Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Special Relatives during my Childhood and later. in Life

Special Relatives during my Childhood and later in Life.

Ever get thinking of items or events that remind you of special relatives?

For the past few weeks, every time I see those boxes of Hot Cross Buns, I think of when my Aunt Morm (real name-Mary) taught me to make her delicious "Hot Cross Buns". It has been a very long time since I have made them. I used to make them a lot when there was a large family to eat them. Now, it just seems too expensive to make them just for myself when I can buy a small package of only 6 of them. Now 6 I can handle eating before they lose their freshly backed taste. Last week on my way home from the exercise place I stopped at the super market for some groceries. I am sure you already know one item I picked up and I just ate one with my breakfast and just as delicious as I remembered them to be. Almost as delicious as my Aunts were. Aunt Morm was the one I went to when I had a problem or a question and she never let me down. She was like a second Mom to me. We never had an argument in all those years. She was the sweetest loving person I have ever known.

Maybe I should explain why this wonderful Aunt was given the title of Aunt Mormie, or was it Mormy- I never was sure. sometimes shortened to Aunt Morm. We also had another Mary with the title of Aunt Moey- you sounded out the long "o"and long e sound and the "Y" was silent. My oldest brother gave them those nicknames when he was small and the rest of us kids followed his lead. Even most of our cousins copied us and called her Aunt Morm. Neither of the Aunt Mary`s seemed to mind their nicknames which remained all their lives.

Mary ( Aunt Mormie) was one of my father`s two sisters. I have many old items that she once gave me. I have a beautiful pink dish with a fancy about 2 inch long ridge rounding downward all around the top and three almost 1 inch long legs under the large fancy deep dish and there are flower designs etched all over the outside of the dish all in the same solid pale pink color.it is just beautiful and prescious to me. There is also a large hand painted cake plate with handles formed on each side with colored flowers on the plate, plus a couple of hand painted regular dinner sized plates with large colored flowers on them, I also have many real old crochet pattern books that she gave me along with many smaller ones from my Mother. I learned a lot from Aunt Morm. She lived on the farm next door to us, so we grew up seeing her every day. She not only taught me how to crochet (as I mentioned in another post), but also how to bake some foods. Our Mother was always afraid kids might get burned and so she preferred we stay safe and not touch the oven. I often wish I had asked her what happened during her lifetime that gave her that fear. But, it is way too late to ask now. To get back to Aunt Mormie, I learned that you could take a can of spam, score the top of it with small diamond shapes all over, spread it with brown sugar and stick cloves - one into each of the small diamond shapes. I remembered you just drew the sharp knife on a slant across it about every 3/4th inch and repeated it in the opposite direction to make those diamond shapes. Taste resembled the more expensive brown sugar baked ham, only lots cheaper. Another thing I haven`t made in a while. Now this would be small enough for me to completely eat in a few meals , so it wouldn`t have any waste to toss out. Guess I should enjoy eating it again when I get the oven working again or give up and buy a new stove.

Back then, during the second World war some foods got more scarce and expensive. There was surplus food given out to help large families and canned spam was one of them. Some of the other surplus foods that I can still recall are lard for frying, large boxes of American yellow cheese ( macaroni and cheese and cheese melted on buttered bread fried in the frying pan were favorite cheap meals to make back then), flour, instant egg mixture for baking, instant milk powder for baking and drinking, cornmeal ( we ate a lot of johnny cake back then), large packages of real butter, I think there was also a container of honey. I know there was this larger round container with some style of ground up meat where you cut off the ends of the can and slowly pushed the meat out slicing it into patties for frying as you pushed it out of the can.
- might have been corned beef. You didn`t get the same surplus supplies every month. You never knew what until you picked up the package. I am sure I am forgetting some items that I will recall after I post this.

