Love One Another
Part One - Aunt Tipsy's Arrival
by Mama (Amy K.) Coover
[Mom, Lydia, and I were sitting in the van, in the parking space of a car lot, waiting for Dad to finish warding off the salesman. :-) We wanted something to do, so Mom told us a story. She has decided to put her lovely story in my newsletter. So enjoy it.]
Luke and Loretta could hardly contain their excitement. Both Luke, who was 8, and his older sister, Loretta, who had just turned 10, had waited for this day for months. Today was the day that their beloved Aunt Tipsy was coming to live with them right in their home. Luke and Loretta's Mother and Father had been planning to have Mother's sister, Aunt Tipsy, come to live with their family ever since the sad and unfortunate death of Aunt Tipsy's beloved husband, Uncle Harold.
When Uncle Harold had been alive, going to visit their Aunt and Uncle's house had always been such a joyous occasion, but now that Aunt Tipsy was alone, the old house seemed melancholy and poor Aunt Tipsy always seemed so deep in thought and far away when they would come to see her. So Mother and Father had talked to Aunt Tipsy for some time, letting her know that their family would be delighted to have her become part of their full-time live-in family. They told her, earnestly, how they needed her older spiritual wisdom....Aunt Tipsy was 17 years older than Luke and Loretta's mother. And they didn't have to tell Tipsy, because she already knew so well, that she needed them for comfort and company and much more. So, after much discussion and planning, the day had finally arrived when the Klondike family would drive to their Aunt's house and drive her back home with them to her new home.
"Loretta, I need you to settle down and set a proper example for your younger brother now, " exhorted Father, "I know how very much you have been looking forward to this day now for some time, but really, you must maintain a degree of self control over your joyous state. You know well how Luke looks to you and imitates your actions. We want this to be a positive experience for everyone. I'm afraid that if we show up at Aunt Tipsy's house with the two of you acting wildly, your poor Aunt may regret this move before she even makes it. You do understand, don't you?"
"Yes sir, " said Miss Loretta, "I'm sorry, Daddy, really I am, and I shall indeed try to do much better. I know that Luke follows in my shoes....being a big sister is such an awesome responsibility! But I do want Aunt Tipsy to be pleased with us, just as much as Luke and I know we will be pleased with her. Thankyou for the reminder, Daddy dear."
Daddy smiled at his little girl. With that, Loretta shot Luke a warning glance, and said, "Now Lukie, dear, we must stop acting so wildly immediately, before we become so wild that our behavior is irreversible. Hark, I hear Mother calling us now! The time has come to go get our dear Auntie!" She gave him another reminder look of warning and with that, they both filed properly, out of the house to get in the car.
The drive across town went by quickly and soon they arrived at their Aunt's house. Tipsy was in a happy mood, just as were the children. Indeed, they couldn't remember her so jolly since when Uncle Harold had still been alive. "Come, now, my sweet niece and nephew," directed their Aunt, "I need four strong arms to help me carry my things out to the car. Today is a new chapter in our lives, and I'm wild with excitement to see how it all turns out!!!" Loretta smiled. Perhaps Father should have had a talk with Aunt Tipsy to settle her down, too! :-) She knew, though that her Aunt was in total control of her joy, but the fact that her joy was so obvious delighted them all. Truly, this was going to be everything perfect that her and Luke had imagined now for so long.
Soon they were in the car, with Father and Mother in the front and Luke, Aunt Tipsy, and Loretta squeeeeeeezed in the back seat together. Never before had the children realized how much space their Aunt took up on a car seat. Thankfully, the trip home was a short one.
Before they had gone but a half of a mile though, Luke began to have watery eyes due to a very strong odor in the air. The strange smell was obvious to Loretta, too, but she said nothing. Being younger and not so tactful as the rest, young Luke suddenly burst out, "What in the world is that dreadful smell in here that's sure to burn my noseholes out? I can't stand it!!! Mother, Father, will you please put your windows down....fast?"
"Why, I'm sorry, Luke," offered their Aunt, "You must be smelling the Bengay cream I rubbed all over my sore muscles this morning. My dear, I am so used to the smell of it, I didn't even realize anyone else smelled it. Or no, perhaps what you smell is those nasal drops my doctor gave me for the terrible nasal infection I've been suffering from, unless perhaps it's still the odor of the nasal infection itself....Oh my dear, I am sorry, honey."
By this time, it was difficult to breath easily, but Loretta had given Luke one of those friendly familiar warning looks, so he had become much less vocal, and just said, "Oh that's alright, Auntie, I guess there are things in the world that smell worse....and besides, we will be home soon and you can get out and walk around the yard some and air out before we take you into the house." With that childhood openness, everyone had a good laugh, including Aunt Tipsy. But inside, both Luke and Loretta began to wonder, for the very first time, "Will this really be as perfect as we had thought?"
Soon they arrived, aired their Aunt out, and took her and her things into the house. Thankfully, in the larger open space of the house, the new "fragrance" became much less detectable, and all of the excitement soon made that subject fade into obscurity.
"You know what, Loretta?", beamed her Aunt, "Tonight I thought it would be nice if you and I made supper together....that is, if you will help us by gathering the greens, Luke?"
"Of course," chimed the children. So the rest of the afternoon the children and their Aunt enjoyed every second of their time together preparing the evening meal together. Finally, when the family was at last able to sit down together to a delicious meal of dear old Uncle Harold's favorite meal, "Candied Licorice-Spice Dandelion Greens", the fellowship was so sweet and the conversation so rich with stories of the past and good times that the families had shared through the years together.....it was so good and so right and so absolutely perfect, just as the children had known it would be.
"Forgive us, Father," both of the children prayed together that night, "for making such a big deal out of nothing today. We almost spoiled everything. What's a little smell, or being a bit crowded compared with the joy bestowed upon us by having our beloved Aunt living right here in our very home with us all the time. How did we ever get along without her......and we pray that she feels the same about us." And, indeed, she did, but tune in next issue as the Klondikes and Aunt Tipsy continue to get used to each other and make the needed adjustments. -to be continued