These particular doughnuts are a rare treat because Knakal's Bakery doesn't make lemon ones on Saturdays - and that is usually when Mom and Dad are in Culpeper. But they decided to visit Aunt Gladys during the week this time - so I got a text earlier: Lemon donut awaits. And even though it was rainy outside - a little sunshine warmed my heart.
Aunt Gladys...don't tell anybody else, but she's my favorite.
Always has been. She was the kooky aunt that I think I am becoming for my nephews and niece. She married a man who was quite a bit older than she was. I think by about 25 years. He passed when I was really young, and they didn't have any kids...so she was this incredibly independent woman. She ran a print shop in Culpeper, long before the advent of the Xerox. I watched her set type and loved the smell of the ink and the presses. Sometimes she would let me make scratch pads. You'd stack up scrap paper and use this HUGE guillotine to make smooth edges - then you'd paint one edge with bright red wax. I thought that was awesome.
The print shop was in the basement of their house in downtown Culpeper - across the street from what I think is actually an Episcopalian or Lutheran church. When I was growing up I believed it was some sort of convent or monastery. All the stone and wrought iron I think... And their house was fantastic. It had long staircases in the front and back near the kitchen. And Gladys let us slide down the banisters. And she had a pool table upstairs! And though it may be a figment of my imagination (or a dream) - I think she had a little phone-booth-like closet that her phone was in. Hmm...that seems ridiculous even as I type it.
I DO remember that sometimes she would take us downtown to a building where there was a chair that rode up a flight of stairs. And she would let us each ride. It was awesome.
She was the aunt who would try things - she jumped on the mini-trampoline, she twirled my sister's baton, she laughed out loud!! And when I was in junior high or high school - she spent a year in the Philippines in the Peace Corps. I need to get her to tell me some more stories about those years.
I hope everyone has an Aunt Gladys.
I think we need more wacky Aunts.