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Aunt Minnie

Marlene Geiser

Posted on February 17, 2019 13:46

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We all have people from our past that stay with us all our lives. My husband has shared some wonderful memories of such a person with me, and I joyfully share them with my readers.

This is a story my husband has shared with me. It is about his mother's sister, Minnie, and never having met her I truly wish I had. 

Minnie grew up in a rough section of Chicago. Her father was a wonderful con man, and made his living as a pharmacist who sold home remedies. The same remedy was for every disease, and all that changed was the color dye he added when creating it in his bathtub.

My husband told me that when he was a boy, he and his brother would walk the allies, picking up old medicine bottles from the trash and bringing them to their grandfather's house where he and Minnie washed the bottles, boiled the bottles to sterilize them, and poured his elixirs into them.

His aunt complained to her father that somebody was stealing her milk and eggs from the front porch where the milkman would leave them. My grandfather mixed up something in his test tubes, and told Minnie to wait for the milkman to deliver his stuff. Then she was to lift the cap off of one of the bottles (in those days milk came in bottles with a little paper cap,) and to pour the mixture into that bottle, and put the cap back on. Minnie said that no one was stealing her milk anymore, and she asked her father why. He said that they had been too busy on the toilet, because it was a powerful laxative.

Minnie was a loving, sweet, pipe smoker, who could curse like a sailor. Her home was open to everyone. You could come in and get a donut at any hour, and everyone was invited. That included friends, strangers, neighbors, anyone.

She would sit in the kitchen welcoming everyone and having a wonderful time just talking to her visitors.

This amazing woman and her husband loved dogs, and her dog Phoebe was the neighborhood hooker, and was always expecting or had puppies all around. My husband remembers that one time he walked into the house. Eight puppies came running down the stairs, and a comparable crew came running from the kitchen and having a gay old time of it.

His favorite Minnie story is when they would visit the farm. His mother and Minnie had a relative who owned a farm. Every summer the families would gather at the farm. The men would play Pinochle and Minnie would often join them while smoking her pipe and cursing when she had bad cards.

He remembers fondly Christmas and Thanksgiving at his Aunt Minnie's house. It was always a wonderful place to be. The weather was cold outside, and snow might be falling, but the atmosphere inside was warm and loving.

My husband shared that he believes that Minnie is serving coffee and cake to the angels up in heaven. From what he has recounted, I am tempted to believe that he is right.

Marlene Geiser

Posted on February 17, 2019 13:46

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