It must have been one of those days yesterday, one of melancholy thoughts and one of memories. Last night was up late and I started thinking about my aunt again. I’ve a great many aunts as my parents both came from large families. This one is my mother’s older sister. She was always my favorite aunt and I can hear her voice as plain as day when I think of her.
We spent many summer vacations at her home located in a small town in Iowa, just big enough that there was a hospital and schools and such but small enough that you could walk most places. She had a big white house; I can still see it like it was yesterday. If I close my eyes I can smell the scents that were in that house. It had a sun porch, a big old fashioned kitchen and an upstairs where I would stay in my cousin’s room. There was a porch upstairs as well and my cousin Greg would stand there and lob water balloons at his sisters boyfriends. You could hear the trains at night in the summer and whenever I hear the train whistles blow, it takes me back to that house and my summers there.
My cousins were close to us when we were growing up. The daughter had long brown hair and brown eyes like my grandmother and I thought her quite beautiful. I wanted so to look like her, instead of having the blond curls that were a curse when I was a teenager. She had a horrible temper however, and she and her brother were bitter enemies most of their childhood. I suspect they still are. He still lives in that town with his family, but she moved across country first chance she got. When I was a child my grandmother lived with my aunt’s family though I never got to know her well. She always had a smile on her face but was very quiet. She lost a child before my mother was born and from what mom told me, never quite recovered from it.
I’ve been thinking of that house and of my aunt these past days. I don’t know what has triggered all of this, but I miss her terribly. I’m worried that something may have happened. We didn’t find out about my uncle until after his funeral. I don’t know how we all drifted away from one another, but I think it’s time I wrote a letter sharing my memories of those days.