Everyone’s got a cool aunt. Despite the two years between them, my mother and her sister Lillian were miles apart in personality. We often joked about how we wouldn’t want her as our nurse if we were ever in hospital, because for all her crazy ways, Lil was a tough nut to crack. Her bedside manner was legendary in that she didn’t have one. You just got on with it, whatever that happened to be.
And that’s why, when given the opportunity to live next door to her, pinching myself off the bed was second nature, given the circumstance. Our house became available around the time my mum passed away. It seemed the next right thing to do. Little did we know what Lil had in store or where the gods would lead?
Before the ink was dry, she had special delivered a steaming tray of date squares to my sister and I, straight across the driveway into our open mouths. The wave hello at the kitchen sink ritual each and every day after work goes down in the annals of history.
A routine was formed with the lawn chairs set up at the driveway’s highest point for early spring days, as the sun hit its highest point so you could actually feel its warmth.
If you had to ask, it started then; the hospitality crew of secret handshakes, fiddle music and good cooking. But none of this would have been set in print if aunt Lil hadn’t moved on to greener pastures and left us here to wonder what it was all about.
And I wanted to remember it all, and encapsulate the moments of memory before it was lost so I posted all the things Lil taught me while we lived ‘side by side’. Sitting in the garden wearing her good shoes and favorite orange sweatshirt, I listed off the wonderful nuances and character references to the coolest aunt that ever worked 2nd North.
As time went on, I’d remember something else and edit the post. Fresh raspberries would come on at Basics and I’d think of what she’d said. There wasn’t a time when her back door closed behind me to whatever promise I’d made for tomorrow’s sunrise when a quick….”Well, you’d better!” response, answered back. I learned so much from that woman.
The Original Social Media Post
1-Life begins after 40
2-If you bake it, they will eat it
3-A good laugh heals a lot of bad
4-What you think, is as important as what you eat
5-Fiddle music calms the nerves
6-Never garden in your good shoes
7-When you’re feeling down, do something nice for someone
8-Wear your favorite color at least once a week
9-You can never have enough flour
10-Fresh over frozen, any day
11-You’re worth the extra pennies–get the raspberries out of season-and buy 2 while you’re at it
12-Budget ahead-but live now
13-Baths are overrated
14-Pets keep us young
15-Sarcasm keeps people on their toes
16-A quality iron, makes for a good afternoon
17-Red Rose in a China cup-all the way
18-Good quality furniture – refinished, lasts a lifetime
19-Good friends become family, if you talk long enough
20-Chili sauce & icicle pickles in a kitchen, brings a smile to everyone’s face
21-(Said about losing her sense of smell). You can’t smell the good, but thank goodness you don’t smell the bad!
22-A good hairdresser is a friend for life
23-Insert gossip x here
24-The road to a happy heart, is a stroll through Bill’s garden
25-Smile, it’s good for you
26-There’s always room for one more at the table
27-It’s as easy to make a jelly roll as anything else
28-Have you got time for a cup of tea?
30-I’m taking a run to Basics, you want to come?
32-I just love my old car
33-You can do anything you set your mind to
35-I’ve got to let you go, Sing-a-Long comes on at 10
37-A hot lemon drink in the morning does miracles for your liver
38-Nothing like a half glass of beer on a hot day
39-Being a friendly neighbor cures loneliness
40-It pays to have young friends
Story for Writers – 760 words – Copyright © April 2021
I would love to get feedback from my stories. Please email me at [email protected]