Tonight I got a surprise call. It was from my aunt who now lives in Arizona. She had planned on making her "every-other-year" trip back to Indiana. The call was to inform me that due to cost of gas and airlines the trip was not going to happen this year. I was disappointed. Aunt Reita is my only relative of that generation left. Her visit is always full of laughter and stories.
We talked for a long time tonight catching up on all the family news. After hearing about her husband's health, what her children (my cousins) were doing, I gave her the updates of the relatives in our area. We talked about the reunions we used to have at her place and the reunions we had at my cousin Dale's house.
When the call was over and we promised to write or call soon, I started to remember. I remembered why she was my favorite aunt. She used to babysit for me when my mom had to work. It was great visiting their house. They had every animal you can imagine. We could eat raw hot dogs for lunch and not have to sneak around to do it. Then we would sit around and tell stories. Not the usual kind of stories. They were made up stories. Aunt Reita would start them, then she would stop and the next person had to continue. It went all around the circle of the four of us, my sister, my cousin and the two of us. What imaginations we all had. I now make sure all the kids I work with tell me their "stories" first before they begin to write. Maybe the reason I do that is because way before you write...you have to be able to "tell" your story. Aunt Reita taught me how to do that.
So, until next summer, I will just have to continue to tell my stories and wait for hers next year!