Tuesday, October 7, 2014


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.


  1. Family... LOL, you get the good with the bad...

  2. My grandfather smoke a pipe...cigars....and cigarettes. The cigarettes were when he worked in his vegetable garden. Cigars were for golf. The pipe was for when he finally ended his day and watched television.

    He lived to four years shy of 1996, which would have allowed him to celebrate his 100 birthday. I miss the sparkle in his eyes, when he was pulling your leg, and you had no idea that was what he was up to.

    1. My uncle (Mom's brother, who died of leukemia when I was six) had that sparkle. He was something else.


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