Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shelter Under the Auntie Tree

An aunt is someone special to remember with warmth, think of with pride, and cherish with love.

Elvis was born on January 8th, 1935.  But on this same date in 1993 a tiny girl was born to RB and me -- and Elvis had to take a back seat!  Emily lit up our lives then and continues to do so to this day.  Honest, kind, obedient, helpful, joyful, and most of all, striving to be like Christ.  On Emily's 11th birthday she received the best gift ever -- a nephew.

Aunties are special people.  I had many sweet aunties, but one that invested herself in my life was Aunt Posie.  Her name was Rosalee, but she was Aunt Posie to her nieces and nephews.  I loved going to her home.  Her homemade bread was unbeatable.  She covered the bread with peanut butter and sprinkled on some raisins.  And, oh my, her jonny cakes -- cornmeal and hot water fried and eaten with peanut butter and honey.  I won't comment on her homemade cottage cheese or tell you which of her shrubs was the recipient of it.

Uncle Jim and Aunt Posie with Sarah
Not only did I love her food, I loved her stories.  When Aunt Posie got out the ironing board, I knew stories were coming.  The story that I remember her telling the most often was The Little Boy who Called Wolf.  She taught us how to make dolls out of holly hocks and let me help her wring the clothes in her old wringer washer. 

Just like my Aunt Posie influenced my life, Emily gives herself to Ethan (her birthday present), her other nephew, and niece. (She can't wait until the end of the month to have a brand new nephew to love.)  She invests herself in their lives, and they love her without reserve. 

Here are a few ways an Auntie can shelter nieces and nephews:

Read them books -- lots of books:  Like this one by Vanessa Newton.  It's an amusing story about Auntie Mable praying around the table, but full of love and warmth. 

For younger children, What Aunties Do Best is a fun book.  When you turn it over there is another story, "What Uncles Do Best."

Take pictures when you are together and put them together in an album.  Look at them together for a "remember when" time.

Take them for an ice cream cone. 

Plan a craft for you to do together.

Fill his car with gas.

Send her cookies at college.


Make their favorite dish.  My Aunt Judy made a chocolate cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.  No wonder I remember it 45 years later.

And nieces and nephews can shelter an Auntie, too:

Share a memory in a card or letter.

Include an aunt in your holiday meal celebrations.

Send pictures of your great nieces and nephews.  I love it when I get pictures from South Dakota.  It makes me feel like I'm a part of my great nieces and nephew's lives.  Kokomo and Chicago pics are loved just as much.  Melanie is good at doing this for her aunts.

Visit.  I love visiting my Aunt Jean.  Her back yard is a fairy land.  She knows each plant and where she got each one.  I love seeing them all and drinking tea from one of her big mugs.

Be there when they need you.  During the last move we made, RB's sister came to be with us for several weeks.  Aunt Marsho, with the girls' help, did most of the packing of our house.  But she planned times to get them out of the house (even if it was to get more boxes) and just kept things sane so they would have the least trauma possible.  They have a lot of "remember whens" from those weeks -- one of which was making soup with what she thought was leftover chicken in the fridge -- found out later it was fish. 

Mommies can help when the kids are small.  Melanie made Emily a special desk calendar this year filled with pictures of Auntie and the kids.  It was one of her favorite gifts.

Gift a book like Hugs for Aunts.

Attend programs, sports events, etc., or send a note of congratulations when an achievement is reached.  Aunt Melly is great at doing this for Emily, and it makes her feel special and celebrated.

If a niece is getting married, plan a time to teach her to cook a family favorite.  This is a good way to get to know a niece in law, too. 

Sheltering goes both ways.  So whether you're the Auntie or the niece or nephew, you can shelter.  Through the shelter a heart is cheered and warmed, lifetime memories are made, and a new generation is taught the blessing of family.


Rebecca said...

Oh, Pamela! I HAD a great-aunt Mabel! I am going to find that book. It made me chuckle just to read the title. I had MANY influential aunts (and great-aunts). They set fine examples of homemaking, tenderness, and love for me.

ShannonSews said...

What a sweet post! I am an auntie too and hold my role proudly. I love my nieces and nephews as if they were my own. I hope I leave a positive influence in their lives like yours left on you!

And thank you for leaving kind comments on my blog. I really appreciate it!

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

Beautiful post, how important we all are to each other. Love your sentiments!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

How precious...well I share that same birthday...the 8th!, so Happy Birthday.
I love this...I lost my favorite Aunt to cancer and miss her so much. My children's Aunt is like you have described..she is my husband's sister and I treasure the place she holds in my children's lives more and more. I love the book suggestions and will give them to my daughter when she becomes an Aunt.
Precious, precious post.

Kristen said...

How wonderful for you to have a special aunt and for you to be able to witness another sweet relationship in the next generation, too. Thank you for sharing such a sweet part of your life.

Debbie said...

I love this! I was unable to have children of my own. My nieces and nephews are so important to me. Thank you for visiting Heart Choices on SONday.

Blessings and love,

Shore Girl said...

I'm a proud Auntie too (to 16 plus 2 nieces-in-law!) I try to make my nephews and nieces feel special every chance I get. Hope to be a positive influence on them and let them know how much this auntie LOVES them!!!
Especially like your last line about being "taught the blessings of family!" Nothing more important in my world!


I wish you Happy New 2011!
एक बेहतरीन रचना । नववर्ष की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें ।
काबिले तारीफ़ शव्द संयोजन ।
बेहतरीन अनूठी कल्पना भावाव्यक्ति ।
सुन्दर भावाव्यक्ति । साधुवाद ।

Debra Kaye said...

I love being an Auntie and enjoyed your post tremendously!

Blessings to you!

myletterstoemily said...

sheltering does go both ways, and i am convicted
that i haven't trained my kids to be the best at
that! always something to work on!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Pamela,

Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to get back to you. So, we both had a baby girl on the same day (though a few years apart). I hope that your girl had a wonderful birthday.

I really enjoyed the subject you chose for this post. What would I have done without my Aunties? I hope that I have been as good of one to my nieces and nephews as they were to me.

Have a wonderful week!


The Angulo's said...

I felt some peace reading your post.:) My grandmother has a backyard full of herbs and plants she loved to tell about too. You have a very pretty blog. Thank you for following our blog. I am following yours.

God bless you.

Mrs. A

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

What a sweet post. I absolutely love being an aunt! It is a very special joy and calling. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment so I could visit you in return :)

God Bless,

Pam Asbury said...

I read this post earlier in the week when I was short on time, but I knew this was one post I had to come back to comment on! Stop the presses...I have the best Auntie ever! Among the many ways you sheltered me growing up and on through to adulthood, you could include on your list of how aunties shelter that sheltering a niece's kids warms the said niece's heart in a special way! Oh, you can shelter me right now by giving me the recipe for that Quaker Oatmeal Squares/Pecans mix! :)

Love you much, my sheltering aunt!

lgm52 said...

Enjoyed this very much. Thank you for sharing! I had an aunt who passed away in 2010..she was very special to our entire family, but to me she was more than special. She was a best friend. I think of her so very often and miss her daily, but I have so many happy memories of her.