A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Move over P. Phil, today is my Aunt's day

For most of the country today (February 2) is Ground Hog Day. But, for me, it's the birthday of my Aunt Mary. Oh, sure, I'm still interested in that little rodent but my aunt turning 86 trumps him.

Marie (her real name) is my mother's sister. They were only 18 months apart and extremely close all their lives. When my mother passed away in 1994, my aunt lost her best friend.
Aunt Mary is a clean freak. She would rather clean a house than do just about anything. As her son, Ken, said just this morning - "She has a bit of OCD!" Apparently, even at her age and being barely able to stand up and walk, she still checks the corners for dust and Ken found her the other day rearranging the food in the refrigerator so it all looked neat. Of course, she wound up with bronchitis after having her head in the refrigerator and freezer for a while. But, heck, at least the food is organized.

When we were growing up, Aunt Mary had plastic covers made for her couch, chairs, and lampshades. Form fitting plastic covers. Now, those of you from an Italian household know that this isn't totally unusual. However, in my aunt's home, the expensive form fitted plastic covers were covered with white sheets so they wouldn't get dusty! Didn't actually see that danged couch until I was in my 20's.

Her she is with my twins. Not sure why they were holding on like that - she seems concerned, too!

Cooking wasn't exactly her strength. Oh, she could whip up a pretty good meal most of the time. But her fear of germs caused her to overcook many things. Plus, probably from growing up during the Depression, she had this compulsion to have as many ingredients as possible in any casserole. One I remember started out as a chicken and broccoli casserole - harmless enough. But she added corn, carrots, Italian sausage, olives, tomatoes, potato chunks, leftover meatballs. Not one of her better creations.

Ken (my "much younger cousin" as he calls himself although he's only two months younger than me - the brat) still remembers the Thanksgiving that she made dinner including candied yams. As he spooned out some, he noticed this dark brown stuff in the middle. Didn't know if the potatoes were rotten or what the heck was going on. When he asked his mom, she said she had put Hershey's Kisses in the yams! Said she did it because that was the way Ken liked it! He said - not so much. I think they've been going out to eat or to other's people houses since then on Thanksgiving.

So, here's to you Aunt Mary. Have a wonderful birthday - take a break from cleaning and cooking. We love you.


ira said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Mary! :D

Fleur de Lisa said...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful aunt. I love all of the old pictures and especially the story about the plastic covers. :-)

Jenni said...

I can't look at plastic furniture covers without thinking of Aunty Mary!

Desert Diva said...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful Aunt Mary!