Miss Crankypants Goes to Arizona

Miss Crankypants has relatives who are an unending source of hilarious material. My favorite, Wacky Aunt Shirlee, died unexpectedly this past week. Here was a brilliant woman who was both a librarian and a champion of ugly furniture owners everywhere. So of course, I get to spend the next week sleeping on her incredibly awful orange-brown velveteen sofa. Seriously.
My mom and sister will be there too, which means I’ll fume silently over the way my sister takes three-hour showers, grumble about Mom’s compulsive cleaning and gripe about how we all have to wade through Aunt Shirlee’s collection of every newspaper published since 1941.
Wacky Aunt Shirlee meant a lot to me. I made my first novel’s protagonist a librarian in her honor. Who else but Aunt Shirlee could pull off carrot-red hair, rhinestoned bat-wing eyeglasses and chartreuse outfits? And that’s while she’s driving her AMC Pacer, possibly the worst car ever. That Pacer (about as wide as a semi-truck, but seats three and a half) always makes me think about the cartoon “The Jetsons,” and not in a good way. But Wacky Aunt Shirlee had a heart of gold.
She encouraged me to read when I was a puny sickly kid. She could relate the history of the entire world if you gave her enough time. She could slice cucumbers thinner than anyone on earth. I don’t know for sure if she took three-hour showers, but we will all miss her dreadful taste in clothes and her wacky but kind-hearted ways. Vaya con Dios, Aunt Shirlee.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

2 comments on “Miss Crankypants Goes to Arizona

    • I love chartreuse velvet couches! Dear WAS (Wacky Aunt Shirlee)had terrible taste in furniture, clothes and men, but when I was a girl, she had everything I craved: a wonderful library of books, a dancer’s body (she tried out for the Rockette’s but in those days contact lenses weren’t ubiquitous and she was very near-sighted)and best of all, a KILLER collection of dance costumes that she gave to me for dress-up. Oh, that and all the chartreuse stuff. Thanks, Heather. ~Linda

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