My Aunt Alma was my favorite aunt. Although, my mom had 10 sisters and 1 brother, my Aunt Alma was the only relation on my mom’s side of the family that lived close to us when I was growing up. She had many wonderful qualities, and when I look at my life, I can see her fingerprint in so many beautiful ways.
She was the only woman I knew that drank beer. When I was little, I asked my dad why he drank beer and he told me it put hair on your chest. As a little girl, I desperately wanted a hairy chest, so you can imagine my admiration for my Aunt Alma and the hope it held for me in the future. I lost my desire for a hairy chest and never acquire a taste for beer, so no harm done.
My aunt worked for many years at a store that sold office and party supplies. She had several books with actual samples of the party supplies (napkins, picks, place cards, invitations). I LOVED looking through those books with all their color-coordinated paper beauty. I was blessed with a stay-at-home mom, so my “professional” aunt fascinated me. I still love office supplies.
My Aunt Alma was a reader and her favorite book was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. She also loved old movies and Hollywood glamour.
She was more than a little responsible for my love of collecting and my appreciation of beautiful things. Going to her home was like going to a magical place. She collected EVERYTHING. When I was young, her home was beautifully appointed and her collections were nicely displayed. She had collections of tiny ceramic animals; she had a curio cabinet set-up with “rooms” filled with dollhouse furniture; she had a collection of beautiful dolls, old and new. She helped me appreciate the beauty of small details and the history and stories behind objects.
My aunt lived in a house with a creek in her backyard. How cool is that.
She had a little chihuahua named Trixie. A cute little dog, with a cute little name; what little girl wouldn’t love that.
She passed away many years ago, but I’m forever grateful, in ways big and small, for the care, time and love she gave to me.
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.