29 August 2014
My Aunt Norma is my dad's oldest sister. She is the most like my grandmother, her mother, of all my aunts. She spoke like her mother, except her southern draw was a bit more pronounced. She looks remarkably like her mother and she has the same kind and loving way I remember from my childhood days at my grandparent's home.
Aunt Norma always, at least in my lifetime, lived in Florida. So going to visit her meant adventure. Growing up surrounded by water means that you cross a bridge frequently, but, southbound was the most fun. Leaving Maryland's Eastern Shore and headed to Florida you can cross the Bay Bridge Tunnel. It's seventeen miles of engineering marvel and as a kid, it's the scary kind of fun.
Sometime we would stop at South of the Border in South Carolina, a tacky weigh station for travelers and truck drivers. Dad refused to get a bumper sticker every time Eric and I insisted it was required. Good call, Dad.
More than the travel there, I remember always feeling at home in Aunt Norma's house. She insitsted we have a glass of lemonade; she let us run through the backyard and she took us to the beach. Ma insisted that we help with supper clean up and mind our manners, but, Aunt Norma knew we would rather have ice cream. Aunt Norma is still in Florida, is still loving and kind, and this week I am thinking of her because Dad and Ma are down there visiting her. I bet they are not jumping on the couches like Rachel and Samantha did on this trip in 2001, but, I know they have a cold glass of lemonade nearby.