Aunt Ruth

My mum called with sad news yesterday – my great-aunt Ruth (my mum’s mother’s sister) died. She had been failing for some time, and I am glad that she is out of pain now. All the same, a death is always sad.

As you might imagine, I wasn’t very close with my Aunt Ruth – she is of my grandmother’s generation and lived in California (with the rest of my mum’s family), but I have a few lovely memories of her.

The first I remember clearly, she took my mum and me to White’s Bakery in Hawthorne (I think). Knowing I wouldn’t want coffee, she brought cocoa just for me. And I had my first meringue. Talk about a life-changing experience.

The last time I was in California (which is waaayyy too long ago now), I went with Aunt Ruth (and various other members of my family) to the horse races, the first live thoroughbred races I’d been to. It was a wonderful day.

Besides those memories, it’s amazing how much she impacted just my every day life.
Those of you who know me are familiar with phrases that I think everyone knows, but it turns out it’s just me…all those came from Aunt Ruth. Things like “fine as frog’s hair” for being really, really good (or really really sarcastic), “jump up and down and scratch” for getting excited about something, and, the one people think I’m the most crazy for, “While you’re up, Catherine” which is directed at anyone (not just Catherine who is one of Aunt Ruth’s sisters) for them to hop up and get you something from the other room.

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