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November 15, 2012

My Aunt would be 85 today if she had lived.  Of all of my dead relatives my Aunt talks to me the most.  For too many years I have focused on her prickliness.  The fact that her and my father called me dumb dumb and knucklehead until I was thirty or that on her death bead she said “I had a niece, she never failed to dissapoint me” have attracted all of my attention. But if I am honest, I am being quite unfair to my dear Aunt Lorraine.  My father and aunt never left my grandparent’s house and I visited there every weekend.  My aunt, when I was growing up was a business woman.  She was a store manager for Weilbolts Department Store and later a buyer. Many Saturdays I would ride the “L” downtown with my Aunt and go to work with her.  I would help her on the floor and even make sales. No matter what she called me she treated me like I could do anything.  My Aunt perhaps more than my mother was my example that a woman could do anything.

After she was forced to retire she began to refinish furniture.  She was meticulous.  She did beautiful work.  Whenever I am at Savers or a garage sale I have to pick out the furniture that I would buy for her if she was still here. But what was truly amazing was how she could make cookies.  Everything was beautiful and perfect.  She was not quick.  She would often criticize me for how quick I was and therefore sloppy.  But she had to ask me to make the Spritz cookies.  She could not operate the Spritzer because she was not quick. She would make the most amazing sweet potatoes.  She would saute them in butter and brown sugar for twenty minutes until they were perfectly evenly covered with the brown sugar glaze.

If I’m honest I miss my Aunt the most. In honor of my Aunt I think I will attempt to create one of her glorious cookie plates, maybe for Thanksgiving , maybe for the Christmas Party.  I know that I cannot recreate her sweet potatoes so I won’t even try.  I might be able to come close on the cookies.

Happy Birthday Aunt Lorraine.  Thank You.

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