Sunday, January 11, 2009

Aunt Maggie

This was shot off Gwynn's Island on the day it blew so hard it peeled the skin off your teeth. The white caps mimic the clouds in the sky. The lighting isn't so great because (a) it was overcast; (b) I was trying not to become a human tumbleweed and (c) grains of sand were pelting me and my camera. One false move and I'd have turned a back flip and landed over on the Eastern Shore.

Today Chesapeake Bay Mother shares a contribution about her Aunt Maggie. CB Mother claims that my loud, boisterous laugh is just like Aunt Maggie's. Poor Aunt Maggie.

Let's begin.
Aunt Maggie
by CB Mother

Great Aunt Maggie was beautiful, inside and out. She was twice widowed and had two small boys and no support. How she managed I cannot fathom. In days when women did not work as a rule, she raised good, productive children who were morally responsible and who made exemplary fathers and husbands to their families. They don’t make them like her anymore.

She was first of all religious. She went through several of them; we never knew what would show up next. Finally she settled on the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which some of her grandchildren are still. They seemed to have very healthy habits, and I let it go at that.

When Aunt Maggie came to visit she always brought her sewing machine in tow. And sew she did. She could make anything. Anything. All she needed was old newspaper and a tape measure. One year she made my dress when I was May Queen at our elementary school. It was beautiful. That same week she made me two flowered dresses for school, and I wore them regularly.

The whole time she was measuring and sewing, she was talking about the Bible. Her favorite book was Revelation. Not mine. As she labored away her dark eyes would penetrate my soul and she would bring up a verse about how this monster was going to deal with the iniquitous rivers of blood and all. While I know she was trying to infuse me with goodness, I considered this scary and could not reconcile it with my May Day Dress.

Though serious about the Lord, that woman had the standard all others must exceed when it comes to laughter. Hers was the strongest, loudest laugh of all. Imagine that.

CBW’s Comments
I have a really, really loud laugh, but I can’t quote Revelation. The extent of my Bible recitation is this: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, September, October, November and December...and I don't know what comes next. This concludes the Bible recitation portion of this post.


Anonymous said...


I think you were very fortunate to inherit Aunt Maggie's laugh. It's contagious....

Do you sew??

Happy Birthday:)

Unknown said...

I laugh loud too, but it's good for the soul. So, if you don't recite scripture, just laugh and then laugh some more.

My grandmother could sew by hand with stitches so small you'd swear she used a machine.


Annie said...

Let me say it again..


Talking about sewing, which we weren't, well sort of, does anyone remember the name of the material that had a fleck in it. My sisters and I (me , my older sis, and my younger sis !) all had frocks when we were kids, with a fleck. This would have been back in the 50's..which half of you wouldn't remember. The lady over the road came up with "spotted muslin", my sister came up with "flocked" and my s-i-l says it was called Voile...???

any answers from your enlightened visitors?


ps HAPPY BIRTHDAY...did I say that already? I am sure we all look forward to hearing about the birthday celebrations. I was perfectly fine with all the "forties" until I got to 47...for some reason I didn't like that one! Made me start to feel old I think...maybe it was getting a bit too close to 50. Now I am over 60...well, it is all irrelevant isn't it?

Annie said...

ps..let me try..Kings Chronicles Joshua, Judges, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (is that really in there?), Isaiah, Jeremiah, ....mmmm..I am sure I have prob left some of them out along the way...there was a time when I knew them all...that is when the kids were learning them at school...and I thought I should too!

tj said...

...Oh your Aunt Maggie sounds like a fantastic woman! They always say, "laughter is like wine for the soul"... So laugh loud and laugh lots! :o)

...And here's wishing you a very "Happy Birthday CBW!" May your special day be filled with lots o' cake, laughter, love and wine! (can't forget the wine ;o)

...And couldn't let your special day go by without a lil' birthday humor:
Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says, "Ted, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?"

Ted says, "I feel like a newborn baby."

"Really? Like a newborn baby?"

"Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants."

...*giggle*snort*... :oD

...Many birthday blessings to ya... *<:o)

Bayman said...

Mathews, Mark, Luke, John.

I love you, sweetheart.

Happy Birthday!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Just stopping by to wish you the happiest of birthdays!

Ann Marie said...

Ugh.. i wrote you a nice little note.. and POOF.
Point was take pictures, hope clouds break and HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Anonymous said...

I laugh loud too...a perfectly horrible example of this exists on the blog from yesterdays post. It's embarrassing to say the least. BHE says it's contagious, but I kinda think it's contagious the same way a bad cold is. J/K.

