One of my favorite aunts is my aunt Jessie, who is a master entertainer. She and her belated husband, my Uncle Merle, did a lot of traveling during his military career as a colonel. When Kelly and I got married, Aunt Jessie and Uncle Merle gave us one of my most cherished wedding gifts, this lovely Oneida flatware, service for eight. The pattern is Michelangelo by Oneida and over the years, I have added more to the collection. This past Christmas, my thoughtful inlaws got me four more place settings, to my delight. I love to entertain and will be using 22 of my 24 place settings in two days as I host a baby shower that will be a sit-down dinner.
Here's my sweet Aunt Jessie, who is an extraordinary cook, with me while I was in California in February at another baby shower. My cousin Loretta put on a baby shower for her son, Cory's wife. I loved seeing everyone again.
Aunt Jessie is truly an inspiration to me, as she's in her 84th year, I believe. Because's she's hearing impaired and the party was very noisy, I couldn't communicate well with her while I was there. I called her a few days ago (to ask her about her grandmother) and she has this super powered telephone with the volume cranked up so much that it would likely deafen me, but she can hear fairly well that way.
She has a lot of interesting stories about our family and was telling me about how her grandmother (Grandpa Jackson's mom), who raised hens, gave her one as a present. She cared for the chick and kept it a long while and had it in the house and really enjoyed it. She told me how she used to go to school on horseback and they'd carry little feeding baskets around the horses' necks and at lunchtime, go outside to feed the horses. I asked her if she's written any of these things down and she said she hasn't but was encouraged by my asking her to. I would really enjoy it and am sure the huge bunch of the rest of our family would too.
In the meantime, I think of Aunt Jessie every time I reach into my china hutch, which is OFTEN, and pull out the Michelangelo to serve friends and family.