Your Great Grandpa Lowell had nine brothers and sisters, so I had lots of uncles and aunts. But I think my favorite is my Aunt Bea. She is funny and sweet and we have always gotten along. Her voice always sounded like everything was going to be all right.
Aunt Bea used to run a flower shop in Salem, and when she got tired of doing that, she taught flower arranging classes out of her house in Silverton. She put on flower shows there.
At the top is a picture with my Uncle Bill, Aunt Veralene, with Aunt Bea in the center, taken at a big party. The bald fellow is Veralene’s husband and the one wearing the tie is my Uncle Benny. Aunt Bea was always in the middle! We always said that she didn’t leave a party, she took the party with her.
This Easter Sunday, I decided it was time to go visit her in Lake Oswego, which is part of Portland. Grandpa Nelson offered to drive me, so I got in touch with Bea’s oldest son, Larry, to find out where she was staying. But she’s not here anymore!
She has moved to Corvallis, and is currently in the hospital there, after a fall. Well, poop. But Grandpa Nelson said he would enjoy a drive through the country, an hour and a half to Corvallis, so we packed some haroset and some Peeps (it’s Easter, after all) and headed south.
There is a lot of country, millions of grape vines and thousands of filbert trees, between here and Corvallis. But it was all spring lovely and almost sunny. We drove in quiet or chatted for an hour and a half, and found the hospital.
Bea is eighty seven, and no one looks their best after a stay in the hospital. But once she woke up (I had gotten there at nap time) and had some lunch, we had a nice conversation. We remembered funny stories about her kids, and what they were doing now. It was a good, two hour conversation.
I could tell Bea was getting tired, so I took a picture and hugged her tiny frame, and said goodbye. Aunt Bea is small and frail, but she is still sweet, funny Aunt Bea. I’m glad we went to see her.
I’ll tell you what happened next, tomorrow!