The unusual

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 8, 2004

Must be my strange nature – I love the unusual. To acquaint you with an example, let’s start with my Aunt Sarah. Don’t jump to conclusions, she wasn’t nutty, actually she was brilliant. She left marks at my teacher’s college you’d have to climb to the clouds to equal and was the first female principal in Cambridge. My dad was her favorite brother so we saw a lot of her.

She was, to begin with, a very beautiful woman. She told us great stories and acted every character. Call it home movies. I guess.

Suddenly this beautiful woman with the pretty hair and sparkling eyes became a plain, hair pulled back, unattractive spinster lady almost over night.


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We were kids so we couldn’t function in an adult way and figure it out. Never to let any situation the better of me I schemed to find the reason for Aunt Sal’s change. So I’d say something about her – really only bringing up her name when Mother and Dad were together. Then I’d leave – go to the dining room and listen.

Sneaky? Of course. But I was a schemer even then.

I got the story. Aunt Sal had fallen in love with, of all people! Our dear and beloved family friend – Fr. Tom! Mom and Dad discussed it saying how sad it was. As folks would say – they could have been perfect for each other.

Poor Aunt Sal! She always began stories for us with, &uot;And it so happened…&uot; and the story came from those words. She was so good at it, but lousy in her love choices. A beautiful and unusual woman.

Now, let’s stop the sad and skip to something really unusual: Christmas has passed. Hope everyone made out great! Anyway I’m sure you heard &uot;Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer&uot; four million times (at least!) Well, Rudolph could have been Ruth or Rose. Don’t think I’m crazy, it’s true! The leader of Santa’s sleight lighting up the sky is a she! You’ve seen picture of Rudolph leading the pack, right? Had a beautiful pair of antlers, right? Couldn’t have been a Rudolph. Male deer lose their antlers every December. Female deer also have antlers. Can’t tell them apart. So with antlers in December, it was truly a she. Check this out if you doubt me. Would I lie to you? Never!

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.