The Disconnects

Subtitled: The Prelude to How My Alleged Panties Flashing Helped to Heal The Disconnects

Me, see "The Picture Story" at end of blog

"We hold these truths to be self-evident...." ~  The "Preamble" the the United States Declaration of Independence.  As a little girl, "truth and truths" were not always self-evident. The only thing self-evident were the consequences if you did not tell the truth (or were thought not to be telling the truth) and sometimes the consequences when you did tell the truth. 

TWO TRUTHS ~  The two truths that became evident about me and my life that have stood the test of time are

1.  "Smart as a whip, dumb as a rock all at the same time." (I tweeted this to a friend the other week.)

2.  "Catalyst" as in no matter who or what, anytime I was around, things were bound to happen.

BusyAuntie E2 was a complete busy body and I mean that in the kindest, most loving way. She got me off to school every morning, spent her first two hours cleaning house (she kept an immaculate, spotless home), doing dinner preparation, packing Uncle Earl 2's lunch for work. She always had an individual dinner serving fixed and waiting for Uncle Earl 2 before he left for work. We didn't have microwaves (they weren't invented yet), often he might have to warm it up in the oven.

After housekeeping/kitchen chores Auntie E2 would then 'fix herself up' (she always looked great) and spend the rest of the day in and out of the home. She did make efforts to be home by the time Uncle Earl 2 left for work. That always did not work out. They each had their own cars. (I considered that to be well off, i.e. affluent.) 

Auntie E2 had Flower and Garden Club, she was a member of the Book Of The Month Club (mail order), so she had established monthly book club meetings, she had weekly Methodist Church activities, she and I did one total movie theatre cleaning and prep each week together when I got out of school, I would go straight to the movie theatre. She was organized. She kept a change of clothes there for me to clean in. She always blessed my heart for being there when she had to change the movie posters. I can't exactly remember what, (something to do with them movie posters??) ~ I think it was to change the posters out required entering some quite tight inside enclosed spaces to get into the back of the outside displays and the glass? It was the way the theatre was built. Being in tight enclosed spaces really bothered her.

I really don't recall if she was involved in the card club (Bridge or whatever it was). It seemed like there was always tea/coffee socials happening. She made either cakes, cookies, candy or punch for many of those.

She was a remarkable and premiere clothing seamstress. She could make her own patterns. She could also make curtains, drapes, pillows. She loved decorating. She was both an inside house painter and she like to try her hand at artistic painting. She loved doing crafts works, the type of crafts that  incorporated those skills.  It depended upon the project, the end product either blended or stood out, always looking good. Auntie E2 had a good eye and a strong sense of  'taste'.

She knew how to repair, paint, decorate and make old furniture look wonderful and functional once again. Specifically, the word 'redemption' was important to Auntie E2, she used it regularly with regards to furniture and objects she fixed up. 'Redemption' counted in tailoring a good garment fit. It especially counted in the re-make of an entirely new garment from used clothing.  Today, I 'know' she transferred that attitude of redemption toward people (including me) ~  we had value, were valued, had purpose and meant something.

She had at least two scheduled shopping trips per month (all day excursions) 50 miles North to the largest city. Auntie E2 knew how to cut hair for anyone. She knew how to give home perms. Add to that the most mundane of chores, washing, drying and IRONING clothes every week. That alone was a huge task.

Auntie E2 had a grasp or command of the English language. When she spoke, her words flowed. She had a lovely spoken voice and I couldn't help but pay attention to her. Her voice contained the authentic grace and charming allure of her very Southern upbringing.  The absolute worst thing I could possibly find to say about Auntie E2 is if she was suddenly startled to laughter, she sometimes 'cackled'. Even that was incredibly charming and I feel I can almost feel her right now with a loving, laughing 'cackle' from heaven.

Through my little girl eyes and now my later in life eyes, Auntie E2 was a phenomenon.

After dinner in the evening, sometimes Auntie E2 would set the alarm clock to take a one hour nap. I was usually doing my homework if I had any. If no homework, I had her approval to help myself to her novels, books of short stories and magazines.  I would then watch some television or watch Auntie E2 sew or do one of her craft projects. Sometimes she would already have 'set-up' a craft project for me to do with her. 

L to R Mama, Daddy, Auntie E2, their first child, Uncle Earl 2 ~ 12+ years before I was ever born (was the only pic I could find of Auntie E2 and Uncle Earl 2 together)

The "Ghosts" ~  My first cousin (their daughter) was a Senior in High School. She was rarely around. She came and went as she pleased. She had friends and school activities, something going all the time. She was probably every bit as busy as Auntie E2.  Those few times I do remember her being around up unto this point, she made me feel very uncomfortable. She sideways glanced at me. Her tone of voice when she did speak to me was what I later came to know as being 'acerbic'.  "Sarcasm" is very popular today. I'm very positive back in that day...she had the market cornered on it.  I did hear her daddy (Uncle Earl 2) say to her a couple of times she was out pretty late and to work on 'reigning that in'.  I had a tiny relief in that although she didn't talk back badly to him, she gave him that sideways glance too. She was kind of a 'ghost' that came and went to me. 

Uncle Earl 2 due to his schedule did spend a lot of time in his own bedroom. Part of that were the hours he worked and the need to sleep during the daytime. Uncle Earl 2 was not a 'ghost' to me because my after school schedule meshed up several times during the week to be home while he was preparing to leave for work. He was gracious about a little talk, sandwich and milk at the kitchen table. He and Auntie E2 and myself usually had family dinners together on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays before we all went together to do the theatre duties. Of course, I stayed home one of those night until Perry Mason was over and then scrambled to the theatre and first checked in with Uncle Earl 2 in the projection booth.

Essentially, Uncle Earl 2 was dying of lung cancer. I didn't know this. He knew this. His family knew this. With all these individual family members "passing each other by" schedules, something wasn't right with this family, now my family.

I didn't sense 'coldness' or 'indifference' exactly.  I was little, I don't know then if I would have had the language word to sense what I was sensing even though I was pretty dang smart about many language words (you'll see that from my next blog).  In this my telling, I have chosen the word "disconnects" ~ yes, there was love, but there was some type of  'disconnects' going on too.

Disconnects ~ all about to change...Some small shifts in scheduling changes... shifts toward stronger connections.  I'm claiming some of the good credit because if I hadn't been accused of  'panties flashing' at school (very bad), I don't see how that could have happened.  I'll be telling you how that all came about and what happened my next blog post.

The Picture Story ~ My picture at the top of the blog:  The day this picture was taken I was 'worn out' and doing my very best not to let it show and disappoint Auntie E2.  Auntie E2  permed, cut, and styled my hair that day. My dress is brand new, she made it for me. She wanted to take celebration pictures just to remember the day. Like I said I was 'worn out' as in dazed, nauseous from the perm chemicals, overwhelmed with all that intense attention and focus on only me, not to mention having to sit still for most of an entire day!

I'm so happy I cooperated. It's now a very cherished picture and absolute proof of love. Let me tell you, when people don't love you, they don't 'do for you'.... like Auntie E2 did this day and her and Uncle Earl 2 did stepping up to help raise me as best they could.

Other family stories with Auntie E2 and Uncle Earl 2

 Remembering Them and Then


Alleged Panties Flashing

You can find me @grammakaye on twitter. Comments are always welcome.

Edited update: May 18, 2013


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