Speaking of great aunts, and I was post or two ago, I had a great Aunt Eva when I was growing up. She was my dad’s aunt. She lived with my dad’s sister, Aunt Helen Rita. I was pretty young and I don’t remember the family dynamic that caused her to live with Aunt Helen Rita, I just know she did. She took sugar pills for her diabetic condition and later in life Aunt Helen Rita gave her insulin shots.
I loved her tremendously. She would come and visit for a few weeks in the summer. On occasion she would call a yellow cab and take me with her downtown to Scott’s 5 & 10. It was a great store, very large to little old me and we would shop for a time and then she would have the manager of the store call for a cab and he’d get a chair so she could sit by the side door to wait for the taxi to pick us up for the return trip. I remember her getting testy with a cab driver because he was charging full fair for both of us to go the 3 mile trip to downtown Akron. She argued that I was only a little girl and she should not have to pay more than 50¢ to get us both there. I don’t know who won, I just remember the exchange. She was such a gentle lady it surprises me she had such a strong personality.
She would tickle me half to death when it was bed time and I would giggle myself to sleep and wake up to another glorious day with her. Those were the best times.
She was a widow and had no children, but living with my Aunt Helen Rita meant she also lived with my cousin, Elaine. Elaine was a few years younger than me and I was so jealous of her having Aunt Eva to herself all the rest of the year. I stayed for one overnight visit there, but I must have had severe separation anxiety at that young age because I remember mom coming to get me in the middle of the night because I could not stop crying I was so homesick. I don’t remember ever spending another night there.
All my female relatives did hand work of various kinds and Aunt Eva made the most wonderful pillow covers on gingham fabric.
She used embroidery floss and made spider web designs over sections of squares.
I don’t know what the technique is called and I have never seen it in a book. I’m sure I gushed over them enough as a little girl to actually get one as a gift. I still have it in my cedar chest which is full of linens female relatives of mine made during a time when women would make special gifts for a young girl’s hope chest.
I did learn how to be a great aunt from the best.