Stories as told by Family Members
Great Story about Aunt Mary Nixon from Judy (Nixon) Rountree
In the late 70's, Neal and I and the girls, Mary Kathryn (3) and Janey (1), were mid-way though a five year tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Neal was the deputy Staff Judge Advocate and the SJA was Col. Moteleski, currently the senior Col. in the Marine Corps. We were very close to the Moteleskies, and when they heard Aunt Mary and Uncle Karl were coming for a visit, they decided to have a dinner party for them. Both the Colonel and his wife were charming people and entertained in gracious and elegant surroundings in their beautiful home. So, we all dressed up, along with several other senior officers and their wives, for what was sure to be a grand evening.
Following a delicious,candle- lit dinner, everyone rose from the table and proceeded to the living room. Aunt Mary detoured to the powder room which was down a long hallway directly off (and in full view of) the living room. We were all chatting quietly when all of a sudden Uncle Karl leaned forward and said "Mary!" with a voice you rarely heard from Uncle Karl. Startled, we all turned to look at Aunt Mary.
And there she was..walking slowly on the thick beige wool carpet, trailing a perfect line of unbroken toilet paper, out the powder room door and right down the middle of that long hallway. All I could think of was that a very small bride should be following her any minute. As she later said, "All I did was pull up my girdle".
Funnily enough, what we all remembered the most and the longest was all the laughter, and Aunt Mary, who could have been embarrassed, even mortified, laughed the longest of all. Neal and the Colonel laughed so much they had tears rolling down their faces. It was an evening to remember, and another reminder of how comfortable Aunt Mary always was with herself..even in extreme circumstances!
I know the girls join me in wishing all of you a joyous and fun-filled family reunion.
With Love, Judy Rountree
WITH THE QUEEN
Yes, I call her The Queen. Today marks my second anniversary hanging out at 634 Wesley Drive, watching Queen Klein juggle family events, a rockin' social calendar, weekly hair appointments, endless games of bridge and poker, countless phone calls to and from her mega big extended family, cooking the famous family recipes, and sharing vivid and rollicking memories of her long and lush life. A Queen wears only the right jewelry with the right clothes. A proper handbag must match each outfit to a tee. Hair is fixed perfectly and makeup is flawlessly applied even when absolutely nothing is happening. Grapefruit must be purchased with exactly the right rind and bread must have exactly the right softness. Pecans are a staple. Homemade pies are delivered to sick friends. Medicine is a nuisance and highly scorned. Kindness is paramount. Generosity overflows. I love working with Winnie Glover Boone Klein, aka The Queen. (She occasionally calls me Slave so I think we're even).
We've been lost in Clinton, S.C., Savannah, Newnan, Rome, Spring Island, and Thomasville. I've totally missed the Newnan exit about 5 times and went 20 miles the wrong way outside of Rome. We've even been on a lonely two -laner on the way to nowhere in the looming darkness with an empty gas needle.. No signs. No people. Abandoned trailer parks. Happily we decided to enjoy the meadows and forest and assumed we would arrive somewhere sometime. We did. But it was unsettling. This is how we travel.
And I have a chronic habit of gazing around and taking in the scenery everywhere I go and it makes Winnie crazy. We purchased a GPS, confidant that the cute little gizmo would help. Feeling excited and safe we named her "Echo" but I still get lost so Echo mostly just screams "Recalculate" which makes Winnie even crazier.
To make matters worse, we spend our drive time playing the Jotto word game which Winnie has had 70 (yes, seventy!) years to prefect and I am a rank beginner. As I struggle to drive AND remember all the twists and turns of the alphabet, she sits smugly in her seat doing nothing but scheming. Then I'm the one going crazy. She can be a really wicked Dame.
She has yelled " Step on It!" or " Green light&ldots;Go!" at every traffic light in the state of Georgia. It hasn't helped one bit. She has NEVER ONCE thought I took the most efficient route. No matter what streets I choose to take, she is convinced I've make terrible decisions. "Well, I would never have gone this way. Why are you on Piedmont? We'll never get there."
No one told me it would be this way. Dan Boone is a big fat liar.
In spite of what you may think, Winnie really doesn't like food. I could list on one hand what she likes to eat and it would take a hole to China to throw in what she doesn't like. She plays a good food game but she is picky,picky,picky. She does not like anything store bought. She does not like anything frozen. She eats leftovers only under duress. Corn? Only on the cob. Cornbread? Not too sweet. Worcheshire? Never. Microwave bacon? Yuk. A thick hearty soup? Mostly the liquid&ldots;just kill the other stuff. Veggies? Naw.
Add that to the fact that I can't cook worth a flip (just ask my children) and you end up with kitchen confusion all the time. What to buy? What to prepare? In what quantity? I'm the one who cooked a hen in the TOP of the pan (yes, as opposed to the bottom of the pan) and thought milk toast should look like French toast and not mush in a cup. She won't admit it but she's a terrific cook so we've developed a great system. I read the recipe, measure the ingredients and stand back and watch her work her magic.
Our lowest point, though, was making sausage balls without the sausage. And, hard as this is to admit, we BOTH didn't even notice. She mixed everything up and I rolled the zillion little balls. Scary, eh?
I've learned a lot from her and can now (almost) make, mint/chocolate icing, peeled grapefruit, and homemade mac and cheese. I'm also a rolo whiz.
Just don't ask how many pans we have burned this year. We spend a ridiculous amount of time scrubbing charred black crusty gunk from the mouth of Paul Revere.
I grew up in a board game family - Parcheesi was King and checkers was a favorite -but we weren't much for cards. Now I have learned to love Onze and Bolivia, thanks to the Queen for her deft instructions.
As I left work yesterday, Winnie was sick with epizulits and looking forward to having some spondulics at dusk. Don't you know these words? She was signing Valentine cards backwards, wearing her hot pink and blue hippo socks, and working Sudoku. You get the picture. She's pretty cool.