I went to a private Christian school growing up and had to memorize entire portions of the Bible. For some reason extra emphasis was ALWAYS placed on the book of Revelations. To this day it still scares the crap out of me!

Happy Happy Birthday CBW. Hope it's a great one!

Unknown said...

2nd-THANK YOU for sharing your memories of Aunt Maggie...Often wished I could sew like that.I ALSO had an Aunt with a loud laugh...I MISS THAT SPECIAL LAUGH she had!
Happy Birthday Wishes all year!!

pjhammer_1965 said...

You're a multiple of 11 - now that's something to celebrate! Happy Birthday.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BHE - Thank you so much. I am domestically disabled in every possible way...sewing would require patience and attention to detail. Enough said. (Let's figure out our next "planning" meeting - maybe the end of Jan.?)

GJ - I will wait patiently to hear your laugh this summer....

Annie - I'm not familiar with the material, perhaps somebody else reading is....good job on the books of the bible too, there was a time when i knew them all but there was also a time when i could speak portuguese. both skills fell by the wayside never to be picked up again.

tj - I'd heard that laughter is good for the soul, but never that it's wine for the soul. I like that one even better....thank you and thanks for making me laugh as you always do.

Bayman - did you intentionally say Mathews instead of Mathew? Good one.

Noe Noe Girl - thank you so much.

Ann Marie - thank you too, and I was thinking about taking pictures but can't get motivated plus the clouds keep acting up. Maybe later this afternoon....

Auds - I read your post but with my slow, dinosaur computer and dial-up internet couldn't hear the audio or see the video, but I believe you. I share your feelings about Revelation, although it's been a while sine I've read it.

MMRIS - Thank you!

PJH - I guess that's one way to look at it. Another way is six short years (aka blinks of the eye) until 50. Excuse me while I go back to bed and cry.

Thanks so much, everyone, I truly appreciate your words and wish everyone a peaceful, relaxing Sunday.

tj said...

...Hope you're enjoying your day CBW! Again, "Happy Birthday!" :o)
After I left that quote I knew there was more to it so here it is...

"Laughter is wine for the soul-laugh soft or loud and deep tinged through with seriousness. Comedy and tragedy step through life together arm in arm. Once we can laugh, we can live."
--Sean O'Casey

...And in the spirit of your birthday and laughter, which btw I hope your day will be full are a few more quotes on laughter: ;o)

"He who laughs, lasts."
--Mary Pettibone Poole

"The head thinks, the hands labor, but it's the heart that laughs."
--Liz Curtis Higgs

"If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself."
-- Charles Schulz

"If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it."
--Erma Bombeck

"If you don't learn to laugh at troubles, you won't have anything to laugh at when you grow old."
--Ed Howe

"I've always thought a big laugh
is a really loud noise
from the soul saying,
"Ain't that the truth."
--Quincy Jones

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
--Victor Hugo

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they might have been."
--William Hazlitt

"A person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed."
--Bennett Cerf

"You can't deny laughter. When it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants."
--Stephen King

...And my fav':
"Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."

...Thank you CBW for bringing laughter and cheer into our days! Many blessings to you... :o)

foolery said...


Happy birthday.

As the one of all of us here who is almost the last one asleep, I was gonna be the FIRST one to say happy birthday, even if I had to post it on yesterday's post. Well, passing out on the floor by the wood stove kinda chilled that notion.

And No, that wasn't from alcohol -- that was from a thrown-out back. And the fact that getting up seemed entirely impossible.

Happy birthday, my dear!

-- Laurie

foolery said...

Oh, and also? As I remember the stories of Aunt Maggie, she never went ANYWHERE without a pocket full of


to distribute to the young folks. Of course she never ate any herself, being an Adventist and therefore a strict vegetarian. But she knew a good heathen snack when she saw one, and was very kind to her non-vegetarian nieces and nephews.

Or that's the story, anyway. : )

(you have been SLIM JIM'D, and may you receive many more)

Mental P Mama said...

I'm scared.

Happy Birthday;)

Lucy said...

Happy Birthday funny girfriend. I think it's time to give up your "paying" job and write for our enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Slim, Happy Birthday to you and many, many more. I hope you had a jim dandy of a day. Peace, love, and all that stuff.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, CBW!

and many happy returns of the day!


Bob Cleveland said...


Haps atcha on that birthday thing.

And congrats on knowing it's Revelation, not RevelationS. Even in my Sunday School Class, chances of someone knowing that are slim; Jim, our teacher, gets it wrong all the time.

And ... tj: Ed Howe is one of my faves. And he is held in high regard elsewhere ... there's even a waterway in Louisiana named for him. Surely you've heard of....

