(Another subject for the writing class: Which Sibling was Your Mother Most Like?)
My mother had two sisters and a brother. They were all older; my mother was the baby of the family. I had not thought about that much until just now…. maybe that is why she connected with my sister and wouldn’t believe that my sister started most of the arguments and trouble between us. Mom’s brother Edward was the oldest sibling. He owned and worked the family farm. He had one daughter Velma and two sons Jimmy and Kent.
Both of my aunts and my mother were good cooks, something they learned from their mother. The middle girl, Aunt Goldie cooked at restaurants in Medicine Lodge. There were two main restaurants during the time she was cooking. She had quite a large following of customers that would follow her from one restaurant to the other when she got mad and quit and moved to the other one.
I was never around Aunt Goldie that much even when I was staying with my Grandparents during the summer because she was always working at one of the restaurants. She had three kids, Larry, Doug and Kay, but they were all older than I was. I don’t remember ever getting to stay with her or playing with these cousins.
Aunt Ruby the oldest sister was more like my mother in temperament and they always got along really well. Aunt Ruby was a gentle soul and was married to Archie. Archie was the tease of the family until my dad married my mother and then it was a toss up as to who was the baddest of the bunch.
When we went to Sun City to decorate graves we always went to Uncle Archie and Aunt Ruby’s farm for a glass of tea and some burnt sugar cake. That was the best cake and I loved it. She gave me the recipe but I only tried it one time.
The reason I only tried it once was because of the burnt sugar. Yep, you really burn the sugar in a pan before you mixed it into the rest of the cake batter. The house smelled like burnt sugar for days. I am not sure why the cake doesn’t taste burnt but it doesn’t; the sugar just gives it a unique flavor.
So now all I can do is remember and long for the taste of a good burnt sugar cake because I will never make one again. Most cooks don’t make them because of the smell of the sugar.
Aunt Ruby raised four very active and rough and ready boys, Marion Lee or Toby as we all called him, Claude, Ronnie and the youngest was Terry who was a year older than me. The three oldest were enough older that I didn’t know them that well. They were always helping their dad on the farm.
I remember how my Aunt Ruby dressed; it was always in a dress and always neutral colors. I think Uncle Archie didn’t want her in bright clothes and so she was always dressed in neutrals. She usually wore navy or brown or tan. She made all her clothes, just like my grandmother, and was a very good seamstress. So was my mother, they both learned the art of sewing from their mother.
We were at Aunt Ruby’s house one day, we were in town to decorate graves for Memorial Day, and I walked through the screened in porch and got a surprise. Hanging all over the back porch were her slips, and nightgowns and other unmentionables. Aunt Ruby may not have worn very colorful or feminine dresses and she never wore slacks, but her lingerie made up for it. It was all soft, silky, lacy and very feminine colors.
I mentioned how pretty they were in the colors with the lace and she told me she had sewn them herself. That really impressed me that she could make her own silky lingerie. I guess that was how she made up for not being allowed to wear the feminine colors and dresses.
My mom and Aunt Ruby were the most alike of the siblings. Their personalities were the same and both married the orneriest guys around and both had 4 kids, (my mom only had 2 girls and adopted 2 boys). Both women were very laid back but I bet aunt Ruby, like my mother, had her mother’s Irish temper when she really got mad.
I think I am a lot like my mother and mom’s sister Ruby. But I never learned to sew as well, and it was not an enjoyable past time for me. I am still and will always be my father’s daughter in most ways. To contact Sandy: [email protected]