Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving, then and now

Aunt Maude: under five feet tall,
but larger than life to my childhood eyes.
Memories connect us to our lives in mysterious ways.  As I prepare our Thanksgiving feast today and anticipate the arrival of our Canadian family, memories of my childhood come to me in sweeping waves.

 We gathered at my maternal grandparents farm in Watsontown, PA, a short drive from our home on the Susquehanna River.   For my cousins, siblings and me, a highlight akin to the sighting of a rock star was the arrival of Aunt Maude, delivered to the family gathering by my grandfather, Bob Sheffer.

Mika asked me today, "What was it about her that you loved so much?  Was she a great cook?"  I have no idea if Aunt Maude was gifted in the kitchen, though I do recall savoring a homemade popcorn ball in festive cellophane one year at Halloween.

"Aunt Maude was soft spoken, ancient, tiny and frail, smelled of soap and talcum powder, and had the softest earlobes you could imagine."  Why or how it came to be that we children seized the opportunity to touch her earlobes with the utmost intrigue and respect I cannot say for I don't know.  She never seemed to mind, though, which was part of  what we loved about her.

The menu today is bereft of Grandma's creamed corn and baked marshmallow candied applesauce, but the mere memory suffices quite well.

Now to see if I can find a pair of soft earlobes in the group.


  1. We did adore Aunt Maude for her good nature, her ancient years, her independence to the age of 96, and her soft earlobes. When she turned 101, I had the good fortune of celebrating with her at her nursing home, and she enjoyed my homemade chocolate chip cookies. The newspaper published our photo together, and they informed the public that Maude Wolf wrote poetry! That was news to me...

  2. Oh, I remember that photograph, Georganne! You and Maude were quite the pair!