The last three years have dealt her health challenges. And now this. What does life hold for the this precious person? This person that gave so much of herself to me during my childhood. There were books, Little Golden Books, over 100 of them. One every time she stepped off the Greyhound bus bringing her home for the weekend. She bought me a tricycle. Purses, bonnets, laughter. Joy but most of all love. The last visit to our home in Missouri she brought me a Little Golden Book. It is in the shelf with what remains of the books she brought me 60 to 65 years ago. She loves my husband and enjoyed a Jeep outing on that last visit to Missouri.
I was six years old riding all the way to California in the back seat of Freckles. That was the name of the blue Chevy we travelled in that year. It had rusty spots that made it look like it had freckles. I had freckles almost the same color. The seats were sort of a scratchy, gray fiber. No air conditioning as we made our way across West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. It. Was. Hot. Windows down so long as it did not blow Momma's hair too much. Stops at the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert and Carlsbad Cavern broke up the long miles for a six year old.
Being a huge fan of Roy Rogers (my maiden name is Rogers) and Dale Evans I could hardly wait to get to California. We crossed the state line and every one in the car noted we were in California. I was sitting next to the left backseat window. I was near tears. Aunt Opal asked what was wrong. I told her Roy and Dale were not there to greet us. I was very disappointed. The car occupants erupted in laughter. I was six, what did I know.
From the front seat Momma and Daddy could hear nothing but gales of laughter from Aunt Opal. When amused, Aunt Opal would laugh till she was in tears gasping between the giggles. Finally she was able to regain enough self control to tell what had happened. One too many M & M comments had brought this recrimination from me, "I'll be glad when you are old and gray in a rocking chair! I'll knock you a winding!" That reaction has lived in infamy as part of my contribution to all the family lore. That and the Roy not being at the state line to greet me.
|Who needs child seats when you can just jump while eating.|
|Christmas 1972 at my home.|
|Christmas mid 1970's at Margaret's house.|
|Christmas mid 1980's, Arlene's home.|
|Christmas at Momma's in Allen.|
|Aunt Opal and grandchildren, Christmas late 1980's.|
|Aunt Opal with her daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.|
|2013 Christmas gathering. Santa, Mom, Aunt Opal and newest great grandson.|