When I was a little girl I lived in this fairy tale village called McDonald…McDonald, Ohio.  It was indeed called The Village Of McDonald.  It had lovely little houses in neat rows and safe streets and blocks and a park and one high school and two elementary schools….one of the elementary schools was a nun driven parochial school.  There was a football field and lots of wooded areas to explore and an ice skating rink in the winter and tennis courts and basketball courts and parades and festivals.  Oh…and…there were three churches of different denominations…one to suit every religious need.  I loved the Protestant Church best because they had an ice cream social every year.

But when I was a little girl the best thing about this village was that a few blocks away from my house lived my Aunt Annie and my Uncle Joe.  Aunt Annie was the best aunt…a listener a hugger and someone I could talk to…but…when I was little the best thing was that my Aunt Annie was the mom of my adored older cousins…Louise and Cookie!  Their real names were Ann Louise and Elizabeth but they were always Cookie and Louise to me.  I…simply put…adored them.  They were in high school and had friends over and Aunt Annie always kept orange pop and Pepsi in ice cold bottles in their basement refrigerator.  I would spend every moment I could sitting on their back steps while watching their interactions with their high school friends.  They even had a friend named Betty…a name from Archie comic books!    They probably didn’t even really notice me…a tiny little pigtailed girl silently adoring them.  Oh…my braids were put in by Aunt Annie…and I kept them in as long as I could.

One of my best times on those steps was watching a fight that cookie and Louise had because Cookie was mad at Louise for drinking from her orange pop bottle.  I was awestruck by this.  Cookie loved Elvis Presley and had his albums everywhere.  Louise was quieter and more of a reader.  I have all of her original Nancy Drew books…Aunt Annie must have given them to me.  I read them over and over because Louise read them.  If I would get to stay for lunch and if I was lucky it would be Campbell’s Tomato Soup and those square Saltine Crackers from a big blue and white box.  My house was more of a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup kind of house with open faced peanut butter sandwiches.  I loved lunch with Cookie and Louise and I love Tomato Soup to this day but now we eat Amy’s Organic.  I don’t even think I needed much from Cookie and Louise…I was happy just being there.  So…yesterday I talked to Louise for about two hours.  We both determined that she is the Matriarch of our family now!  From now on I am running all of my life decisions by her!  It was fun talking about family…both past and present…

I really should give Louise back her Nancy Drew’s…maybe we will share an Orange Pop someday and discuss this.  But I have them in my Bear Room and every time I am in that room I reach for one…and I think of me as a little pigtailed girl…watching the amazing duo of Cookie and Louise.

Oh…we aren’t really supposed to call Cookie Cookie any more…but she has to forgive me for this!

The Bear Room…5EAB684D-2C5B-4A67-BA7E-9E69718DEB2C

The Book Shelf…


The books…

Proof of my thievery…was I a wicked child?  Oh my!  Sorry, Louise!


18 thoughts on “Cousins!

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow says:

    Oh, I loved your cousins story! So many similarities to mine….except I lived just outside a small town like the one you described. The family, with all the cousins, lived on farms within 5 miles of each other. My teenage cousins were girls I looked up to. Our summer nights were full of homemade ice cream outside on the lawn. My Aunt Betty had gorgeous fairytale books she let me borrow.

    I got my Nancy Drew books from a best friend who lived just around the corner; I would bike to her house.

    Your bear room is so cute…


  2. Shirley McCollough Cantriel says:

    I had a favorite aunt also as I assume many of us did. She had one child of her own but she never forgot the birthday of all of her nieces and nephews until she got dementia around age 90. I tried to be an aunt like her to my own nieces and nephews. I never forget to send them a card on their birthdays.As for soups, my favorites are like you Campbell’s chicken noodle and Campbell’s tomato. Only I have my open faced peanut butter sandwich with my tomato soup and toasted cheese with the chicken noodle soup. It is so much fun to remember the early years. I love your bear room also. Shirley McCollough Cantriel


  3. Mary says:

    Great cousins story. We lived about an hour away from any of our cousins but we managed to get together almost every month – and I was always enthralled with the older, cooler cousins. They would listen to records, dance and talk and I would just sit, watch and listen. So much fun. I grew up with the tomato soup and saltines, BTW 🙂


  4. Kathryn says:

    Ah your cousins sound wonderful and love that sisterly spat! And I love that you have all those Nancy Drew books even though they originated with Louise. I have a Heidi book from childhood in the last year, it has a treasured place on my shelf.


  5. Ti says:

    And if Louise and Cookie hung out with you today, their phones would be in their hands and you’d be kicked to the curb. A sad reality, these days. I love your family stories because mine are nothing, and I mean nothing like this.


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