Cousin Valerie and I are going to be featuring a few different things on the blog. Val and I will still be writing about our daily lives, both factual and fictional, plus I am going to be continuing on with the story about Aunt Marti and her niece, DeeDee.
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Tea for Two
Aunt Marti had made a delicious breakfast of fried cornmeal mush and bacon. She looked the same as she had twenty years before, which was the last time I saw her. I had come to Pleasant Run hoping to spend time with her before she completely succumbed to the stroke she had suffered. According to my cousin, Tara, Aunt Marti was not expected to recover. The stroke had left her weak and confused, which, considering she was 99 years old, was easily understood.
While I was enjoying my breakfast with Aunt Marti, I answered her house phone, and it was Tara. You can imagine my confusion when Tara told me Aunt Marti had gone home in the night. She had not meant to her house. She had gone to her home in heaven.
Tara was still on the phone waiting for me to respond to the news. “Sorry, Tara I said. “I had a dream about Aunt Marti and it was so real. It was like I got to see her one last time after all. I’m really sorry she is no longer with us, but I must say, in a way, I think she’s still here in her home just waiting to spoil us.”
“That sounds like a great dream, Dee. I also wanted to let you know that our cousin, Drew, is coming in from Montana today. My husband, Tom, will pick him up at the airport. Grayson, and Tonja, who, as you know, are the other 2 cousins who still live here in town, will all join Drew, you, and me at Aunt Marti’s house this afternoon around 3:00 pm. So, you have the morning off. Rest up.
“That all sounds good, Tara. Will Drew be staying here at Aunt Marti’s house?” I asked. There is certainly enough room here.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll shoot him a text and ask him if he’d like to stay there or at the hotel. You know how men are. He might feel more comfortable in a hotel. I don’t know Drew that well, so we’ll wait and see what he says.”
Now that a plan for the day was taking shape, I decided to grab a shower and then explore the house. Even though I hadn’t eaten breakfast at all, because it was a part of a dream, I wasn’t hungry. I did, however, brew a cup of coffee to take upstairs with me.
The first room in the old house that I found myself exploring was the library. Aunt Marti had been quite the reader. The shelves were filled with everything from children’s books to mysteries. Maybe that’s who I inherited my love of reading from. I had started to peruse the children’s section of books to see if I could find any of my old favorites when I heard someone say, “Gulliver’s Travels.”
I swung around to see Aunt Marti standing there. She was holding a tray with a tea service on it and some delicious looking muffins. She was dressed in a peach colored shirtdress and wore an apron. I couldn’t remember Aunt Marti without her apron, except when she hastily tore it off before we all sat down to a meal.
“The few times you visited when you were small, you wanted me to read Gulliver’s Travels to you. It’s there in alphabetical order by the author’s name. You hardly ate a bite of breakfast this morning,” she said. “I thought you might be ready for some tea and my special cranberry-orange muffins. Don’t look so shocked, dear. You are not losing your mind. I wanted to spend a little time with you. My other sisters and I were close, and I saw their children often, but your mother and I were so far apart in age, with her being the youngest and me the oldest. Well, we never spent much time together. Ten years is quite an age difference. Anyway, I’m here in spirit, as they say. You are the only one I’m here to see, and our time together will take its own course.”
I didn’t pretend to understand all of what Aunt Marti was saying, but I did not question whatever phenomenon was occurring. I wanted to spend time with my aunt. I knew she and my mother hadn’t been particularly close. Mother had very seldom spoken about her oldest sister. I had only recently become curious about the whole family dynamics myself. Mom had died two years earlier, and with her death, my whole worldview had begun to change.
“Aunt Marti, I’m not going to question why or how you are here. I’m just happy to be spending some time with you. Is the ten year age difference, the only reason you and my mother weren’t close? I’ve recently become curious about that.
Thank you for continuing this adventure!
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Cranberry orange muffins. Yummy. I love the library and bookshelves.
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Hope you’re enjoying the story, Scoper.
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Absolutely. You always say things in your story much better than I would. I read something and think “I wish I would try saying it like that.”