Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Loved You Aunt June

June Smith, my Aunt and wife of my Dad's younger brother I
called Uncle Skip went to be with our Lord today.  I remember Aunt
June as a fun loving, happy person.  She was a talented artist and did
many crafts.

While I was growing up I remembered traveling to visit my Aunt June
and Uncle Skip.  At the time they lived some where near the Indiana/Michigan
border near Elkhart, IN and Edwardsburg, MI.  One of these two places my Uncle
would wait on the overpass bridge to see our car go under the bridge and he would
hurry home to let Aunt June know we would be there in just a few minutes. She
would have lunch or dinner on the table when we arrived.  Aunt June at this time
was not known for her cooking, but we never went hungry are their house.
She said  "One pot pie for everyone except Mel (my father) and he would get two
pot pies." There was always bread and bologna and some type of spread for the
other meal.  She could also make Spaghetti.

Usually when I visited her we would do a craft of some type.  One time she had me
color a page in a regular coloring book.  I thought "OK, what's the big deal."  Then we
removed  the page from the coloring book and PAINTED the page with what I think
was mayonaise right out of the jar.  I remembered spreading it with my fingers.  The
results were beautiful.  The page had a sheen to it and the crayons seemed to blend
with each other.

Sometimes while we were visiting both Uncle Skip and Aunt June would be away
from the house for the day.  I think they were both working, but I am not sure.  While
they were away I would help Aunt June doing things around the house for her.  She
never asked me to do anything, but I just did it, including one time cleaning her oven
for her.  She was real happy of anything I did for her.  Sometimes my mother and I
would cook a meal while they were gone.

Since most meals were served on paper plates, to save on cleanup, we sometimes
did crafts with paper plates.  We made flowers, spinners and even colored scenes
on the plate.

Uncle Skip moved with his job a couple of times.  The first that I remembered well
was to Erwin, TN.  We would go visit them there taking what were the best roads
of the day.  The highways were mostly 2 lanes, up and down "mountains" with very
scenic vistas. Then we would start the decent down the mountain into town and we
turned into a drive of this cute, little house.  Once inside the house I realized it wasn't
that little.  It just looked small and cute due to the huge mass of hills that surrounded
the town.

One time we took my Grandmother down to stay with Aunt June and Uncle Skip.
They were expecting their first child.  Grandma stayed to help Aunt June with the
new baby boy.  We always thought the move from MI to TN and the change in altitude
allowed Uncle Skip and Aunt June to start their family.  I know they had another
boy, but I believe a baby girl passed away at a very very young age.

Their next move was from TN to Florida.  That was a new experience for us visiting
FL during the winter months.  We picked citrus fruit off the trees in their yard.  We
also went to Plant City and walked around the farmer's market buying all kind of
fruit and vegetables.

They had a large yard and we learned to check the tops of door frames before walking
out the door, because sometimes snakes would lay up there.  That was where I discovered
how noisy armodilos were at night, digging right under my window.  They also had
fire ants in the yard we had to watch out for when out walking.  The cows pastured
next to them loved oranges.  The one animal I didn't like that sometimes came to visit
was the wild boars.  They were know to be mean and would make a mess of the yard.

Their next house was my favorite.  It was in a neighborhood, but the lots were large
The house has a sun room near another large room.  It was a great place to have family
reunions. My Dad's family gathered there a few times while everyone was still healthy.
We stayed with Aunt June and Uncle Skip a few times.  That was the first time that
I was able to use a walk in shower that didn't need a shower curtain or door, because
the shower area was larger then our entire bathroom.

It has been over 10 years since I have seen Aunt June and Uncle Skip.  Health issues
kept us apart.  I have fond memories of my Aunt June and my heart goes out to my
Uncle Skip and cousins Dwayne and Scott.  Bless you Aunt June.


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