My Aunt and Uncle….
This is my Aunt Janelle and my Uncle Ed! They are the most amazing people!! I LOVE them dearly! They are a great example of what marriage should be and how it should look! It is hard for me to write about them because my feelings for them run so deeply!
Today my aunt is having surgery. Pray that all will go well for her. I called her on Saturday just to chit chat and catch up. I love talking with her!
I am more like her than like my own mother. I LOVE her attitude and her spunk! When I visit with her, I feel like I know where I came from. I am a Biggs (but she would tell you that I am a Knapp….her mother’s side)!! I have the same attitude, the tenacity, the work ethic, and the same tastes for food and sugar and the ability to cook and unwillingness to eat stuff that tastes like garbage.
When I was a girl and we would go to Janelle’s house, the food always tasted better. It was later that I learned her secrets. She likes fat :-)….mayonnaise instead of miracle whip, butter instead of margarine, sugar instead of artificial sweetener. My mother used all of the other things. Janelle’s house was the place to be! It was where we gathered for the good stuff! Halloween? Janelle’s house. Thanksgiving? Janelle’s house. Christmas? Janelle’s house. Hanging out for the summer? Janelle’s house. Janelle is the glue that keeps us all together.
I remember the entire family would gather at her house….me and my parents and siblings, all four of Janelle’s kids, their spouses and their children, Ed’s parents, Nellie’s parents (as they got older). We would each bring our specialty dishes for the big feast. Janelle had made homemade candies a lot of years and we always topped everything off with homemade ice cream and freezer preserved strawberries. My mouth is watering just thinking about the food. Then we would all sit around and talk and visit with each other. The women would work or clean in the kitchen….which was HUGE! And the men would all hang out and visit and watch TV in the family room. Most of the time the kids were out running in the pastures, chasing the cows, or down by the river, or jumping on the trampoline, or swimming in the pool. We were there for hours and hours….from as soon as we could get there in the morning until it was way past bedtime. Those were great days!!
The hallway in her house was so long and dark that as children we would see who could stay in the hallway the longest and try to make it to the end without scaring ourselves and each other silly. All the doors were pocket doors, so if someone was in one of the rooms and came out while we were playing in there we would all freak out and run back to the light! So much fun!
Sometime during high school, they moved back into town. After my freshman year of college, I came home to a divorced family and things not working very well at my father’s home. After a month at his house, I called and asked my aunt and uncle if I could stay with them. They readily agreed. That is where I was living when Drew and I got engaged. We were sitting on their front lawn on a warm August evening. It was late. And my aunt and uncle’s bedroom window faced the street and was open because they didn’t have air conditioning. As Drew and I were talking, I heard my aunt say, “Ed, get away from that window and leave those kids alone!” That is still one of my favorite memories! Not too long after that, they moved again, back out to the country. When I go home for a visit, I usually stay at their house. It is just home to me. Wherever they are, that is home! They are the constant!
This last year their health has not been very good. My uncle is 87 this year and my aunt turns 82! My parents are about 10 years younger. But it is my aunt and uncle who I look to for guidance and example. I know they will not be around too much longer and then I will dearly, dearly miss them!! How grateful I am for their love, their support, their example of righteous living and leadership and how life should be lived. I really don’t know what my life would have been like without them! They are such a HUGE part of my heart and my life and who I am.
I am my uncle’s baby. When I was born, my father was serving over seas in the military, so my mother and I lived at Ed and Janelle’s house. Their youngest child is about nine years older than I am. So I WAS the BABY! I don’t know how long we lived there, but it was for a while. My uncle has always called me ‘Sweat Pea’. They both love me dearly, and I know that! Nellie told me on Saturday when I called that she has always loved me like I was her own….and she has. I have felt that. As I was getting off of the phone with her, I told her that I loved her and she said to me, “Ya, but I love you more!” So today I pay tribute to her and to my uncle and express my total and complete gratitude that my Father in Heaven sent me to a home where I would have access to their example!