I was reminded, this past weekend, of one of my great uncles, on my maternal grandmother's side. He and his wife came to visit every summer during my childhood. Every two years, they had a new car, and they had poodles. Real ones that really are dogs in attitude, not the little football sized toys.
My great uncle smoked a pipe. My great aunt smoked cigarettes. They were both in their nineties, the last time they visited, and still smoked like chimneys. My great uncle had gone deaf, and my great aunt had gone blind (and couldn't light her own cigarettes--my sister or I did that for her, depending on who was closer at hand, since we both smoked, and none of us wanted to hear my great uncle griping about that nasty stuff). Which leads to the funny memory that popped to mind.
My great aunt was nagging about something, and my great uncle pointedly stared at her, reached up, and turned off his hearing aid. Then he smirked around his pipe stem, and said, "I went deaf so I wouldn't have to listen to her nagging me anymore."
"Oh, yeah? Well, I went blind so I wouldn't have to look at you!" she retorted.
Everybody just about died laughing.
My great aunt passed away about seven years ago, and my great uncle passed about five years ago, a year after his youngest sister died from Alzheimer's.
Out of all of my greats, I really miss them the most. And the smell of a pipe will forever be associated with that great uncle, and poodles that I actually liked.
3 hours ago