Do you remember this lovely lullaby? Whenever I hear it, it brings back so many memories of a beloved aunt. I adored my Aunt Chris. She was only ten years older than me and we were very close. As a child, I’d watch her get ready to go on dates and she’d let me try out her make-up, she’d style my hair, and later when I slipped into teenager-hood she gave me loads of advice about boys. When she married I was one of her bridesmaids (that’s me in the ankle socks – stylish, or what 🙂 ) and later became god-daughter to her two babies, who I also adored with a passion.
Her husband was in the military and when the babies were still little they were posted to Singapore. It was my first taste of grief. I remember waving them off in the taxi that would take them to the airport, then disappearing to my bedroom to cry my young heart out. I missed them so much. We wrote all the time, my Aunt Chris and I, but it wasn’t the same, of course.
I remember one night I was in the garden looking at the moon and feeling sad when my lovely dad came out and sat by me. We chatted for a while and then my dad reminded me that the very moon we were looking at was the same one my aunt and little cousins would be looking at, too. It’s strange how the simplest thing can make you feel better, because my dad reminding me of that brought my long-distance family closer.
When they came back to the UK we had the biggest party. My little god-daughters were school age by then and I was well into the dating scene. My aunt picked up the mantle as if she’d never been away and we were back to the make-up, hairstyling sessions and, of course, the tips about handling guys. A skilled dressmaker, Aunt Chris soon became really busy and much in demand to make the most amazing creations for people. One day this chap I’d had a crush on for forever asked me out. Of course, I didn’t have a thing to wear! I bemoaned the fact to my aunt and when I got home from work that night, excited to prepare for my date but still not sure what to wear, there was a gorgeous pink shift dress (mini of course, it was the late sixties) laid out on my bed, a replica of the very one I’d been drooling over in a magazine. She must have worked like blazes to make that for me, despite the fact she had such a busy schedule.
Sadly, my aunt died a few years after returning home to the UK. I still feel the closeness we shared and think of her often … every time I look up at the moon.
Jillian here. This weekend marked the 45th anniversary of the “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” trip to the moon. Do you remember where you were when it happened? It’s one of those pivotal moments in history where people seem to recall exactly where they were when it occurred.
My dad and I got into a discussion about this yesterday. He said he’d been searching his memory banks because he couldn’t recall where he was on that date and it was driving him crazy. I saved the man from losing his mind because I remembered. I was eight years old but I remember exactly where we were. As soon as I started telling him, he recalled, too.
We lived right outside Washington, D.C at the time but we were visiting my grandparents in northern Alabama. We were at their house on the Tennessee River which we always called the lake house. We watched it on television and then went outside, sat in lawn chairs and peered up at the sky talking about the men up there and whether or not, when the moon eventually became full, if we’d be able to see the USA flag up there. It was a fun, fanciful evening as we even joked about the man in the moon hanging out with them and offering them green cheese to eat. How in the heck my dad forgot all that, I’ll never know. LOL
So, do you remember where you were? I’d love to hear. And we won’t even get in to the conversation about whether it was all a hoax. I prefer to believe it really happened.
I’m in Birmingham, Alabama for a deposition today on a big case. I attended law school in this city back in the 1980s and so am very familiar with it. I lived here for three years in an area called Homewood. I lived in some post WWII townhouses that sat at the bottom of Red Mountain. On the top of Red Mountain is a statue that’s the largest cast iron one in the USA. It’s a massive thing that was built in 1903 for the 1904 World’s Fair by Guiseppe Moretti, it was to be used to show off the industrial nature of the city of Birmingham. The city was long a center of iron and steel working and the statue is a tribute to that.
The statue is of Vulcan, the Roman God of fire and the forge. The statue was placed on the mountain in 1936. Where I lived in law school was right near him. The funny thing about him is that his bottom is naked. I could see his derriere from my back yard. We always told people to come find us behind the Vulcan’s behind. Yes, we were easily amused.
They have an elevator where you can go up and get a nice view of the city and there’s also a visitor’s center. There are also some television towers up there keeping him company since it’s the highest place in the city. If you’re ever in the city, go by and check it out, it’s a nice little outing.
There’s also a little song about “Moon over Homewood” since the Vulcan seems to be mooning the area with his cast iron cheeks up there on the mountain. Sadly, I couldn’t find the words for you.