Today I want to talk about my two Peacock Aunts. Aunt Elma lived right down from Daddy's place and we visited her home a lot when we were children.
My first memory of staying with her was when I was about 5. Daddy and the rest of the kids were going to a Rodeo but I did not want to go. I was scared to death of it and I didn't even know what it was. I just know that it terrified me. I remember they dropped me off at Aunt Elma's and they talked a few minutes. I was playing out in the sand and then they all climbed into the truck and drove away.
In my young mind, I knew that they would be back but it felt like they never would. I can still see that ole black truck taking off and going down the road as I looked at it, til it was out of my line of view. I felt so alone in that moment and I was. I stayed outside in the dirt for hours waiting. I am sure that Aunt Elma fed me but the only thing I remember is waiting for them to come back for me and finally they did.
We visited her many times over the years and Donna ran many errands for her when she was alive. When I went home to visit in 2010 and 2011 for 6 months, we visited often and she told us stories and we sang for her. I will never forget her gathering us to her and praying for her two sweet Nieces. She loved us and appreciated that we loved her. She passed in 2012 and I was so thankful that I got to visit her. That was the first time I had been able to really spend some time with her for many years. I have letters that she wrote to me in California, telling me about the births and deaths in the family. She told Donna and I that she got married after only two weeks because when you know, you know and she sure did. My favorite memory of her was while looking at Photo albums, I would say " I can always pick you out, cause you were the pretty one" And she would just cackle with laughter. She was modest but she loved hearing someone call her pretty.
Aunt Thelma, my other Aunt was a character. Her hair was dyed as black as coal and she never let anyone see her with anything different than black. She stayed thin until she passed and she would always apologize for not having made anything special, if you happened to stop by unexpected. Meanwhile you were sitting down to Southern Fried Chicken, Biscuits and gravy, Green beans and corn from the garden along with sliced tomatoes, and an assortment of homemade jams or preserves with my favorite being fig or watermelon. When you were pushing yourself away from the table, and wishing you had on your stretch waist pants, she would bring out this amazing 7 layered yellow cake with chocolate drizzle frosting that was so sweet, it would hurt your teeth, even if you were wearing dentures. lol...Lord it was good.
It never failed when she saw me that she would hug me hard and rock me back and forth while saying, "Po, po Glorann, never could keep a man." This was a reference to my having been married more than once. lol. I guess some may have been offended by that, but I was warmed by her caring. I knew what was behind it. She loved me and that was enough for me.
I know that today's generation would not understand how you could just get in the car and go visit but people used to do that. Just be out for a drive and head on over to visit someone they hadn't seen in months or even years. When you arrived, you were welcomed in and you were fed.
That is the way life used to be, before cell phones and the internet.
People visited each other in person. The family would go out for Sunday drives, not going anywhere in particular but end up at the Cemetery or a relatives home. You would be invited into eat and often sit on the front porch swatting flies, after the meal. Or maybe chewing on a blade of grass or just having a glass of sweet tea. Days were just as long as they are now, but they seemed longer, because life was slower.
Children played outside, adults sat on the porch and rocked and they all watched the world go by. People waved at each other as they passed. You still see that sometimes but not as much as it used to be. Now it is more of a hand gesture. It is one or two fingers or maybe the hand raised off the steering wheel in a how do you do, or an little nod as you pass. It is still cordial, just different.
My Aunt Thelma passed in 2012 aged 102 yrs 8 mos. Aunt Elma passed 1 month and 29 days later at 90 yrs 2 mos. I hope that they are laughing, as they often did when they were together.
I wish that days were simpler like they seemed to be back then, or that people made time to visit or that we visited at all, but most of us don't. We are busy making money, so that we can have a home and food on the table and things. I think we want more these days than we used to. I know that I do. Whether that is some unmet need or inborn desire to be surrounded by beautiful things, I can't say, but I know that it takes more to make people happy now.
I am thankful for the way of life, that I was privy to growing up. Slower, honest, and simpler.