This event in my life happened only a few days after the Story Circle adventure.
A Delightful Day in October
A couple of weeks ago, Aunt Macrina invited my wife and me to come to an Oktoberfest celebration they were having at the “old ladies home” where she lives. I grew up calling her “Aunt Margaret”, because that was the name she was normally called until a few years ago. Actually, I learned Aunt Macrina’s name when I was ten, and Aunt Macrina was about thirty. She, her son Charlie and daughter Suzanne, and I were spending a week in Galveston. We stayed at the home of Macrina’s sister Micky, whom I fondly remember as the most beautiful woman in the world.
I heard my aunt on the phone one day, saying to someone “yes, this is Macrina”. I chuckled, thinking that she must be pretending to be her niece, who was near my age, and was named Macrina.
Yesterday, I went to Dallas without my wife, who had a previous commitment at her mother’s house this weekend. After traffic and trouble finding the correct street, I finally found the “old ladies home”. I was almost forty-five minutes later than I had intended, and I wasn’t sure I had the right place, because the address didn’t match Aunt Macrina’s stationery. After the third pass by the only place on the block, I decided I had to stop and ask for directions. As I approached the sign that claimed “information”, I noticed Senator Ted Kennedy sitting on a bench talking to a white-haired lady. Then I realized that it wasn’t Teddy Kennedy at all, but my cousin Charlie (who carries a smidgin more of the Irish blood than I do). He looked up and I waved. The white-haired lady stood up and held out her arms to embrace me.
The place where Aunt Macrina lives is a beautiful, up-scale community. The majority of the ladies there showed signs of having been well cared for beauties in their earlier years. Aunt Macrina’s classic features seemed almost plain in that room. It’s not actually an “old ladies home”, it’s just that the female residents outnumber the males by about twenty to one.
The last fifty years dropped away, and Charlie and I were once again the Snamloh brothers, Selrahc and Yllib, dining with our gracious hostess-mother, who was giving orders to the waitresses, pushing food at us, making sure that we got enough to eat, and in general, treating us like the teen-age boys she treated the same way half a century ago.