Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The oldest living person in our family (that we really like) is my mother’s sister, my Aunt Betty.  And she is a marvel.  Aunt Betty never married, I’m not sure why as she did have proposals, so I was slightly doted on by her (which never bothered me one little bit).  She has a PhD in Housing and Interior Design from Florida State and has taught at Virginia Tech and UGA—a couple of other places too but these are the two biggies and the ones that I often visited.  No matter where Aunt Betty was, she always, without fail, came home for Christmas and to go with us to the beach every summer for vacation.  And she always took time to do special things with me from letting me stay with her for a weekend to taking me to Six Flags over Georgia to a trip to Washington, DC.  My favorite trip was when she had completed studying in Nevada and had my grandmother and me fly out not only for a visit but to drive us back to SC just so we could see some of the US.  We went to Lake Tahoe for dinner one day and I was amazed at the mountains being covered in snow in the summer.  She took us to the Golden Nugget in Reno and we saw Liberace.  I was only 12, but I remember that he was the funniest, most talented person I had ever seen.  When it was time to leave and drive back, she took us into California.  We went into the Redwood National Park and I was completely in awe of those big trees.  I took roll after roll of film just of the giant Redwoods.  She took us to Disney Land in Anaheim, CA.  We had the BEST time!  It was 1970 and one of the big things for women was wigs.  And Aunt Betty was wearing one when we visited Disneyland.  She got on to ride Space Mountain with me and as the employee was explaining certain things about the ride, Aunt Betty asked, “Will my wig fall off?”  She rode with one hand holding onto her wig!  She took us through the Redwood National Forest.  She drove us just into Mexico so that we could say we went there.  It was the dirtiest little town I’ve ever seen but I loved it.  I bought my mother some Spanish lace there.  She took us to the Grand Canyon and we were simply amazing by it.  We went through Texas where we stayed a few days with one of Aunt Betty’s friends from Florida State.  I’ve never seen such flat land before or so many cattle (steers?) nor have I ever been so HOT.  We drove through a thunder storm that produced to best light show I’ve ever seen to this very day.  It was one LONG drive to get through Texas.  We went through Helen, GA and Gatlinburg, TN and I am still in love with both of those quaint towns.  She took us to Old Salem in Winston Salem, NC and to the Biltmore House.  We saw so many beautiful sights on this trip and I have never forgotten it.   Aunt Betty took us to places she thought we would enjoy the most, and we did.  (I still have some of the photos from the trip but none are scanned into my computer and that takes forever because my computer can be a stubborn cuss).

Aunt Betty continued the tradition with my daughters.  She always took all of them every summer on trips to NC: Biltmore House, Old Salem,  Lake Junaluska, Tweetsie (UGH…LOL), Cherokee Indian Reservation, Discovery Place; in GA: Helen, Epworth by the Sea, Callaway Gardens, St. Simons, Unicoi State Park; in TN: Gatlinburg, Dollywood; in VA:  Williamsburg; in SC:  Christmas Tea at Winthrop University, Kings Mountain, Brattonsville…

 All those experiences were fantastic.  But what kind of person is Aunt Betty besides one who thinks her niece and great-nieces should have travel experiences?  She’s the person who will drop whatever it is she’s in the middle of and come to your aid.  She’s the person who stopped everything when Granddaddy died and stayed with Grandmother until she passed.  She’s the relative and friend who comes to stay with you at the hospital instead of visiting for an hour and going home.  She’s the person who is always thinking of everyone else and never herself.  She’s the person who takes care of plants and animals like they were people and she treats people like they are saints.  She’s the person who takes food to someone’s house when they are not well or have lost a loved one- and stays to clean up after the other visitors.  She’s nonjudgmental and she loves unconditionally.  She’s the person who gives and gives until she has nothing left and then goes and finds something and gives that as well.  She’s a friend, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a teacher, a student—of life.  She’s a conversationalist.  She’s thrifty.  She’s patient.  She’s a Methodist.  And she loves soap operas. 

Aunt Betty is one of the most wonderful people I know.  Although she will tell you that she is blessed by us, we all know that we are the ones truly blessed to have her in our lives .   

Aunt Betty and Mother

Aunt Betty on Christmas Eve sometime in the early 60s

Mother and Aunt Betty, Christmas Eve- early 70s

Aunt Betty, Grandmother, and Mother 1990
This is the 29th day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March. The theme for this month is: in a word! My chosen word for today is: AUNTIE and is based on today's prompt: Who's the oldest living person in your family? How much do you know about him or her?