Now to get back to our other Aunt Mary ( Moey) who was one of my mothers sisters. I remember some things that happened when I was visiting her. Like one day she was baby sitting her only daughter`s 2 small children. The youngest was a boy about 3 when this happened. While we sat there chatting, this little boy started tossing all the books and some large 78 records off the book case. My Aunt never said a thing until he tossed a book about a TV minister that she enjoyed listening to on TV. Then she told him sternly to put that book back. He looked surprisingly at his grandmother who never raised her voice and seldom ever corrected him and he immediately picked up that book and placed it back onto one of the book case shelves. Then he just went back to tossing off all the remaining items and throwing them around on the floor. I almost started picking up the book for her, but then I knew he would just be allowed to toss them off again, so I wouldn`t be teaching him anything and enabling him even more to enjoy tossing things.
I had one disagreement through the years with this Aunt Mary ( Moey). It happened the day of my Fathers funeral. After the Funeral we all went back to our parents home where we grew up. My youngest sister and brother were talking a bit too loud since we were all so upset. Aunt Moey was sitting in the living room with our mother and us kids were all in the kitchen. Hearing the raised voices, our Aunt came out and started yelling at my younger brother and sister, telling them that our mother was going through enough without hearing her kids fighting. I tried to tell her they weren`t fighting, just talking together, but she just repeated telling them they should be ashamed acting that way. After this went on for about 10 minutes I just couldn`t take it any more. When none of the older ones did anything to stop her, I asked myself "What would Dad do if he were here?" He would make her stop, so that`s what i felt needed to be done. So, I got between her and my brother and sister and told her my mother needs her in the other room, so please go back in with her and leave the kids alone. She surprised me and just walked back into the living room with my mother.
Speaking out that way at an elder family member bothered me so much that I couldn`t get it off my mind for the next few days. I finally told Walt I needed to go down and apologize to my Aunt. When I walked into her home, I didn`t know how she would greet me as she could be a very stern person when things didn`t agree with her. After I told her how sorry I was and I just didn`t know any other way to get her to listen to me that they weren`t arguing, she surprised me. She told me I didn`t owe her an apology, that she owed us kids one. She told me she was glad I had stopped her and she Thanked me for it. It was good to be rid of that feeling that I had been disrespectful to my Aunt. I remember when she was in a coma in the hospital shortly before she died. I was standing there alone beside her bed and I said " Aunt Moey, I would give anything to see one of your beautiful smiles again". Suddenly there were tears flowing down her cheeks. it hit me so hard that I told her "That`s okay Aunt Moey, both God and I can see your smiles on the inside so they don`t need to show outside". She just as suddenly stopped crying. More proof that they can hear what you say when they are in a coma. I had three different times when I saw proof that people in a coma, even when dying, can still hear everything you say when in the same room with them.

I had intended on telling my favorite memories over the years of my Aunt`s and Uncles, but just the two Aunt Mary`s has taken a lot of room. There was the uncle who gave me rides on his horses while he worked in the fields, the sled with the broken board he gave me knowing my Father would cut a board to repair it for me. Another of my fathers brothers gave me this small tea set of real china dishes and he was also the one who had the baby piglets whose mother sow had died. He would line up us kids on their long back porch with our feet dangling off the side and he would give each of us a newborn piglet and a baby bottle and Oh how we enjoyed feeding those baby piglets. We would hurry home from school, change our school clothes and head for that porch. We managed to keep them all alive. Then there was another of my mother`s sisters who owned an antique huge organ, pipes and all. She would allow me to strum on it to my hearts content. My only bad memory of visiting there was the time an older brother and I fell through old boards down into the deep well. God was with us that time for sure. We also helped with the animals on that farm when we were there. The other one of my fathers sisters was more stern, but she was also one who would buy books for us girls to read when we were playing with my cousin- books that explained everything a young girl needed to know. She always brought in her home made cookies along with something to drink along with the books. My cousin and some other girlfriends and myself spent a lot of time just laying across the bed chatting. She would always say that if we had any questions don`t be afraid to come out and ask her. Had only one disagreement with her through the years. My cousin had started a fight with a boy as we were walking home from school and this time the boy hit her back. My Aunt got mad at me for not stepping in and protecting her. We were in the same class in school. I told my Aunt there wouldn`t be any reason to fight if she just stopped starting it. My Aunt got mad and it was quite a while before I went back there again. Then there was my mother`s step sister where this little dog had puppies first on her front porch and finishing in her bathroom. This was a strange dog that kept hanging around our home till I felt sorry for it and started feeding it. I never knew it followed me when i went to visit my only grandmother who was then living with this Aunt. I remember a cousin coming in and asking who owned the small dog on the porch having puppies. I never knew it was expecting it was so skinny. This Aunt got some towels and made a bed for the mommy in her beautiful elegant bathroom and even tended to the births. Who would expect her to be willing to mess up her bathroom for a strange dog no one actually owned?
Then there was sweet Aunt Daisy, another of my mother`s sisters. From her I learned a way to remember when to send out birthday or Anniversary cards on time. She would buy the cards early and make them out ready to mail. Then where the stamp would later go she would jot down the date of the Birthday or Anniversary and use the stamp to cover the date on the day of mailing. One day another cousin who lived near her told me how delicious the candy I kept making for our Aunt really tasted. So I learned she shared the candy I made for her . One time she asked me if I was left handed. I said, no, I was right handed. So she placed the cup on the right side of my plate when I joined her for lunch at her home. When we were eating, she suddenly said, you are left handed. That`s when I realized I had confused her when I
moved the cup to drink using my left hand. The arthritis in my right hand made it hard for me to hold the cup handle, so I learned to do it with my left hand so I wouldn`t drop the cup or spill the contents. Her husband built a rock flower garden and could tell you who gave him each stone and from where they came
- I remember that one Dr brought one home from a trip overseas.
Then there is the uncle who gave me one of his homemade small TV size close-able tables and told me I could take it apart to make myself a pattern. I made seven of them and gave them away to my kids and a neighbor as Christmas gifts. He is another brother of my Mother and his wife has also made things for me in crocheting and from cloth. I have a beautiful bed cover made from small different shapes of cloth with a full cloth section on the back side. It fits my daybed and looks so pretty on it. Years ago my grandmother made me a small crib sized one and showed me how to make them. Today my hand doesn`t hold a small sewing needle so the one from my Aunt was greatly loved.

