Aunt Dot – Part 2
A while ago I wrote a little piece about my great-aunt Dot, her special vodka and her cold dead hand.
I was happy to read the comments that followed and the requests for other stories containing dear Aunt Dot.
At first I couldn’t think of any. Most of her years were spent as a nurse in Eastern Washington. It was during the later years of her life that she moved to my hometown in Western Washington.
Pictures, Trucks and Parties
One day I was thumbing through an old family album when a picture stirred a memory. A group of relatives stood in front of an old truck parked in a familiar park.
I noticed several pictures of that same day and before long another memory of Aunt Dot came into focus.
I was knee deep in high-school. Sixteen, maybe seventeen. It was late spring. May, I believe. Or possible June at the latest.
Somebody came up with an idea of a family reunion on my grandmother’s side.
The Grand Arrival
Note: Aunt Dot was not Lucille Ball but when I think back this is how I see her.
It was a typical get together I’m sure many of you have experienced. There were relatives I knew, combined with those I barely knew. The usual comments – My how you’ve grown/you look just like you dad – followed by uncomfortable silence wondering what else to say.
Aunt Dot’s arrival consisted of the usual fan fair. She was second in line in a family of ten. Admired by some, scared by all. And then there was me.
For those reading this for the first time she adored me. To this day it’s still a mystery.
Her husband’s, past and present, were in attendance. As for her special vodka, keep in mind this was at least a year before I had my first taste.
The reunion was like any other. Grownups rehashed old memories. Little kids played and I discovered a distant cousin who had the most beautiful eyes I ever saw.
As the hashing and rehashing rolled along a tiny wrinkle came our way.
Beautiful eyes, Vodka and tiny glasses
Nobody knew when it happened but when her older sister Emma shouted the news that Aunt Dot was missing her husbands, past and present, along the rest of us sprang into action.
Her eight sisters and one brother called out her name. Her nieces and nephews searched behind trees and bushes.
Did I mentioned the cousin with the beautiful eyes?
Aunt Dot’s love affair with vodka had a long family history. My earliest memory came as a child when we were her guests at a fancy restaurant. I was confused with her choice of beverage. Water in a tiny glass. My confusion grew as her face turned red and her laughter increased. At times, I noticed, she’d laugh at things that weren’t funny.
Aunt Dot and the grass stains
The search party ended not long after it began when my grandmother calmly called out – ‘Oh, here she is!’
With the help of her husbands, my vodka smelling great-aunt was pulled up a grassy hill that she had earlier rolled down.
Uninjured but a tad sleepy and a tad green from the grass stains she was gently placed in the back of my grandfather’s truck on top of an old mattress.
As for me?
Needless to say, I never saw my beautiful cousin again. I wonder if she thinks of me.
Happy Friday Everyone!!!