  1. Aunt Betty has a heart of gold. What a wonderful lady!

  2. She sounds like a very wonderful person and you are indeed very lucky to have her.

  3. Blue- She's the best!

    Kara- We really are lucky!

  4. Boy, I have to think about that. My parents have both passed away, so I guess that would be my Aunt Maryteen. I think she is about 83. She nicknamed me Susabelle, and that is what she has called me forever. She was the one with the most common sense in my dad's family. I really admired her.


  5. What a wonderful story!

    The world would be perfect if we had more Aunt Bettys.

    It was a pleasure to meet her.

  6. You are lucky to have had an aunt Betty in your life. I never saw my fav aunt enough to suit me.

  7. What a lovely post and what an extraordinarily lucky girl you were to have such a GREAT Auntie - and that trip sounds just fantastic. Lucky lucky lucky you!

  8. Susan-Susabelle is about the cutest nickname I've ever heard!

    Gail- I think you're right! She's a jewel!

    Michele-I don't see her enough either, but that's mostly my fault. I should be better about going up to visit!

    Jane-Definitely lucky to have her!

  9. She sounds quite wonderful. Everyone should have an Aunt Betty in their lives! You are blessed to have her in your family.

  10. This- She is wonderful! We are indeed blessed to have her!

  11. Wow, the world could definately use a few more people like your Aunt Betty! What a nice tribute to her, as well.
    Thanks to the travels of Aunt Betty, you've seen more places than most of us will ever see in our lifetime :) and I'm envious, too...

  12. Wow! What memories! you are truly blessed to have such an Aunt. I saw you on Jeff's blog and a couple of others also, so I decided to stop by. Glad I did. Thank you for sharing. Will be following..

  13. Kathy-She is definitely jewel!

    Craz-Thanks for stopping by! I'll visit you as well!

  14. Aww, I want your Aunt Betty to be my Aunty too! She sounds like an awesome person and the pics are absolutely fab dahlink!

  15. Annie- She would love to be your Aunt--all of our friends call her Aunt Betty and she treats them just like family...and in her case, that's a good thing. LOL

  16. What a blessing you have had having Aunt Betty so involved in your life. She sounds like one in a million. This post reminded me of something Carole Bayer Sager said after Elizabeth Taylor passed, that if she was your friend and you were in trouble Elizabeth "showed up". It sounds like Aunt Betty "shows up" as well. What a heartwarmer this story was. Thank you for sharing. I think I am now the oldest living relative in my immediate family, but my maternal grandma who lived 4 months short of her 100th birthday was this same giving type of person, she would give her last dollar and go without eating if someone needed it.

  17. I am learning more and more how important a family is. (I know you are not supposed to end a sentence with a verb much less "is" but dang it sometimes you just have to)
    Yes I could have said: I am learning more and more the importance of family the older I get. (dang it)
    The older I get the more I realize the importance of family. (taking my bow, rising up to wave my thank you to you all, exiting stage left)

  18. We should all have an Aunt Betty. I did, but she passed away a few years ago and I miss her terribly. I think of her every day and of all the fun times we had together. Give Aunt Betty a hug from all of us bloggers!

  19. Such a sweet lady. I loved this post. Thank you for sharing your family.
    Take care and have a blessed evening.

  20. What a wonderful post to an obviously great woman. Every girl should have someone like your Aunt Betty in her life. We as women should strive to be more like her in being present and supportive for young girls and women. She is obviously a woman of style and substance. How lucky you are to have her.

  21. She most def. seems to be a wonderful person.
    Look at that genuine smile.
    A lovely tribute to her!

  22. Kathie- You grandma does sound just like Aunt Betty!

    Kipp- So, I'm not the only one who stresses over correct grammar usage? Or the correct use of grammar? Or...LOL

    Paris- I will do that!

    Sailor- thanks! I hope she's around for a long time!

    Julie- She's a peach! And I know she would LOVE you!

    Grams- You make an excellent point. We really should try to be better role models for the younger girls.

    Nicole-Her smile is always genuine! And when she laughs, her head always tilts back!

  23. Sounds like an amazing woman. So nice that she enjoyed other people's children even though (or maybe because) she didn't have children of her own. Everyone needs an Aunt Betty in their life.

    I love that dark green jacket she's wearing in the Christmas Eve 1960s photo. :-)

  24. What a blessing to have someone like this in your family!

  25. Judy-She and my mother made most of their clothes. And mine!

    Donna-She truly is!


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