Friday, March 04, 2016

A time for every matter under heaven

We all have families we are born into, and some of us are lucky enough to have families that have embraced us and welcomed us into their hearts and their lives.

Tonight the second half of my family is one less. 

Aunt Heather, the one who warned me "Whatever you do, don't tell Don you're a treeplanter"

And welcomed me to the family with "Would you like something to drink? The glasses are over there and you know where the fridge is.  You made your first mistake when you called me Aunt Heather, family serve themselves around here."

And I couldn't have been happier with that, I would much rather blend in and help out where I can than be waited on and be part of the stress of having company over.

I will forever hold her in the highest regard for her ability and aptitude in organizing a kitchen and quickly whipping up meals for any size party. I once witnessed her out-laws show up unannounced 10 minutes to noon in full force. By the time they had pulled around the corner, she was upstairs running through a shower and had me boiling eggs and chopping celery... within 15 minutes we had egg salad sandwiches, some kind of chicken and other odds and ends of just-in-case food laid out in what looked like a well planned lunch. I am still in awe of that to this day, even more so after having planned parties with less people, made shopping lists specifically for the event and still wound up with items missing.

She always had room for one or two more at the table, and we would plan our road trips to coincide with meals at her house. Even on her "bad days" her cooking was something to aspire to, one of my favorites on a particularly bad day was "Mount Vesuvius cake".

My favorite meal never to be duplicated involved putting dinner on, asking Uncle Daddy Herb to stir, driving a friend home, getting the car stuck after singing the praises of just how easy it was to get my chains on, then backing out of a really long driveway in about a foot of snow with said chains on, only to return home and find that the hockey game had gone into overtime and the chicken having not been stirred at all had perfectly caramelized.

She was a force to be reckoned with, a fountain of candid advice, and brutally honest. But she had a heart big enough to match the best breasts to cry on, and an enveloping hug that could close out the world and make everything okay.

I sure could use a hug from her today.

I'm sure going to miss her.