Aunt Ader’s Place Part 9

A visit to Aunt Julie’s house was wild times.  There were no rules, except one.  She needed her afternoon nap, so we had to lie down from one to three till she was done.  I thought two hours of enforced bed time would kill me, but we spent the time wisely, playing semi-quietly, tussling with puppies, kittens, turtles, frogs, or  lizards,  giggling, and building forts.  Eventually we’d get around to jumping on the bed and she’d be forced to quiet us with an expletive, a reward in itself since I never got to hear cursing or filthy talk at home.

Aunt Julie’s kids were feral children, with no fashion concerns, styling about in their underwear, or step-ins, as Aunt Julie called them. I embraced this style and would have been a faithful follower, had Mother not shown up and stuck her big nose in my business.

“Don’t you EVER pull that stunt again. (EVER was spoken through clenched teeth for emphasis.). You KNOW better”

i always hated knowing better.  “But Aunt Julie….”  She cut me off.

“You heard me.  Get in the house and get some clothes on right now.”  The breeze on my flat chest was just a memory now.  Sadly, I went for clothes.  Mother was such a downer.

Aunt Ader’s Place Part 8

Aunt Julie was from a very proper home, though generally untroubled by the high standards set by   her mother, Mrs. Townsend.  That austere lady always wore black dresses with white collars, stockings tied in a roll at her knees, and a severe black straw or felt hat, depending on the season.  Though Aunt Julie’s housekeeping was poor to nonexistent, on the occasions Mrs. Townsend was to visit, the house was immaculate.  It was confusing on those rare times to come in and find the kitchen sparkling,  the toilets flushed and scrubbed, and bathroom floors free of piles of dirty laundry and unlittered with used sanitary napkins.  I never understood why no one flushed the turds since the toilets worked.  I had no idea what the soiled sanitary pads played till my cousin Sue explained her older sisters had a lot of nosebleeds.  At the rate the napkins multiplied, I was amazed never to have witnessed a nosebleed.

When Granny visited, the kids wore starched and ironed clothes instead of running around near naked in their step-ins as they normally did.aunt Julie and the kids were glad to see Granny go, but my uncle said he wished she lived there to keep Aunt Julieon her toes.  Aunt Jule had fourkids.  Three of them gre up to live in squalor, while Sue’s homemaking skills were impeccable.



Cousin Wayne Saves the Day (Part 2 of Robert Gordon, Wayne, Robbing Nanny, and Look Out Pope)


I wrote of my my mother, Kathleen’s laundry list against her cousin’s Robert Gordon and Wayne Perkins just the other day, mentioning her intention to tell Robert Gordon what a hellion should she ever met him again, even if he were Pope.  It’s fortunate she never had that little conversation with his partner-in-crime, Wayne, since she found herself in need of his friendship one day early in her marriage.

Daddy was a busy man who had priorities.  These included good times with his brothers and brothers-in-law and manly business.  That being said, we spent endless weekends with his family, careening out our drive on Fridays after and not often not getting back till late on Sunday night, despite the fact that there were young children to be bathed, homework to be done, and the week ahead to be prepared for.  That was woman’s business.  Fortunately, he was not a woman.

At any rate, at the close of school every year, Mother would break the news that yet again, she was going to visit her parents this summer.  They’d fight a while till they’d reach an impasse.

Outraged, he’d insist she wasn’t going.  She’d go on making her plans.  Finally he threw out a challenge, “Well, If you go, you’re not coming back.”

She went on with her packing. “We have to be at the train by two.”

Defeated, he asked.  “When will you be back?”

“Pick me up two weeks from today.  I’ll travel through the night so I won’t have to wrestle with the baby so much.”

Two weeks later, when we got off the train, Daddy wasn’t there.  Mother was disgusted, but not too surprised.  He was always late.  At nine, she called Aunt Julie who told her Daddy and Uncle Parnell had just left there to see a man about a dog, but had mentioned he was supposed to pick her up.  He was just going to be a couple of hours late.  Of course, Mother was furious, but had no choice but to wait.  She called Aunt Julie back later, who hadn’t seen the men.  By eleven she had thirty cents left, we were starving, and the baby was guzzling the last bottle.  Mother wracked her brain till she remembered her Cousin Wayne lived nearby.  She looked his number up and called.  Miraculously, he and his wife were  home.  Upon hearing her plight, he picked us up at the train, took us home for lunch, fixed the baby up with a bottle and a nap, and let Mother use the phone to tell Aunt Julie she’d found a ride, after all.  It was mid-afternoon by now.  Daddy still hadn’t gotten back from seeing about that dog.  Cousin Wayne kindly took us home.  Daddy was delighted to see us when he finally came in with his new hunting dog and not surprised at all that Mother had somehow gotten a ride home from the train station.  What a guy!  I don’t know why she never killed him.