“Please, Mom, I can’t chop another onion, I can’t even see because of all the tears.”
“Okay, I think we have enough for now. Hmm, some for the beans, and some to go in the potato salad. I will need a few more just sliced for the relish plate, everyone likes to pile up onions on their burgers.”
“Later, can I slice them later, please.”
“Yes, go on, take a break. You can do the rest later, Oh, go help you sister shuck some more corn.”
“I thought you said I could take a break.” She whined.
“From chopping onions, not from helping, there’s too much too do yet, get a move on.”
I’d like to get a move on, right on down the road, I’ve had enough of this. When do I get to spend time with my friends. Every 4th, it’s always a family barbecue. I hate barbecues, especially with nuthin but old people around.
“Girl, change that attitude, right now, or you’ll get to chop another pound of onions. That’ll give you something to whine about.”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“You didn’t have too, I can see it in your face. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”
The door slammed behind her as she went out on the porch.
“Fred, they’re here. You need to go help your aunt out of the car. That walker of hers gives her fits.”
“Got it, on my way,” Dad replied.
“Aunt Helen, here, let my help you. Sally, come help carry Aunt Helen’s things in for her.”
Yeah, whatever. Here we go again, nuthin but old people.
“Here Sally, get that banana pudding from the car floor there, will you? Thanks sweetheart. Oh, my, you’ve grown at least 3 inches since I saw you last.”
What do you expect, old biddy? If she pinches my cheek again I’m going to scream, I really will.
“Oh, my, Marie, that was absolutely delicious, you’ve outdone yourself, again.” Aunt Helen declared, as she struggled to her feet, reaching for her walker. “Sally, come, bring me my knitting basket, and sit beside me on the swing, won’t you?”
The whole extended family, with all the aunts and uncles, chorused Aunt Helen’s compliments, as they made their way out to the screened porch, to rock and relax in the cool evening breezes.
You’re kidding, I had to spend all day preparing the food, being nice at the table, and now I have to entertain, her, too. Great! Now I’ll never get a chance to sneak off with my friends.
“Sally, I’ve been watching you grow up all these years, and I see so much of myself in you. My grandma told me I was much like her, too, that stubborn streak just runs in the family. I wanted so badly to grow up, to be able to escape and just be my own person. I was so tired of having to cater to what I thought of as my ancient relatives, I wanted time to spend with my friends. Now, I’ve outlived them all.”
Aunt Helen continued, “Sally, did you know that one of your great, great aunts actually fought in the Revolutionary War when she was your age.”
“You’re kidding, really! I didn’t know girls got to go to war then, especially not at my age.”
“Well, there weren’t very many that did. I know lots of stories I could tell you about our family. Lots of interesting stories, but, of course, if you’d rather go off to spend the evening with your friend’s I’d understand. I know old family stories about people that lived a long time ago can’t be very interesting.”
“Wow, are you kidding, please, tell me about the aunt who fought in the war.”
“Alright, let’s get comfortable, and I’ll tell you what I was told.”
“Wait, Aunt Helen,” dad said. “Let’s record this to make sure it gets passed down to a few more generations.”
Climbing into bed that night, Sally started thinking back on the evening. I guess it wasn’t so bad, after all. I can’t wait till next week, Mom’s going to take me over to Aunt Helen’s, so I can see some old family pictures. Wow, I guess I really have a neat family. Why did Aunt Helen wait so long to tell me about all those relatives?
I guess it’s okay, missing one day with my friends. Whoa! Wait till I tell them the cool stuff I heard tonight.
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