Mom and I visited her sister and brother-in-law, my aunt and uncle. As an aside, my mom’s partner of twenty-six years is my uncle’s brother – that’s two sisters with two brothers and a lot of history. I haven’t seen my aunt since we were in South Beach celebrating mom’s birthday. We keep promising to get together with my sister and her daughters (my cousins) but somehow time moves on and it doesn’t happen. My aunt’s taking the lead on this, our goal is a night out before Christmas.
The house smelled delicious when we arrived, my aunt was making us lunch. Garlic and olive oil wafted through the air, into my nose. Sausage was sauteing in chicken stock in a pan on the stove; when it was nearly done my aunt added broccoli.
“That smells so good,” I said, standing in front of the stove.
“That’s not for you, honey, it’s sausage,” my aunt told me. She opened the oven door to show me the eggplant parmesan she was cooking. “That’s for you,” no arguments from me.
We sat down to salad and the pasta dishes, my aunt moving from the table to the stove to the sink to the refrigerator. Uncle Lou and I asked her to sit down more than once, she said “in a minute” each time. Finally when the food was served, drinks poured, she joined us at the table. Everything was excellent, especially the company. Uncle Lou reminisced about the old days growing up in the North End of Bridgeport. We admired the young man and woman we saw in old photos, Uncle Lou with a full head of hair decked out in his football uniform, Auntie in a black swimsuit looking like a pin-up girl.
After lunch I took out my camera to take some photos. I moved mom and auntie around the room, took flowers from the counter, set them on the table. I waited while makeup was touched up and lipstick applied. A wreath of dried flowers hangs on the wall in the dining area, I didn’t notice it until I took a selfie with the three of us.
We all moved in close to see our picture in the camera’s screen. Auntie wrinkled her nose, asked “what’s on your head?” It’s one of those times you hear said ‘you had to be there;’ we got silly, started laughing uncontrollably. We were doubled over, trying to catch out breath, eyes watering, unable to stop laughing. This went on for a while, when we composed ourselves someone would say “what’s on your head?” and it’d start all over again. These are moments I’ll remember and savor.
When it was time to leave my aunt gifted me a Rubbermaid storage bin loaded with yarn and a canvas bag filled with books on knitting and crocheting. Thanks Auntie. Scarves and hats for everyone!