The first time I ever sewed anything was when I was a young girl. I think I had to be around 7 or 8 at the time. I remember I made a pillow, you know the typical really simple project for a young kid to be able to accomplish. I want to say that this little project was done at the behest of my Aunt Frances, who was one of the strangest funniest women I have ever met.
No seriously, Aunt Frances was nothing short of amazing. She was actually my great aunt, but we were very close to all of my mothers aunts and uncles so we never really made the distinction between aunts and uncles and the great variety of the same title. Aunt Frances was always my favorite.
How do I describe her? Well quite simply she was like a white Nell Carter. If you don't know who Nell Carter is, well that is a damn shame. If you do know who she is you are probably smiling and nodding to yourself now. You probably also now understand why she was my favorite.
I can remember the first time that my sister (step) met Aunt Frances. We had driven out to the middle of nowhere East Texas where she lived. I can't remember why, probably for a funeral since that is the only reason we ever went out there as a large group. Still Nicky had to be around seven or eight at the time and she had never met any of the extended family before.
We were standing out in the garage chatting when Aunt Frances came out to see why we were all just standing around outside. My mom introduced her to my dad and my sister. Frances looked my sister up and down, planted her little fists on her waist and frowned before saying "Well aren't you just the ugliest little thing I have ever seen."
Yea that was Aunt Frances, traumatizing little girls for the fun of it.
My sister may or may not have started to cry some. I think she actually just stared gap mouthed at this little round woman in front of her. Frances obviously saw nothing wrong with what she had said. Without missing a beat she took my sister by the shoulder saying "Come on ugly, lets go in the kitchen and make some biscuits."
My poor sister looked back to me and my mom, and all we could do was snicker and tell her that Frances didn't really mean she was ugly (Frances said oh yes I do) and that the biscuits were well worth anything she said. I don't think my sister ever actually believed us, well not about Frances not meaning the ugly thing, the biscuits really were worth it.
Ohh those biscuits. Now there is something I will always remember. She always made homemade biscuits when we visited. I actually can't tell you now what they tasted like, but I remember how excited I would get about the biscuits. I just remember they were amazing. I wish I had been older when I last had them so I could remember more of why they were so amazing.
Aunt Frances used to always tell us that when she died she wanted a giant 7 foot statue of an angel placed over her grave. It wasn't so much that she wanted a giant angel on her grave, because that would be too simple. It was the fact that in the family cemetery her plot was directly in front of my great grandparents grave. She said she wanted her angel to cast a shadow over great grandma Emma's grave for all times.
Yea that was Aunt Frances, plotting to annoy her mother-in-law from beyond the grave.
You know I didn't even start out this post intending to write about her, but as soon as I started typing I realized that there was no way I couldn't write about her. Aunt Frances was just one of those people that deserve to be talked about. I so very much she was still with us, I think I would really enjoy knowing her as an adult.
The world needs more quirky eccentric happy women like Frances in the world. I hope that some day I will be looked at like I looked at Aunt Frances. I hope someday I can be that cool. It is good to have things to shoot for.