My Aunt Grace

I want to tell you about my Aunt Grace!  She is a lovely woman who imparted a great deal of knowledge to this young boy.  My Aunt Grace is married to my Uncle Jim and is the sister of my father Frank James.  Her mother and father were my Grandparents, John and Mary, who emigrated from Italy.  She had a younger brother my special Uncle Jimmy.  She is the mother of four wonderful cousins, Anna Jean, Leonard, Janet and Gary.  She is to me someone who not only loved me but someone who loved to teach and guide me in my early years.

My first memory of my Aunt Grace was the day my Mom and Dad drove to Monterey, California for a visit.  I remember that the drive from San Jose California was long and I am sure I must have asked many times if we were there yet.  When we did arrive I remember a very long driveway with a beautiful house on my right and giant eucalyptus trees on my left.  Upon entering the house we were greeted by both my Aunt Grace and my Uncle Jim.

Hugs and kisses for everyone and we settled down to talk.  I was very young at this time but I remember that my oldest sister and my cousin Anna Jean went off to play.  I was just a little older than my cousin Leonard but we were happy to play together.  I loved the house in Monterey with its quaint charm and the wonderful smell of eucalyptus in the air.  I remember that Leonard and I were playing outside by the giant eucalyptus trees when I feel down and skinned my knee.  I think it hurt so bad that I went into the house crying.

It was my Aunt Grace who came to my rescue.  She rolled up my pants and looked at my skinned knee.  She then assured me that everything would be alright.  She cleaned my “boo boo” and applied some antiseptic to the damaged skin.  Aunt Grace called me Johnny and gave me another hug and kiss.  I was much better after that first aid treatment and my aunt had touched my heart.  I went outside and continued playing.

My Aunt Grace was a great cook.  I just loved her special meals.  Christmas Eve was outstanding with her crab Chioppino.  I also remembered that she made each house a home for her family.  Her family moved from Monterey and the next house I remember was a giant older home in Lodi California.  This house had a giant porch that covered not only the front of the home but one side of the house as well.  I remember sitting outside on the porch talking with my aunt Grace during a rain storm.  It was wonderful to hear my aunt talk and see the rain fall and yet be protected from the rain by sitting on the porch.

The next time I visited with my aunt Grace her family had moved to Sacramento California.  They had a wonderful home with a giant kitchen.  No matter how early I would rise in the morning as soon as I entered the kitchen I would be greeted with a good morning by my aunt.  It was at these times early in the morning that we had some of the best talks.  We talked about her early days as a sister to my father; we discussed growing up and the importance of family.  We talked about current events, impacts to the family, and what should make people happy.  We had long talks when my Grandfather was placed into a rest home.  We talked about my plans to get married.  There was nothing that I could not talk to my aunt Grace about.

Aunt Grace is a wonderful woman, who is a devoted wife, dedicated mother, and someone who truly knows how to spoil grandchildren.  I have always enjoyed my visits as well as just thinking about this lovely lady.