When my mom’s sister, Aunt Audrey was sick, she gave things away. She may or may have realized thoroughly that what she was giving were memories more than the things she attached the memories to. She gave me a wooden Mallard.
The bottom of the decoy model has a piece of paper taped to it and on the piece of paper is written, “Four Heads on a Pillow.” This is the name of the memory.
No one knows, even Audrey wasn’t sure, if the Mallard came from the Pine Island Club or not but the memory definitely did. Audrey’s memory was of a day spent on the beach fishing, laughing, watching the kids run around and enjoying her family. Once back at the club, the kids all were washed up and put to bed with one pillow to share between us. Audrey’s granddaughter, Pam, her son, Perry and me, her niece. At some point that night Mog, my other aunt came and laid down with us, sharing the same pillow.
Four Heads on a Pillow. It’s a gift from Audrey, who passed over years ago and it includes Mog, who passed over just a few days ago. For me it is a well of memory that contains some of the most beautiful memories of my childhood and all of those, particular memories, also include Mog because the Pine Island Club was her home for many years.
One day Perry Wood and I had some Atomic Fireballs in our candy arsenal. We looked like sunburnt chipmunks as we ran and swam and sucked on those hard, hot candies. But then I got a hot one. A *really* hot one. Mog must have seen the tears in my eyes because she rushed over and demanded that I expel the candy, which I did with some reluctance. Then? She told me to take a few sips of her beer, which I also did with some reluctance. I thought beer was nasty and chasing an Atomic Fireball with it didn’t do that opinion any damage.
Anyway, Mog saved me with her Budweiser and must have been highly entertained by the grossed out expression on my little face when I sipped the beer. It was hard to even swallow it, it tasted so bad. Moggie laughed and said something like, “Lord ha’ mercy. I’ve never seen a body who didn’t like beer.”
Rest assured that I have developed a taste for it over the years.
Another thing I loved about Mog was that she was, perhaps, the only person I ever saw tell my mama to ‘be quiet’ and Mom would do it. Somehow, Mog’s voice cut through the static inside Mom’s head and she would listen to her older sister.
Once, on the way back to the hunt club from the beach (Corolla), Mog let me drive her pickup truck. I was maybe 11 years old at the time. We all drove in a line so it wasn’t a huge trick to follow the other trucks but Mom had a fit when she saw that I was driving at 45 mph. She told me to slow down. Moggie laughed and said, “Be quiet, Bet. She’s just got a lead foot just like I do.”
Mom didn’t say anything else but I did slow down some.
Things I’ll always remember about Mog: her voice; her fluffy blonde hair; how tiny she grew to be; her fiesty, vivacious, honest to the bone nature. The way she was always so kind to me when I was little and needed that more than anyone would ever guess. Well, maybe someone did.