Oh these feisty old ladies. They have survived so much. Doug's aunt Vi grew up in North Dakota, in a farmhouse with a dirt floor. She had seven or eight brothers and sisters, and when the oldest girl died in childbirth, her baby was taken in and raised as another sibling. They all had great, old fashioned, salt-of-the-earth names--Nellie, and Mavis, and Mary Lou. And that was fitting, because these were old-fashioned, salt-of-the-earth women. They served white bread and margarine at every meal, along with big hunks of well-cooked meat and vegetables boiled vigorously to a pale pea-green, and they always said grace and went to church, whether they believed or not, and if they didn't believe it was nobody's business.
Vi married a guy named George, and it wasn't an easy life, but they had a son, Greg, who grew up to be a lawyer and to play guitar in a Christian rock group, and he and his family have been the light of her life these past 25 years. About 10 or 12 years ago Vi moved from North Dakota to the Twin Cities to live with Mavis, her little sister (and Doug's mom). It was always great fun to visit them on Sundays, two widows, side by side in their matching leather recliners in front of the TV. Mavis, being hard of hearing and a little more subdued personality-wise, was always pretty quiet. But Vi talked and talked and talked.
She was bossy. She had opinions on everything. She read the papers, and she watched television, and she commented with great certainty, primarily on the Minnesota Twins and Vikings football, but also on politics and crime.
16 minutes ago