Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Leaping Leap Year!

Leap Year is here only once in four years! Imagine having your birthday on February 29th. My dear late Aunt Eleanor was a Leap Day baby, born on that day in 1904. I calculated how old she would be in "leap birthdays" and she would be a mere 27 years old.

I was frightened of my Dad's older sister and for no good reason other than she was a tall large strict woman. As I grew older and far long after her death I learned so much about this kind woman that if she were alive we would have been close. Or...at least as close as possible for a woman born to German immigrants on a Midwest farm where "children were seen and not heard."  As the oldest daughter with a lot of responsibility, she put up with no nonsense and expressed herself with a booming voice that made one stop to give pause. She never stopped being my Dad's big sister and in their quiet remote ways I know they loved each other as only brothers and sisters can do.

She was a peacemaker, a great cook, compassionate, generous and loved to play pinochle.  She had a great capacity to love behind a facade that was in keeping with her old ways.

I celebrate her birth 108 years ago. I wonder...would she have celebrated March 1st or February 28?

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