Since I was a little girl, visiting has been a stable in my life and I absolutely love it! Whether it is catching up, celebrating a holiday, or meeting a new member of the family, I welcome every opportunity to arrive at someone’s doorstep with goodies in hand. As I now pack and prepare for anticipated visits to family and friends, I find myself appreciating these upcoming trips so much more with last year’s pause. My mind is also flooded with memories of the summer visits my Mom would arrange each year. There are so many memories to choose from, but I find myself drawn to telling the story of my visits to Auntie Clara.
Without fail my Mom would round us up for the annual summer visits between July and August each year. We would make several stops including a visit to Auntie Clara. My Auntie Clara was my Grandmother’s best friend throughout her whole adult life. They met in their twenties when they were working as secretaries in the state office. Auntie Clara was my Grandmother’s maid of honor and become godmother to my Mother, Aunt, and Uncle. I relished every opportunity to visit her. During the year, we would visit Auntie Clara at her house in Cranston, RI, but these summer visits commenced at her family’s beach house. It was a cozy, tiny house and my siblings and I would happy play in the sun room in particular. There was this one wall of ceramic fish which I vividly remember along with the window to the living room. When they created the sunroom to be an enclosed room, the original window of the house was kept. We thought it was the coolest thing ever and this window became a crucial element of our games. Upon our arrival my Aunt would be busy cooking in the kitchen. Auntie Clara was a marvelous cook and glided through each task with elegance and grace. I especially recall her strong hands. She could pick up a hot metal pot bare handed and not flinch. I still marvel at this skill as it is one I have never mastered and always have oven mitts handy… These visits were peaceful and calm and always commenced around a lovey lunch with great quality time. Although Auntie Clara has been gone for many years, these memories of her remain vivid in my mind and I imagine my Mom is preparing for her visit to Auntie Clara’s beach house now.
When I started planning this upcoming visit, I expressed the same sediments to my sister. I shared the desire to have a quiet beach weekend with her, her son, and our relatives in the area. Reminiscing on our summer visits like the ones to Auntie Clara, I am reminded of the magic of allowing relationships to build and strength over time. Each visit with Auntie Clara enhanced my love for her and blessed me with many wonderful memories. I am excited to let my 10-month-old nephew take the lead of the weekend and immerse in the cousin play dates where new memories and traditions can be made with this new generation! Memories are precious and summer visits are oh so sweet….
Kristina Lucia xoxo