I’m posting my Aunt Martha’s memories, “From Covered Wagons to Outer Space” on my Stories Too Long site. She writes about coming to Oklahoma in a covered wagon when she was six years old and then follows with some tales of sorrow and joy. I’d forgotten, until I started this project, how much I loved to read her stories. I didn’t have the opportunity to spend much time with her, but she often wrote to me and told me stories about her life. She once took the time to write a thirty-two page letter to me!
My most vivid memories of her are from 1963. Mama and Papa had come from Oklahoma to California for a visit and were getting the grand tour. We went to see the Sequoias and several other tourist places. However, the best part of the trip for me was Aunt Martha’s house in Modesto. I’m sure it was a modest little house now that I view the photos from an adult perspective, but to my teenager’s eyes it was a wonderland. Aunt Martha had flowers and trees and the most beautiful lawn I had ever seen (St. Augustine grass). She lived on the river and there was a winding path down to a small boat dock where they went fishing. They had a patio and picnic table. There was even a bear next door! (A decrepit zoo retiree, but it was exciting to peek over the fence anyway.)
I remember Aunt Martha as a very kind person. She often mentioned people in her letters and was so appreciative of their time and talents. She loved arts and crafts. She had a good sense of humor and was sometimes a risk taker. You’ll have to read more of her adventures in her own words.