous with his money.  He was also a widower.  He showered her with gifts and attention.  She certainly wasn’t used to this but she loved it.

Anna became the talk of the family but it didn’t seem to faze her.  The family was Irish, Catholic, boasting a priest.  And Anna was a devout Catholic rising at five a.m. to attend mass before going to work every day.  She would also walk several miles after work.

She seemed unaware of the controversy surrounding her and Kelley’s relationship.  So when he gave her a large diamond and asked her to marry him, the family was surprised.  Kelly was Catholic and widowed so he was fine in the eyes of the Church.  But when Anna asked the priest in the family to marry them in the church he refused to perform the ceremony.  Anna was devastated as he was her favorite nephew.  And she had showered him with gifts and money over the years to help him become a priest.  He didn’t think Kelly was good enough to be in the family.

In spite of this Anna and Kelly planned a small wedding.  Just family.  Then, a few weeks before the wedding was to take place an unexpected thing happened.  Kelly had a heart attack and died!  I remember attending the funeral.  Anna was sad but stoic, not showing much emotion.  But everyone knew she was that way.  No nonsense.

She held up in spite of her grief.  Getting up early and going to mass.  And then going to work and walking miles afterward.

Day 14 of NaBloPoMo/My Aunt Anna (cont.)

Anna and MarionWhen Anna came alone to visit, she usually gave my Mother a lot of advice about how to run her life and raise her family.  After she left one day, my Mother groaned and said, “I am so sick of listening to her give me advice.  I wish she would not come so often.”  So being an outspoken ten year old, one day when Anna was at our house and started to give advice to my Mother, I piped up with, “Why don’t you mind your own business and not come over so often?”

Well, Anna was incensed!  She slowly raised her arm, which had an umbrella at the end of it, and approached me.  Her eyes ablaze, her nostrils flaring!  I ducked behind my Mother.  My Mother grabbed Anna’s hand and took the umbrella and asked her to leave.  She was insulted and huffed out the door.  Needless to say, we did not see Anna for awhile after that.  I guess the story became legend in the family as my Uncle John said to me one day when he was visiting, “I heard you told your Aunt Anna off the other day.  He had a sly grin on his face.

Anna couldn’t stay away too long though, as she loved my Mother’s cooking and she loved to eat.  So one day when she was over for dinner, the main course was pork chops.  One of her favorites.  And they of course, had a wonderful aroma.   Anna wasn’t exactly a quiet eater.  So she was going at the chops very noisily and obviously enjoying herself.

When all of a sudden a scream escaped her throat!  Our little kitten had latched onto Anna’s greasy hand and was licking it, the smell of the pork being too much for him to handle.  Anna had put her hand down without wiping the grease off it.  So still screaming and in order to get the cat off,  she shook her hand and the kitten went flying!  The kitten still howling ran outside and confusion reigned for awhile.  Things did settle down after a bit and we all went back to our dinner.  The kitten was okay though, just a little scared but he avoided Anna after that time.  She got the worst of the battle, with several scratches.

To be continued.

MY MOTHER

Mother and Marion circa 1974

Here is a picture of my Mother and me at a restaurant in Northridge circa early 1970’s. Anna was taking the pix. We had taken my Mother for lunch for Mother’s Day. She was the greatest of Mothers!  She kept the family together when the old man  took off to lay around while his Mother took care of him.   He drank and carried on with other women.  Never supported us.  But I digress. She was the best all time Mother and my sisters would agree I am sure.