One great thing about getting together with family is the random family stories that get told (and retold, and sometimes expanded). With my cousin Elizabeth in town we spent a good bit of time telling stories - especially about my Aunt Bunny. Wow - took me a full minute of thinking to recall what her real name was - I'm 99% sure it was Barbara. But to us, she was always Bunny.
There never was a cooler aunt. I try to be as cool to my nephews and niece...but I'm no Bunny. She could cook and sew and tell stories and work on Volkswagons. She was a rural mail carrier who told me the sometimes she ran the mail with one foot hanging out the window when the weather was nice. She had crazy curly hair and one time when a cat gave birth to a stillborn kitten...she gave it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Buttons was our family cat for about 15 years.
One time I traveled with my sisters Karen and Denise on a bus to visit Bunny and her family. It was only to Staunton (about an hour and a half by car) but it seemed like a huge adventure. Denise and I went to the bathroom on the bus and the door got stuck. Though we knocked and knocked, nobody answered. Finally the bus driver pulled over and got us free. Karen claims she didn't hear us...I don't know what to believe. I don't think I ever went to the bathroom on a bus again.
Once we arrived I'm sure that we had a grand time...but the only thing I remember about that trip at all was getting stuck in the bathroom. Memories are funny like that.
Another time, when I was older, I went to visit again. No bus this time - I think that the whole family went over to visit and Aunt Bunny invited me to stay for the week. The only problem was that I got terribly homesick. Homesickness ran in our family. I'm past it now - I can't wait to leave these people for days or weeks on end! But this time everything was so strange and I missed home. I think I cried quite a bit. I recall going into town to a fabric store and Bunny helped me pick out some material and a pattern for us to make a dress together. But I still missed my family.
My not-so-sensitive grandmother came up to the room where I was crying on the bed and basically told me to stop it - that I was upsetting my aunt. Oh - sure - just stop being sad...why didn't I think of that? Crazy old bat.
But my knight in shining armor, my Grandaddy Kenny came over that evening and said he was thinking about driving over to help my Dad with a project tomorrow - would I like to ride along home with him? The clouds parted and the sun shone again. And I could never thank him enough.
I asked Bunny years later if she remembered the visit - and if she had been upset at my being homesick. She said she did sort of remember me staying over for a couple of nights and then heading home. But she said she would never ever have been mad at me for being homesick. She had three boys and hadn't dealt with that - but all she remembered was going to get the fabric for a dress and how pretty I looked in it.
You can have your Auntie Mame. The best aunt ever was my Aunt Bunny. We lost her too soon to cancer - but she is never far away. She is always in my heart.