We’ve arrived at the final day of July 2021 and the last Saturday of the month, so it’s time to look at this week’s SNGF challenge from Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings.
1) Most people have aunts and uncles in their life, the siblings of their parents, and in some cases, great-aunts or uncles, the siblings of their grandparents. Who are/were our favorite aunts and/or uncles?
My family is very small, as my father was an only child. My mother, the middle child, had one older sister, Barbara, and one younger, Carole.
I adored both of my aunts, but I’ll write about Aunt Barbara this week because she was the first born, she also passed away first and, as she never married or had children, she has no descendants.
I was the only grandchild in the family for five years – and the only girl for seven years – so I was the recipient of many pretty dresses and a few toys that Aunt Barbara bought me. The one thing I remember most is that the dresses were always a bit too big for me, so there was room for me to grow into them.
Aunt Barbara was the person who took the time to play with me and entertain me when I was a toddler. We had a lot of fun together, as she took me on walks around the neighborhood when I visited my grandparents in Massachusetts. She also took me on fun walks every summer through the woods when we stayed at the camp on Little Sebago Lake.
She’s also the one who taught me how to pick blueberries at the camp. She started training me young – I have a couple of photos taken when I was only about 3 years old, bending down to pick the berries that would go in Grandmother’s homemade blueberry pies.
When I was five, I took my first train trip from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Aunt Barbara came to pick me up and we rode together back to Massachusetts. Mom was getting ready to give birth to my brother and my grandparents and parents thought spending time with them (it was summer) would give my parents a short break when they brought the new family member home from the hospital.
Aunt Barbara was also the one who would take me out in the rowboat and swim with me when none of the other adults wanted to sit on the dock to watch me.
As I got older, Aunt Barbara would tell me family stories, which I appreciate today and wish I had paid more attention to at the time.
Aunt Barbara LOVED to take pictures. That is something else I never appreciated much growing up because I was often the subject of the photo.
However, thanks to her, I am the proud caretaker of hundreds of family photos taken from the 1940s to 1960s.
Last, but not least, Aunt Barbara was a very talented needlepoint worker. I have several beautiful pieces that she sewed for me when I was a young adult.
When I took them to be framed, the lady who owned the store examined them and said they were beautifully done.
I spent hundreds of hours growing up having fun with Aunt Barbara. She was a very loving person and I miss her. It’s hard to believe that she’s been gone for almost 25 years. The centennial of her birth – 3 August 1921 – is on Tuesday.
Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.