As it got closer to Christmas, there were days when I wished school was still open. It was those days when Great-Aunt Bertha came to visit .
Everybody had a Great-Aunt Bertha, the relative who squeezed your cheeks, messed your hair and did other things that made you feel that you needed to run far, far away! The upsetting thing, my parents stood right there, every year, and did nothing to save me!
The only good thing about Aunt Bertha, she loved babies, so if you had younger siblings (and I did), and she spied them (which she did), she’d drop you and chase after them for the rest of her stay. She was a very nice lady, really; I just didn’t like her pinching my face, her nails left claw marks on my cheeks for days.
And the only thing worse than her pinching was her spinach and Limburger casserole. It looked bad and it smelled much, much worse. I remember there were large helpings of it on all the little kids’ plates, but none of the adults had any on theirs.
“There wasn’t enough, Aunt Bertha, the children took it all!”
(Ohh, lucky us.).
But, I learned a lot from my younger cousins, they would eat everything else, stir up the naughty stuff they didn’t like, tell their mothers they were full and the plates would disappear. They would then wait until their mothers sat back down at the big table, and then get up and tell the hostess relative (usually my Mum) that they were finished and wanted cake. Funny thing, Mum gave it to them!
But, it was one of my younger aunts that came to my rescue. With a big smile she took my plate and my brother’s; we must have looked a little green and she said that we needed to leave room for cake and ice cream. She became our favourite aunty that day!