My turn at the bat. Rey and Linda posted about themselves, so I feel compelled to do the same. But my likes and favorites would make for a snoozy post and I’d not experienced anything traumatic or poignant . . . except the death of my sister, Reena Jean.
My sister and I weren’t very close. She was rather flighty and very unpredictable. She was also a thrill-seeker (her recusant ex called her a wing-nut). Still, I rather admired her; I liked the impulsiveness. My sister had boldly if not smugly stood on (clung determinedly to) a pier by the ocean during a Category 4 hurricane. She challenged Mother Nature to “bring it on!”. Mother Nature granted the request by yanking Reena Jean into the raging deep . . . and had the last laugh. It’s hard not to admire that zest for life . . . even if it cost my sister hers.
That got me reflecting on our unconventional family members. Some people claim they’re eccentric, others say they’re quirky, and a few would profess off-the-wall and/or whacky. You may have met Aunt Mat (The Connecticut Corpse Caper); she’d likely top the list. The sexagenarian is truly dotty, but quite enchanting. She’s never one to mince words and tells it like it is, which can be both refreshing and daunting. [That she may be a secret serial killer is something we don’t speak about.]
Then there’s eyebrow-less Uncle Flex, sour-faced Great-Aunt Gertrude, toupee-crazy Uncle Charly . . . and the various aunts. Jane Sue won a ton of money in a lottery and always has some “sweet young thing” hanging off an arm. Ruth June is a born-again Christian who writes tame romance novels that sell fairly well; she’s also the proud owner of ten dozen crocheted blankets and fifteen dozen handcrafted doilies. Rowena Jaye, Rey’s mother, was what they used to call a “homemaker”, though she didn’t excel in that department—lumpy mushroom-soggy rice anyone? Sue Lou, the one with the highly shellacked hair (she still resides in the 60s), was a librarian once upon a time; these days, she spends her time at her large Maine cottage, practicing taxidermy on the fish she catches.
If I posted about them all, you’d be reading for a full day. But I do have to mention one more person: my father. I never knew him, not even his name. My mother had always refused to talk about him, other than that one time (I was about nine and had asked) to explain, with a sigh and roll of the eyes, that he’d been killed climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I’d boasted to schoolmates that “Edmund H” Fonne was an explorer and adventurer, and his last planned exploration—before returning home to his beloved family—had been a fateful trip to Tanzania. As a private eye, maybe I should do some serious P.I.ing and learn about him. . . . nawwwww. Sometimes, mysteries are best left to remain unsolved.
Despite the family leaning toward madcap and weird, I’m rather fond of [most of] them. I wouldn’t be who I am if I’d not experienced those zany moments, attended chaotic get-togethers, or helped bail the odd one out (that’s another post).
Here’s to the ever-fanciful Fonnes!