Thursday, June 19, 2014

Closing a chapter

"I will complete the difficult tasks as quickly as possible...The impossible may take a little longer."

When I arrived at Aunt Louise's gate to her property a road runner stood in the driveway and greeted me.  (You have to look very closely, he moves so fast this was the best picture I could get.)

June is the tail end of the wildflower season but there was still a beautiful carpet of color all the same.  Under that tree above are irises that are the descendants of those brought in the covered wagon by our great great grandmother.  It has been years since I have arrived early enough to see them bloom but I have a few I transplanted in my yard in Tucson.

The 4th of July is the official mowing date--Aunt Louise likes to let the wildflowers go to seed before mowing.  And she was still mowing her own 5 acres until last summer.  (Lest you did not know--she will be 94 in October.)

Besides the wildflowers, Aunt Louise's yard is home to countless birds, armadillos, deer, raccoons and a multitude of bugs, beetles, spiders, lizards and snakes.  
When I park the RV back behind the house and in the shade of some very old oak trees I cannot see a neighbor or hear anything except the birds and the wind in the trees.

Which leads me to this miserable (yep! that's the right word) occurrence.  (Warning: 'Too much information is about to follow')  The grass and weeds were so high between the RV and her back door that I needed to clear a pathway, hence use of the weed-eater that first morning while I was still in my pajamas.  The spots you see on the pants above are stickers from the weeds.  What you don't see are the mass of chigger bites on my legs and buttocks that I developed from clearing that pathway.  I hate Texas in the summertime--not because of the weather but because of the chiggers.  I develop huge welts and they itch like fire.  To cure them I have to paint them with clear nail polish but as soon as I kill off one batch, another dozen or so appear.  It directly affects my mood so If I appear a little short tempered and unreasonable it's probably because my butt and legs are on fire.

So now you know, that lovely park-like setting is not the idyllic spot it first appears.  I bet the Chamber of Commerce never mentions chiggers in their ads.

Aunt Louise built her home in the early 60's when she was working as an engineer for General Dynamics.  It is a large ranch-style brick home with 5 bedrooms, a den, formal living room, dining room--in other words fairly large--and full of antiques.

She has collections of dolls, butter molds, furniture (some dating clear back to that great great grandmother), books, vintage clothes, china, and memorabilia.... 

plus the first car she ever owned.  I am told the above under all that stuff is a 1947 Pontiac.
And of course, the dilemma is, 'what to do with all of this if we move Aunt Louise to someplace easier for her to manage.'  
And naturally, she does not like the idea of leaving her home in the country with its amazing nature, privacy, and all of her things.  

To be continued.....


  1. Please give Louise my love. And know that I admire you for tackling all that stuff. When I took my mother up to spend the night with her, probably in 2005, she could barely get her walker through the halls for all the treasures.

  2. Toni,
    Ah yes, the chiggers. Remembered vividly but not fondly from my childhood, and certainly a factor in why I will never live anywhere east of here again. Why doesn't global climate change wipe them out?
    We missed you Monday night.

  3. I could directly relate to the "chiggers incident" as I will henceforth call it- my education about that particular critter was introduced into my life in The Great State of Texas, as they like to refer to it there! ;-) I feel your pain, at least figuratively. I also don't envy the gargantuan task ahead on the other front.

  4. Toni,
    That car reminds me of Grandpa Sevin's car when they lived in Harahan. He had a Pontiac of similar vintage that look very similar.... but not sure of the exact year. I remember that it had an amber colored indian head on the hood that lit up.


  5. I think of Grandpa every time I look at that car. It is almost the same in color and style. BTW, Aunt Louise's house if full of nostalgia. I came across a box of letters, some written by me and and more written by Mother. Another hour blown as I sat and read and remembered and shed a few tears.