Howe's Bayou?

Mental P Mama said...

Oh, I have special dietary needs for my visit. I require a lot of salt, and may want some Slim Jim's in my goody bag. kthx

Anonymous said...

I always wonder when people say I do this or that 'just like' so and so...if maybe they weren't thinking "and I hated so and so when they did that".....Next time you feel a really loud laugh coming on- the sure cure for it is a Slim Jim ya know.

Oh..Happy B Day. But next time could be OLDER? I can't see us being bestest friends with you so much younger than me. So go on...go AGE will ya?

Anonymous said...

Happy B-day!!

Always loved hearing bible stories from relatives when I was younger, talking about mannah from heaven being as plentiful as Slim Jim's at a 7/11.

All Things BD said...

Just clicked through from Slim Jim's blog. Happy birthday!!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

There's been slim pickin's on the interwebs today. Jim meny Crickets sure was good to find this post....
oh and Happy b'day as appears to be.

Unknown said...

This was so interesting! I always thought people that could sew were amazing! I bet the dresses she made were very beautiful!

I know all of the books of the Bible but I can not quote passages in Revelations. That book always freaked me out a little too.

I LOVE the picture. Overcast days are the best picture taking days. Did you know that? The lighting is perfect!

Unknown said...

I want to wish you a happy Birthday also! I didn't read the comments before I left mine! I hope your day was magical : ).

Kyddryn said...

Happy birthday, sugar! That photo reminds me of the days I'd spend at the beach, alone with the wind, waves, and a few hearty gulls (they laugh, too). I'd walk up and down, watching the water dance with itself and think my lonely thoughts.

I usually had a bottle of water, a good book, and a snack with me, and could stay the whole day without minding the damp or cold.

One day, I had a tin of SLIM JIMS; I shared them with a stray dog, who seemed very grateful for the snack. He sat with me the whole afternoon, just happy for some company.

I wonder what happened to that dog...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who hopes you had a lovely day)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I am overwhelmed and honored and humbled by everyone's comments. For once, I am *almost* speechless and just say THANK YOU so very much. This has been an incredible day.

I wish each of you a wonderful week ahead, with lots of humor and plenty of laughter.

Thanks TJ for the best quotes I've read in a while - I sent you an e-mail about the effect they had on me.

Foolery - You're simply the greatest. We have missed you here in the Comment section.

Thanks again to everyone. Sincerely.

I Am Woody said...

Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

Would have gotten here sooner, but was walking on the beach this morning and must have dropped my Slim Jims - can't seem to find them anywhere. Curious though, my dog's breath smells like sausage. Wonder how that happened?

Was thinking about asking you down to KeyLargo, but Foolery tells me you're only 23 - Ya know, I drink whiskey that old :)!

Happy Birthday!!

Meg McCormick said...

Maggie is one nickname for Margaret; Meg is another. This Maggie sends special birthday wishes and processed meat stix to her blog bud on her birthday!

Unknown said...

I would feel negligent if I didn't swing back over to say that I hope your birthday was fantabulous.

I can't get over how easy it is to make you laugh. You know, Grandma J in the chef's hat and all!

tj said...

...Am I mistaken or did 'Bayman' forget one up there? Isn't it Matthew, Mark, John, Luke and Slim Jim? Er, I meant Mathews...silly me...*giggle* ;o)

foolery said...

If the Slim Jim PR people don't call you, they're missing a big opportunity.

You still have two more hours of birthday here on the left coast. I would celebrate for you but I'm all out of Slim Jims.


Your 22-year-old pal,


Kit said...

Happy Birthday! I hope it was lovely, full of good fun, good company, and plenty of slim jims.

I can just see your Aunt Maggie, sewing a beautiful little girl's dress with fire and brimstone issuing from her well-meaning lips. Wow.

And you bring forth a memory of mine, of memorizing the books of the bible oh-so-many years ago. . . it was a song of sorts, and I STILL remember it, at least through Song of Soloman. Funny how I remember that, yet can't remember my Dad's phone number. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Big Sis, Happy Birthday! When I come home next, I'll buy you a SLIM JIM for every year you've been around. Of course, that could get expensive.....

Middle Sis

cactus petunia said...

Just popped over from Foolery's place to wish you a belated Happy Birthday! I would've been here sooner, but I needed a Slim Jim to unlock my computer...

MommyTime said...

I am perennially late to every party, especially when I've been asked to bring the fancy hors d'ouvres (you know, such as Slim Jims built into the shape of a log cabin..a real classy hit) -- but I salute to your birthday, nonetheless. Happy Belated!