When Aunt Mabel talked, she had the sweetest southern drawl, like she was from southern Oklahoma or something, but she wasn’t, she was a Swedish, Iowa farm girl permanently from Pilot Mound, Iowa, who loved and married my sweet and gentle Uncle Cliff. The main difference between them was that folks in my Uncle Cliff’s family showed their love with teasing and practical jokes. I was introduced to it at the tender age of 5 when I went to Aunt Thelma and Uncle Ralph’s farm for a week visit.
My older cousin, Billy had posted insults like “Bumble Bee is Stupid” al I over the house.
It was a very small town (population never got over 200) and folks knew each other.
There can be a lot of comfort in knowing your senior family members are surrounded by caring folks who will help to look out for them.
I had been raised, most emphatically, that I would be a virgin till after marriage.
All indicators were that every woman related to me throughout history had done this and I was not to be the one to break with tradition.
Chuck picked his Mom up and took her to the town’s grocery store.
Chuck, with the drawl he inherited from his mother, told me the following story, much better than I can, but here goes.
I’ve always had trouble conveying to outsiders the special flavor of this family humor, kind of a gotta-be-there thing.
But I miss it terribly and only can find it now with my brother and the Christmas letter I cherish every year from Aunt Mabel’s son, Cousin Chuck.
While he was doing his own span of the store, an unfamiliar woman distracted him.
She was young and just seemed dirty and disheveled – greasy hair, dirt smudges on her face, greasy, dirty clothes, baggy sweatshirt.