A Sucker Punch, Losing Mom and a Water Balloon Debacle.

“Don’t sugar coat it honey,” Aunt Francis said when I walked in the house holding my T-shirt up to my face, a stream of profanity spilling from my mouth like Sugar Creek in April. Francis was dabbing at the split in my lip with a wash cloth–avoiding eye contact. I think she was afraid I’d … Continue reading

Francis Hates Coupons and Henry the Dog Hates Foreign Cars

Aunt Francis liked Miller High Life in the summer, or sweet tea with a big old splash of Kentucky bourbon and ice to the top of the glass. She’d strut around barefoot in cutoff Levis and her favorite T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. It was Uncle Fred’s old UAW tee–faded navy blue with tiny … Continue reading


Aunt Francis parked the station wagon in the drive and ran back inside. She didn’t say what she’d forgotten this time. The front seat was loaded already–beach towels, a thermos of sweet tea, magazines she planned to read on the beach and a bottle of her homemade tanning lotion (iodine and Baby Oil)–that stuff makes … Continue reading

Aunt Francis and Her Bra

On the way home from a day of swimming and a picnic at Lake Waveland, it was so stinkin’ hot, Aunt Francis took her shirt off and was doing 65 down Highway 47 in her bra–pointing to houses and farms. “That’s where Lilly Anne grew up. Remember her?   She married so & so and lives … Continue reading