Friday, December 23, 2005

My Aunt Margaret's house

Yesterday, I needed to go to for the Cincinnati area to see if I could find a house style someone was inquiring about on one of the message boards I belonged to.

During my search I came across a listing for my Aunt Margaret's house.
It was like being taken back in time to see it again.

I am named for her and she was a terrific Aunt; she was actually my great-aunt, My Mother's Aunt from her maternal side of the family.

She never had children of her own and she saw to it that we kids were outfitted for Easter and had other things that were a help to my parents while raising 9 kids.

Aunt Margaret died when I was in the second grade but I remember her well. Her loss was profound to my mother and she was a strong influence and was at all the family gatherings of the Mitchell household.

One of the things I remember so well is she was a true German lady and loved her beer! I can picture her at picnic tables in the summer with her longneck bottle of beer and laughing all the time.
To me, as a little girl, she seemed to be tall and large, just as you'd expect a matronly German woman to be. She wore flowered dresses.I don't recall her ever in one that wasn't.

I always joke about being named after her; her name was Margaret Mary Aufderheide. I am so glad they named me Margaret Mary and not Aufderheide!

She had her beloved dog, Trixie with her everywhere. I think Trixie must have been a Jack Russel terrier or close to that breed.

When I saw the picture of Aunt Margaret's house I went back in time and remembered how the house always had a unique odor that I associated with Aunt Margaret. I would later learn that smell was flea powder but I didn't know it at the time.

The layout of the house was odd. As you entered from the porch you were in the upstairs and the front room and bedroom were on that level.
You went down some stairs to the kitchen and bath and it always had a musty smell that I just associated with the house. Now, I know there was probably always standing water somewhere down there maybe leaking from a pipe or the hot water heater.
The downstairs was painted concrete as I recall and was always cold.

Its funny I don't recall a lot of Aunt Margaret's furnishings which tells me it must have been functional and practical, not Better Homes and Gardens.

During the time I lived in Dayton with Dan and Jennie my sister Mary presented me with an envelope;on the outside was written in someone's hand "For Loraine, to be opened upon my death".

It was Aunt Margaret's will, written in her own hand willing all her possesions to my Mother, the largest being this little humble home.

My sister Pat and her husband resided there for awhile at the time my oldest neice Laura was born.
I remember babysitting Laura as a newborn infant and discovering her hands and feet were peeling.
I was barely 9 years old and really knew little about newborn infants at the time.
I was convinced I was killing her and grabbed her up and ran across the street to the backside of the park and up the hill towards my Mother's home.

I was panicked and distraught, crying, apologizing for whatever I had done and just wanted her to live.
My Mother then explained that Laura was way overdue and overdue babies just peeled at the joints.

Babysitting Laura in that house is my last memories of being inside that house.
I don't recall how long it was after that when apparently my parents sold the house; I just remember it not being a long time.

Finding that listing was like receiving a gift. How appropriate at this time of year.
Aunt Margaret played a large part in our early years in seeing we had nice Christmases and other holidays.

I think of her often and always remember her at this time of year.
Maybe she just wanted me to know she was also thinking of me!

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