Friday, October 31, 2008

Lily (Lillian) Rosena Baker Howland—Nov. 4, 1892, By Aunt CB

(---Early, I know, but check the November Birthday List as of Tonight. We've got another birthday girl to write about on the 5th!--
--Also, Look for Charlie Hawkes Picture CD to Music of the Taylor Reunion after the November 5th Aunt Barb story---)

Gladys called her “Lily pickle!” We just called her Aunt Lil and loved her dearly! She was named Lily but always went by Lillian.

When I remember growing up in the 1930's my memories of her center mostly on the store, not the house. That’s where she gave us the most wonderful breakfasts; bacon, fried eggs, cold potatoes warmed up with plenty of onions cooked with bacon grease and coffee, liberally laced with evaporated milk. They sure beat cornflakes or rice krispies! That’s where she made her pickles too, and the aroma, when she heated them to can, after they had “soaked” a few days, was actually nose twitching.

She was very liberal with her bounty, allowing us, pop, creamsicles, penny candy—and once she even outfitted Gladys and me with boy’s overalls and Tee shirts so that we could go picking blackberries for jam. (Grandma Baker was scandalized at this outfit, but allowed as how our intentions were good, and provided us with long cotton stockings--with feet cut out to protect our arms).

One year, when my father was away deer hunting she arrived at our house in Geneva, having driven there alone (along with Fort Knox, her ever present over-sized purse) to stay a few days. She drove like the proverbial bat out of “you know” but not many women did then, so we were no judge and glad to see her.

That was the visit she taught us how to play “spoons.” Teaching a bunch of kids who’d never played card games must have been a challenge but she was rewarded when she heard, and laughed herself silly at our glee, when we could yell “Jackass” as one of us grabbed the last spoon!

And then there was the year we came to her house for Easter. I was young and couldn’t remember much past Uncle Elmer slicing ham at the dining room table and it slipped and scooted across the room. Didn’t bother Lil a whit! She reached down, picked it up and placed it back on the platter and he continued to slice!

And yes, that was the year she’d hard boiled 3 dozen eggs and hidden them around the front yard. We had great fun, looking for them after dinner but the real plus was the next summer when Gladys and I found 2, still hidden, and very odiferous! (So were we after we cracked them!)

Years later, grown now, I took her to visit my good friend, Cliff, at his Antique shop in Canada. She nearly had a stroke at the prices—“$30 for a peepot! Why I paid 10 cents for one just like it at an auction!” (Never mind that 50 years had passed since that auction!)
No, there was only one Lily pickle — and I wish her a happy 116th birthday!

Picture One: Howland-Taylor Cousins
Back, Sylva, Ruth Maney, Leona, Esther, Arnon
Front, CB, Doris, Gladys Wood, Phyllis Mudge, Harold
Howland yard, Center Lisle, 1931 or 32
Picture Two: Leona H. Maffei, Sylva H. Emhof, Lillian Howland 1921
Picture Three: Aunt Lil, Ethel Baker Taylor 1969


sue kinsella said...

Mom, it's so wonderful to hear these new stories and see pictures I've never seen before. Thank you!

Why had the kids in your family never played cards before?

Where does Lil's middle name, Rosena, come from? It seems unusual to me for that time and place.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Kathryn said...

Rosena was Kate's sister. It seems to me tho, it was spelled Rosene on the colorized picture of the 2 girls - Kate and Rosene. I may be wrong about that, but I am sure they were sisters.
By the way, my beloved grandmother definately drove like a bat out of ****! In my teens, I rode to Marathon with her every week to do shopping. I marvel that I lived through it! Lilly Pickle was really wonderful! My Mom still got choked up when she talked about her years after she died. Ma was a 'Mommies girl'.

Anonymous said...

yes, Rosena was Kate's big sister!! Died at 27 or so leaving 2 boys [ Spencer] Grandma Kate always was partial to those boys and the daughter of one was flower girl to My mother.
We did not play cards because My Father was not allowed to do so by his grandmother. {cordelia, methodist] Today no one pays any attention to those rules, but then they did!! CB