Sunday, April 12, 2009
Meet the Aunties
On our way to California, we stopped in St. George to visit my paternal grandmother. Also in town visiting were two of her five daughters, Pug (left) and Linda (right). They both live in California but were in Utah to celebrate Grandma's 87th birthday so it was my good fortune to be able to visit with them as well.
Pug's given name is Rosemarie — "Rose" after her mother and "Marie" after Rose's good friend. But ever since I can remember she's been Pug, or even more so, "Puggy". When she was a girl her nose upturned in a pug and the name has stuck ever since. I remember as a child going to her house and swimming in the pool, picking apricots off her tree and watching Sesame Street with her kids, all of whom I adore still as my most favorite cousins. Pug will tell it like it is so if you don't really want to know, don't ask. But this is one of the things I love about her. Another is that she would go to the ends of the earth for the good of her children (she has six) and they all adore her. Common sense is what she has most of with some to spare. And if that weren't enough, when she sings she has one of the most melodic voices you'll ever hear. When it was time to pack up and leave, Pug and I lingered in the driveway with so much still to talk about that I wished we had at least one more day together. "A good shot in the arm" is how my mom describes her. I think that pretty well sums it up.
Linda is the firstborn of the family, almost two years in front of my dad in. Interestingly enough, "Linda" is not her birth name either. "Ruth Ann" is the name on her birth certificate but grandpa announced her to the world as "Linda" at her baby blessing so "Linda" it's been ever since. Actually, it's "Auntie Linda", never "Aunt", a title perhaps too dry and formal for her carefree and zany personality. "Yoo-hoo!" she used to call when she stopped in to visit. "Howdy-doody" is also another signature expression. Like Pug, there is nothing she would not do for her children who all remain very close to her as well. For as long as I can remember she's had a head or rich auburn hair, always styled just so. And speaking of "just so", that's one phrase she uses to describe how she likes things. This is evident in the fact that her house is always clean. Furthermore, $10 says she'll hate this picture because the shutter snapped before she had a chance to flash her best smile. If Linda's not working a shift up at the hospital or spending time with her family, you know she's off to a Tom Jones concert with a girlfriend or scoring big at a garage sale. It's impossible to be with her and not burst out laughing at the stories she tells (and trust me, she always has a good story). I like how down-to-earth she is. What I admire (maybe envy?) even more is her ability to choose happiness. She doesn't seem to be as fragile as I sometimes feel when the chips are down — her self-respect and sense of humor ensure that she comes out on top every time.