A Lighter View . . . Aunt Beulah From Buda

A Lighter View . . . Aunt Beulah From Buda

By Karen M. Morris

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance Writer

I have two Aunt Beulahs. One lives in Butte, Montana. The other lives in Buda, Illinois (pronounced be-you-dah, il-ih-no-yah). One is tall, thin and beautiful. The other is best described as “a wide axle hauling a short load”. To differentiate the two, we refer to them as Beulah from Butte and Beulah from Buda. Try saying these names several times quickly without sounding like a rambling idiot. Now imagine what it sounds like around our house after we’ve downed a couple of eggnogs.

Beulah from Buda’s Christmas gifts arrived this year, along with a letter…

“To my favorite niece and family…Hope this package arrives before Christmas.”

What is she talking about? It’s only the 10th of the month. I haven’t even asked for people’s lists. Heck, I haven’t even opened up a Christmas Club savings account yet. Who in their right mind starts shopping before the extended store hours, price slashing sales, and everything’s been picked over? I’m counting on my family giving me a “grace period” just like the credit card companies.

“Ever since the farm implement accident, it’s been almost impossible to keep up the chores with both my legs in casts.”

Beulah lives on a five-acre lot, collects miniature ceramic horses, and owns a riding lawnmower with a snow blade. She was probably test driving the mower again and flipped it on her lawn statue of a woman bending over. Last year, she drove her Mowmaster to the grocery store and was arrested for chasing the cart boys.

“How are my nephews? Chubby and Booger Bait. Have you found the time to get them to an orthodontist? They look like a cow catcher on a train when they smile. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that to you. I sent them birthday cards but haven’t heard back. Probably too busy playing video games.”

With pet names like these, Leo and Morry have trouble warming up to Aunt Beulah. She remembers everything but their given names. She called Leo “Mr. Poopy Pants” until he was two, and then switched to “Booger Bait” after an unfortunate incident at the mall. The boy is so traumatized he won’t raise his hands above his neck, not even for a sneeze.

She’ll have to come up with another pet name for Morry. He slimmed down after getting braces. And I don’t know how many times I’ve told her that most people don’t respond to a postcard with a thank you note. I don’t send anything to the gas company when they send me a reminder notice.

It is comforting to know that she thinks the boys sit around all day in front of the TV. After all, the buck-toothed, chubby, nose-picking duo could be out terrorizing the neighborhood with their appearance.

“Is Wayne still working so hard? Maybe he wouldn’t have to put in so many hours if you attempted a few money saving habits. Try washing all your clothes in cold water. Don’t bathe so often. Wear an outfit for more than one day. And turn your heat down… you keep the place like a sauna.”

These are all excellent suggestions. After I’ve turned my clothes all gray, I won’t have to worry what my friends will think…because I’ll be too stinky to come near. And instead of not changing our clothes so often…we can just parade around naked. We’ll definitely be more comfortable in our overheated house. And if we get cold…we can always go outside to warm up.

“Baked two pies this morning, our stomachs can’t handle the store bought like you serve. Did laundry, ironing and mending. As I’ve told Booger Bait, we are what we wear. Plowed the driveway. Braided a throw rug for the dining room. Washed the floors, scrubbed the toilets and dusted. Our immune systems aren’t as strong as yours seems to be. Aah, it’s already 8 a.m. and bowling league starts at 9. Got to run. Have a wonderful holiday.”

The woman has raised the back-handed compliment to an art form. And how can superwoman go bowling with two legs in a cast?

We have a Christmas tradition before opening our gifts, everyone relates a fond memory of each relative not present. When Beulah from Buda’s name came up, I held my breath. This is how we remembered her… Booger Bait: “She always wanted people to see me at my best because she loved me.”

Chubby: “She showed me a nice smile can help overcome anything.”

Wayne: “She appreciates hard workers.”

Me: “She taught me the true value of time and that it should spent wisely by telling others how much you love them. And she showed me compassion and forgiveness through the words of my family…for which I am forever grateful.”

May you all be as fortunate.

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