Monday, November 22, 2010


My mom has three sisters and they are all...



My mother and her three sisters are four of my favorite people on the planet. Separated in age by four years each, one is funnier than the next.  Together they are a comedic act that rivals the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” but to be honest I do have a favorite.  

My favorite aunt is one part Coco Chanel and two parts Costco.   She is a firm believer that with hard work and a little lipstick all things are possible.  A graduate of the school of hard knocks she is a self-made success and expects others to do the same. 
She will never host a “poor me party” in your honor but will instead dress you head-to-toe in designer clothes and send you off to an interview feeling like a million bucks.  She will not lend you pity but will always lend you one of her genuine “kate spade” bags.    
Fake it until you make it, she certainly has followed her own advice.  Widowed with three small children, she had no choice but to dig in and make it work.  And work she did.  Three jobs to provide the best life possible for her children.  She began in the kitchen of a Howard Johnson’s – she finished as one of the most successful female executives in Marriott history. 
On the other side, as a grown-up, she is devoted to giving back.  Born in July of 19- just never you mind, she is seasoned enough to know that “there but for the grace of God, go I.”   She volunteers with many organizations and never ceases to amaze me with her capacity to care.
She teaches us all about the about the importance of taking time for yourself and knowing your limits.  She is not always popular for her decisions but she makes them with the confidence of a woman who owns her choices. 
She is high fashion and fabulous, flawed and sometimes fearful, she is fun and fantastic and she is my favorite.
My favorite aunt is friendly almost to a fault.  Approachable and affable she invests genuinely in every person who crosses her path.  She knows the stories, the situations, and the stars.  Be it the man who stocks the shelves at the grocery or the waitress at the local watering hole, she expresses her authentic interest inviting people to engage.

Sitting at a table with a couple two tree beers, she will recount in heavy Scranton lilt stories that have been told a thousand times.  Her comedic timing and delivery delight and enchant the listener.  She is a riot, raw and real.
She requires no fan fare for a visit.  Come as you are.  Quick to smile and easy to please she is the epitome of mellow.  Her humor is a dead pan, sarcastic, hysterical. She leaves every audience in stitches. Famous for bringing a tray or two of Old Forge style pizza she is no fuss, no muss and there is nothing that a Miller Lite and a glass of ice can’t cure, heyna?
Her connections with others are the stuff legends are made of, a legacy of her friendliness.  She was left a monetary bequeathment.  The woman who passed away was a patron of the bank where my aunt worked for many years as a teller.  When she received the call about the sum of money she been gifted she wasn’t quite sure who the woman was.  But that is just how she is…
She is familiar and flexible, sometimes flaky and always frank, effusive and occasionally frivolous.  She is my favorite. 
My favorite aunt is sophisticated yet sensible.  She has an amazing eye for decorating and design, Nate Berkus meets Bob Villa.  Repurposing furniture before it was trendy, a dresser is a table, a table is a chair.    
A savvy shopper, she frequents Salvation Army and Goodwill, trolling for unique finds and rarely coming back empty handed.  Creative and quirky, she can take a can of spray paint and rework an entire room with stunning results.   Slow to spend, she knows the value of a dollar and how to make it stretch. 
She conceived, carried and cultivated three children and never took a sick day.  She is unflappable under pressure taking all things in stride.  Calm, composed and cool as a cucumber she remains temperate even in the most tenuous of situations.  
Witty and wise, honesty is always her best policy.  She does not hesitate to tell you exactly how she feels.  She says what she means and means what she says and you will always know where you stand. 
In all of my years she has never missed a significant event in my life.  She is a reliable as the sunrise.  Tried and true, she has never let me down.  She always comes through in the clutch, whether moving apartments or closing a pool, she is there for whatever it is that you might need.  She would leave her deathbed to deliver the cake that she promised to bring.  She is that kind of dependable.    
She is forthcoming and frugal, funny and multi-faceted, focused and a fresh coat of paint.  She is my favorite.
My favorite is wholesome and unassuming.  The “baby” by birth order she approaches everything with a childlike simplicity.   She is slow to anger and quick to forgive.  Expecting the best in everyone she meets and easily ignoring the rest. 
She is a born inventor.   Armed with a hot glue gun, Velcro and a pair of scissors she makes adjustments she deems necessary to everything from swimsuits to sofa cushions.  Her mind is always spinning, a whirling dervish of ideas.
She is welcoming and warm, always making you feel wanted.  A gracious hostess even when company is unexpected.  She is famous for quite literally making “chicken salad out of chicken shit.”  Standing at the kitchen sink cutting cantaloupe or capping strawberries, she is forever preparing fruit.  She listens intently to her guest as she works but never stops moving.  Pulling assorted and sundry items out of her refrigerator she creates a delicious offering even if it is just scrambled eggs and toast. 
When she does finally sit in the cozy kitchen she brings to the table a reheated cup of tea and some delicious sweet treat that she pulls magically out of the air.   She also brings an optimistic view of the world, believing strongly that every problem has a gift for you in its hands.   She offers gentle guidance suggestions often centered around being kind to yourself and then paying it forward.  She will often follow this with the suggestion of a nap and will tuck your sleepy bones into bed assuring you that “fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  
She is faithful and fidgety, friendly and forgiving, sometimes flighty and always fortuitous.  She is my favorite.

I hope that I am the best of all of them, I know that I am the worst of some.  They my link to the past, my bridge to the future.  They remind me of what is really important.  They are my roots.



  1. your words are such a gift...quit making me cry :-)

  2. You nailed it. Captured each of us in our most honest, unvarnished essence as seen through the eyes of love.

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  4. Great post, I enjoyed reading this, your family sounds wonderful -- one of my fav. lines "one part Chanel, two parts Costco...) :) Good luck in your upcoming race! and thanks for visiting my blog as well.

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