Aunt Thelma and the Garage

While I was living with Aunt Thelma in the 80s, she had to have some work done on the garage, which was built into a hill so you entered the basement from the garage. The south wall of the garage was buckling, and it had to be fixed. Thelma’s son-in-law, Rundle, and one of the neighbors took care of the job.

There was a gentle slope from where the garage was attached to the house down to the level of the driveway. I saw that as a good place to put a flower garden and a good opportunity because it was already torn up. I said as much to Rundle and asked him to have his helper put down a layer of well rotted manure to mix in with the sand.

Rundle started waving his arms and hollering and told me that was a bad idea because the soil would wash down. He said they were going to put sod down up against the garage along the roofline.

I was angry. Hopping mad. I stomped into the kitchen. Aunt Thelma asked me what was wrong. I waved my arms around a bit myself and told her what Rundle had said. I probably said a few more things, too.

Aunt Thelma stood there patiently in the middle of the kitchen floor while I ranted.

Then she said, “That’s all right. You go ahead and let them do what they want to do”

“What? What?” I sputtered. “But, but—“

“And then when they’re all done and gone, you go ahead and do what you want to do.”

I looked at her just dumbfounded. And then I started to laugh.

“Is that what you’ve been doing all these years?”

She smiled at me and grinned. “You’ll learn,” she said.

Cris Roll


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