Always Real, Sometimes Sweet, Sometimes Tart, Tuna

Jane

When my mother-in-law dozed off, I shut the door to her room at the assisted living facility and looked for some place where I could sit unnoticed and NOT think. When you are visiting a place such as that, you can only really think one thought:  Life is a river flowing in one direction.  Eventually – and more quickly than the mind can conceive – the river empties out into the great delta of geriatric unpleasantness. Unless one capsizes mid-journey and is swallowed up by the river, the delta is our destiny.  The great contradiction of…

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Tuna

Another Kind of Spotlight

I wrote about Uncle Claude here recently and how he was a major influence in AD’s life. As such, we often talk about him and we often talk about him to Sean. Oral tradition, the telling of and retelling of family stories, connects us to those who came before us, those who had a hand in shaping us in some way.  Their stories are our stories and our stories are our history.  It is the through the knowledge of history that we know from whence we came, and to some degree, for better or worse, who…

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Always Real, Aunt Jean, Tuna

An American Hero

Uncle Claude was already in his late 70s when I came into the family about 13 years ago.  He passed away about a year or so before Sean was born.  Many things bring Uncle Claude to mind, but nothing more so than Veteran’s Day. The first time I met him was on a warm November afternoon.  AD had taken me to Tuna to meet the family for the first time and one of the first people he wanted me to meet was his Uncle Claude, the man who had been like a father to him after…

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Memaw, Papa George, Reruns and Leftovers, Tuna

Therapy, Financial Advice and a Make Over. All In One Place

My mother and father-in-law have owned a cosmetics studio and clothing boutique in downtown Tuna for the past 30 years.  In addition to selling makeup and outfitting the local church ladies, they have provided a number of other services to the locals. Up until a few years ago, an older lady named Leona would come in every other week or so with her checkbook and hand it over to George.  Leona couldn’t read or write a lick so she brought her checkbook in and George would balance her statement and tell her how much money she…

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Reruns and Leftovers, Tuna

More Millie

Your last helping of Tuna for the week.  Have a great weekend y’all! * * * * * Millie Conway In our family, we celebrate Easter and our risen Lord as we do any other holy day – by racing home from church and eating entirely too much. And then complaining about how full we are as we waddle off to check out the dessert table. And after all that eating, nothing much else can be done except to sit around the table and talk trash before going back for another piece of pie. When my mother-in-law…

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Aunt Jean, Tuna

Mover, Shaker, Biker?

At age 90, my Aunt Jean is a mover. Not a shaker though, because that would be undignified.    Aunt Jean is always on the go, on various committees, visiting folks in the hospital, looking in on the elderly her nieces and nephews and does it all with a quick step and in stylish attire.   Every month, the church she attends arranges for the seniors to go out for dinner together at a local dining establishment where Christian fellowship and merriment commence therein.   Last month, the senior coordinator selected a new place in town called…

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Family Stories, Memaw, Mildly Amusing, Tuna

Millie Conway

In our family, we celebrate Easter and our risen Lord as we do any other holy day – by racing home from church and eating entirely too much. And then complaining about how full we are as we waddle off to check out the dessert table. And after all that eating, nothing much else can be done except to sit around the table and talk trash before going back for another piece of pie. When my mother-in-law Cleo and her siblings get together, talk inevitably turns to Millie Conway. After 70 or more years, it’s still…

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Aunt Jean, Tuna

Happy Birthday Aunt Jean!

Photo Temporarily Unavailable Forget the fancy skin creams and vitamins. The secret to living to be 89 and beyond and looking fabulous is as follows: 1. Snickers 2. Diet Cherry 7-Up 3. Don’t waste time cleaning switch plates Photo: Aunt Jean on the right and her baby sister (my mother-in-law) Cleo on the left

Papa George, Tuna

The Broker

My father-in-law George is a sweet and gentle man with a heart as big as the ocean. He never raises his voice. If he’s really really mad, he might say “damn”. That’s the only way you know he’s really mad because he doesn’t raise his voice. And let me add that in the eleven years I’ve known him, I’ve only heard him utter that word one time. Truly, he is a servant of God who looks after widows and orphans in their distress. But don’t mess with him. A while back George took his car to…

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Aunt Jean, Tuna

Limit Two Protocol

When I was at my Aunt Jean’s house a while back, I noticed that while she didn’t keep canned goods in the bathroom, she did have a stash of probably 25 or 30 giant Snickers bars. In the kitchen that is, not the bathroom. And it wasn’t even Halloween. It was surprising to see so many candy bars because you never see her eat anything like that. Aunt Jean is tall and thin and regal and dignified and not given to self-indulgence. When I asked her about them, she said that when she was growing up,…

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