Let me make this crystal clear: I love all of my aunts. I really do. They are all special one-of-a-kind aunts. But there are two aunts, one from my dad’s side of the family and one from my mom’s side, that are so dear to my heart, that I can barely write this post without tears in my eyes. They were both single while I was growing up, so they focused all their love and attention on their nieces and nephews. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂
There are so many memories flooding my mind, that I only hope I can give this post the justice it so deserves.
Let’s grab a cup of coffee and talk about Aunt Jane, shall we? Oh, but I never called her aunt, just Jane. This was not done out of disrespect, mind you. It was done because she just looked and acted far too young to be anyone’s aunt. She will remain forever 27 in my mind!
Jane is the youngest of my dad’s brothers and sisters. As a matter of fact, she is only about 10 years older than me. While I was growing up, she lived in Atlanta and would spend part of her vacations with us every summer (gardening and fishing) and she spent every Christmas with us. And she gave off-the-chain Christmas gifts.
As a teen, I always received the big Estee Lauder (it was a lot bigger back then) special addition Christmas makeup set, along with lots and lots of other goodies, from my aunt Jane. Ahhh, I was in makeup heaven!
During the dog days of summer, my sister and I would spend a week or two in Atlanta with Jane. And she would spoil us rotten. My first preteen taste of Chinese food was with Aunt Jane. And she didn’t take us to a strip mall, either. I remember sitting in a fancy restaurant with pristine white tablecloths and the dressed-to-the-nines waiter lifting the shiny silver domes from each tray as the wonderful aroma wafted up and assailed (in a good way) my nostrils. And if I remember correctly, my sister wasn’t as fond of this new-to-us cuisine as I was and we had to stop by a fast food place on the way home. I could be completely wrong but that is the memory I have. 🙂
We would go shopping, catch a movie or concert, visit Underground Atlanta (first strawberry daiquiri; virgin, of course?), try new and different restaurants, play cutthroat bridge and just plain have fun! She didn’t treat us like children that needed to be scolded and shushed. Instead, she treated us like princesses that deserved to be pampered, petted and introduced to a whole new world! And not only did she spoil us, but she was always kind, considerate and attentive.
In turn, we thought Jane was cool, hip, chic, mod and sophisticated! And we thought Atlanta was the greatest place on earth. I kinda, sorta, maybe, still think that! You can take a girl out of Georgia, but you can never take Georgia out of the girl!
Alas, I grew up, got married, had kids, moved far away, came back to my southern roots (a short day’s drive away from home). And every time I hear a song by Patsy Cline, stroll by the Estee Lauder counter or eat a steamed dumpling, I think of Jane, who is still the ultimate aunt! I love you, girl! Let’s do lunch!