Today all my Dads family is gone and there is just my mothers one brother and her two brother`s wives. My father had 2 sisters and 2 brothers, my Mother had 3 sisters, 2 brothers, one half sister and a step sister. I still have 2 cousins on my Father`s side and 3 cousins on my mother`s side.

So much more I could recall about more of my wonderful Aunts and Uncles. Maybe another time. Thought I would like to leave memories of them for my kids, grand kids and great grand kids who might some day read my Life story that I started years ago. My older kids will remember a few of these relatives so these memories will hold more pleasure for them. Never had a relative I didn`t love and who didn`t make me feel loved by them. Looking back, I was one very lucky kid.

Yes Dot, you sound like you had a lovely childhood.
Dot, I just love reading your memories. You indeed come from a loving family. Like you, I had one aunt who was like a mother to me; I could talk to her about anything and ask as many questions as I liked; she would keep it between the two of us. In fact, only a few months before she passed away, I asked her a question I had been longing to ask and she gave me the straight answer. I wish she were here now because she would totally know what we're going through as she lost her youngest daughter at 23, and was not allowed to see her grandson again. Fortunately for her husband, after her death, the grandson reappeared after 30 some odd years, and it did my uncle so much good.

Take care, and keep writing those special memories down for your family and, don't forget, your friends like me and hillgrandmom and others like to read them also. (HUGS)
My family was pretty isolated and I didn't know my relatives. Turned out that I went to school (college) with a first cousin and didn't even know it until people started commenting how alike we looked!!! I love reading your memories, especially all the interesting details.
Checking in on you Ms. Dot. I hope you're doing alright; better than alright - I hope you're doing great! ((HUGS))
Yes, Hillgrandmom,I did have a nice childhood. I wish every child could have the love I was raised with and the relatives who also made you feel loved.
Thanks Sally. Nothing like having an Aunt there when we needed someone to talk to. I was lucky and had three Aunts like that, but one lived next door so I could talk to her every time anything bothered me. I remember my first boyfriend and things weren`t as good as I expected him to be. Here was my Aunts reply-" Don`t let him bother you, remember there are always more fish in the sea and a lot of them even better than he".
pbs, you reminded me of the first girl friend of one of the twins. He talked a lot about this girl Karen and his sister told me he knocked her books out of her arms in the school hall just so he could meet her while picking them up for her. He kept talking about her for weeks, till one day I asked him what this girl`s last name was. Turned out she was the daughter of one of my cousins I hadn`t seen in years. Boy, was he ever disappointed hearing she was related. My cousin and I still laugh about it.
Glad you got to know your cousin.
thanks Sally,
I was feeling a bit under the weather with a terrible sore throat. When I wasn`t winning after 4 days and having trouble swallowing, I finally gave in to my daughter and saw the Dr who said it was just a virus and should run it`s course in a week or two at the most. Still a bit sore, but can now eat without a lot of pain, so I am winning. So, i shopuld be back feeling like my old self soon.
My wonderful friend, Thanks for your caring. Sending ((HUGS)) back to you.
I had a feeling you weren't feeling well, Dot, but so glad to see you're doing better now. Take good care of yourself!! ((HUGS))
Before i say anything else I want to say SPAM is gross.

IThat was a great story ans always.
I enjoyed spending time with a few of my uncles and aunts.
I was close to my fathers youngest brother who seemed to get me into trouble alot in laterr years but in a way we grew up together so I closed my eyes to a few things.
But he was there a coupel of times for me.

I remember sitting on the floor in the living room and listening to my uncle Peter tell us stories passed down over the years and about the war.

They were good times then and good ones to remember now
Walker I also loved listening to the Aunts and Uncles talking about the past. We can learn so much by just listening. I remember once asking my Mother how she met my Dad. Before she had time to answer me, my Aunt-one of my mother`s sisters- started answering me. Seems my Dad had taken one girl to this friends birthday party and after he took her home, he caught up with my mother and Aunt and insisted on taking them home and from that night on he dropped the other girl and started seeing my Mom only. They were also married a little over 50 years when my Dad passed away. Sometimes I feel like I am walking in my mother`s foot steps as Walt and I were also married a little over 50 years. Not sure i would like to spend 20 years alone like she ended up doing. She must have been awful lonesome.
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