My Aunt Flossie, who lived with my grandmother, loved animals and kept an assortment of them at this small country farm. My grandmother tended her chickens, but Aunt Flossie always had a dog, several cows, sometimes a spring calf, and later a horse and a pony. She also had a spring lamb.
We had a larger farm property but we kept no animals. Therefore, going to my grandmother’s house was very exciting for me. As soon as I found out she had a new-born lamb, I would hurry through the woods to feed the lamb a bottle of milk. This would only last a little while before the lamb went out to pasture and didn’t need a bottle any more.
Aunt Flossie had a turkey for a few years. During this time I would be given a turkey egg on a rare occasion, as sharing with other relatives was only fair. My mother would fry up this egg and it filled a plate.
Occasionally my aunt made homemade ice cream as a treat, but it took a lot of cranking on the wooden tub before it was ready. Sometimes I would make butter with Aunt Flossie. Sometimes we would pick berries to can or make jam. She made wonderful pickles.
Aunt Flossie worked as a weaver in a woolen mill for many years. She had a car for transportation but often chose to walk to and from work, which was several miles. For all the hard physical work she did she was still a beautiful, graceful woman.
She wore her long hair up in a bun, had a fair complexion, and sparkling blue eyes. She usually wore jeans and a shirt made by my grandmother who was a great seamstress. It was a rare occasion that Aunt Flossie went shopping, but with my mother’s coaxing and assistance she would be the most stunning person at the fancy event such as a wedding.
Flossie was an early riser and was always doing something from morning to night. In early spring she tapped maple trees for sap and boiled the sap on the kitchen stove for maple syrup. She canned a number of quarts each year.
She was a good cook and I liked to eat over at her place. Aunt Flossie took care of me when my parents went away on business trips—it was always a treat to stay overnight or for a few days. She was loving and kind and helped many people in the community.
She lived to be 96 and took ownership of the farm when my grandmother passed away. My adventures with Aunt Flossie were different than my life at home and so I treasured those special memories.
-July 29, 2014