Aunt Ruby was a jewel for sure…
Momma’s momma passed of cancer just before momma’s 13th birthday
Aunt Ruby was married to my grandaddy’s brother, Floyd
They lived right across the pasture from where momma and her siblings lived
Aunt Ruby became a mother to the motherless
Making her “grandmother” to us girls, only we called her “Aunt Ruby”
I can hardly say her name without smiling..She was a gentle, jolly classic who’s fried chicken would make KFC’s colonel cry. No doubt her teacakes with homemade chocolate icing are available now in heaven and a favorite for sure!! No icing I’ve tasted since is even in the ballpark in comparison to hers!
A quilting queen.
Momma says Aunt Ruby used to tell her you weren’t allowed into the quilting ring “if you couldn’t get at least 7 to 8 stitches on a needle” Momma said Aunt Ruby could get 10 stitches to an inch…I loved watching her quilt. She wore her thimble like a crown. The sisters, cousins and I would jet off the bus, up the dirt road, grab us a cookie on the way in the door racing all the way to our favorite spot…under the quilting rack that hung from the ceiling in her den. Somedays if we were lucky we could catch the last 15 minutes or so of Guiding Light. Afterwards momma and Aunt Susan would run us all outside where we’d play for what seemed like hours in the garden, hay barn or atop the plum tree..
We felt like we were could see across seven states when we were atop that little tree.
Aunt Ruby was a stickler when it came to her yard. Most weeks she’d mow it twice a week and when it became to much for her to handle I was hired on. Her cannas and tiger lilies were the prettiest I ever saw. She must’ve had a green thumb up under that quiltin’ thimble. If she wasn’t at the kitchen stove, quiltin’ rack or shelling peas on her little back porch you could find her restin’ on the front porch that overlooked the pasture. It was a quiet little screened in porch where we loved to eat popcicles and swing on the porch swing. It was a happy place to all who entered.
Married to the love of her life, Uncle Floyd for more than 50 years. Devoted to her Savior and her little Baptist church. Rarely missed a Sunday. Aunt Ruby never learned to drive so after Uncle Floyd passed in the early 90s momma and daddy would pick her up on our way to church. “On time is late” could’ve surely been her motto. She was ALWAYS ready. Bible in one had, black pocket book in the other~waiting with a smile on her little back porch.
As Aunt Ruby aged her sight began to fail along with her sense of smell..
One Sunday morning we’ll never forget! Momma and daddy were barely in her driveway when they noticed a potent stench. Aunt Ruby was all smiles & as usual- Bible and pocket book in hand. When daddy opened to door to get out to help her into the car the smell almost knocked him out! Momma gasped & greeted Aunt Ruby with a smile assuming the rank odor must have been a foul skunk passing through. Aunt Ruby loaded and ready they backed out of the drive when Aunt Ruby made mention of “the sweetest little critter showed up this morning. It just came right up to me while I was sittin’ on the porch waitin’ for y’all.” Momma and daddy realized what must have happened just as they pulled into the church parking lot. Before either could muster the courage to share their speculation Aunt Ruby had let herself out and was well on her way to Sunday school.
Heaven forbid one be late to Sunday school.
A dear, dear family friend that loved Aunt Ruby as much as we all did caught on to what had happened just after Aunt Ruby got settled into class. Without delay she went and found momma and told her as politely as one can
“We’ve got to get her out of here!”
By that time the smell had made it’s way into the central cooling unit and rumor of a “skunk under the church house” began to break out. So as discretely and lovingly as one can share with another, our dear family friend let sweet Aunt Ruby know that she indeed had been sprayed by a skunk! Bless her. Embarrassed beyond words precious Aunt Ruby scurried back to the car and our family friend drove her straight home. Tomato juice, vinegar bath nor any other household remedy will ever remove that precious memory of our sweet Aunt Ruby from the treasure chest of the very best!
“She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” Prov. 3:15