Friday, March 21, 2008

Memories of Aunt Ella

I think maybe this bit of danger in my spirit came from my family tree. My Great Aunt Ella was a bit of an adventurer. She loved driving and when us kids were older she loved exploring with us. I remember once she came to see us in Spangle and we went for a drive and we talked her into going fast down the road. If you went over the gravel roads fast it was like riding a roller coaster with the same effect. We were having a grand time till we came to a railroad crossing which my aunt did not see and we took it doing 60 miles an hour. Us kids were laughing so hard it hurt but my poor Aunt Ella looked like she was having a coronary. We went home right after that and it was a long time later that Aunt Ella drove us anywhere.

One time when Aunt Ella came to see us she found out about a new slide they were introducing at Shadle Park. (Now keep in mind that Aunt Ella was in her early 70's at this time.)Nothing would do but we had to go ride that slide. This was when Fiberglas slides first came out and you had to ride gunny sacks on them. Well we all got in the car with mom and Aunt Ella and headed to Shadle Park to check it out. It was supposed to be the largest slide ever made. Six lanes and three stories tall! So each of us took turns going down the slide but we noticed that the only ones that went fast was Aunt Ella who was riding with my brother. When we mentioned this to the lady on the slide she said "yes, the heavier the riders the faster you go." Well that was it, Aunt Ella had to ride with each of us. Finally we figured out a way to put the gunny sacks together so four of us could ride together and with Aunt Ella in the lead we flew down the slide.

Yet a different summer, Aunt Ella came over to see us and help mom out with some painting. The harvesting in the fields was finished so all the fields were clear and smooth and we could ride our bikes through them without a lot of trouble. We had been telling Aunt Ella about our winter and sledding and somehow she got it into her head that we could do the same thing with a wagon. So we grabbed our little red wagon and went up our hill beside our house. Now keep in mind that this hill was so steep that you could stand at the top of it and not see the bottom since it kind of doubled in on itself about half way down the hill. It was great for sledding!! Aunt Ella wanted to be the first one down the hill in the wagon so she jumped in the wagon grabbed the handle and off she went! At what point she went airborne is hard to say! The wagon actually didn't hit ground very often on that ride down.. at least not till it reached the bottom of the hill. I think about the second time it set down on the ground and bounced back up into the air, Aunt Ella went flying petticoats and all through the air to land flat on her back and totally silent. We thought she was dead! We ran down the hill ( I have to give her credit though she made it about half way down the hill which is a big deal!!) When we met up with her she sat up and laughed and laughed and said she wanted to do it all over again! But maybe another time! We did note she changed her mind the next day. Aunt Ella could barely walk!! She was better in about a week but wanted to hold off riding down the hill till her next visit.

When Aunt Ella was 80 she reroofed her house by herself. She drove until she was 92 years old and Aunt Ella never stopped enjoying adventures till the day she died.

Seems Aunt Ella wasnt the only one who enjoyed wild rides on a wagon.

Aunt Ella would have loved Whidbey Island

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