Small Victories – a story of Aunt Family for Patreon

A story of the Aunt Family, in the same time period as Excuse Me? ; i.e, very early in Eva’s tenure as Aunt.🌱


“Evangaline, what are you doing?”

Evangaline’s Aunt Ramona had a habit of inviting herself in that Eva had not yet broken her of.  She blamed her late Aunt Asta, who had found it easier to allow the family to appear to walk all over her than to contradict the pile of aunts and great-aunts, grandmothers, mothers, and sisters (In their family, the men knew better, at least, than to contradict the capital-A Aunt).  Aunt Asta had not been gone long enough, and Eva had not established herself well enough, that the family had managed to differentiate between Asta’s bad habits and Eva’s.

On the other hand, she had no interest in listening to that tone for the rest of her life – or at the very least, for the rest of Aunt Ramona’s life.

“I am making a greenhouse on the sunny side of the stable barn,” she answered calmly.  Calmly was best.  It irritated the older relatives.

“You are – yes, I can see that.  The question, Evangaline Jane, is why you are making a greenhouse.  Workers!  On our property!”

“Well, I’m sure you know Teddy, he’s a cousin from down Naples way, and this is his brother-in-law Jack, and here’s Cory, he came from Ohio to work with Teddy.  And as for why – and my middle name isn’t Jane either, Aunt Ramona – the current trade embargoes, the French tax issue, and that problem we were talking about with Iranian saffron right now are all messing with my spice cupboard.  And I need certain spices to make certain recipes work.”

“‘Certain recipes,’” Ramona sneered. “‘Certain recipes!’  Don’t make yourself out to be smarter than you are, Evangaline Jane.  You can do as we’ve always done and do with what grows here.  You don’t need any Iranian saffron, you just need the things you pick out of the fields yourself.  So what are you doing, putting up a greenhouse on the stable?”

Evangaline ignored several angles of attack.  If you have to say ‘Because I’m the Aunt and I say so,’ you’ve already lost the argument,”  her Aunt Asta had advised. And if she talked about things she could pick and not pick in the fields, she’d end up in a three-hour discussion about what had happened In Ramona’s Day.

“It’s the perfect spot for a greenhouse,” she answered instead.  “Look at how much sun it gets.  And when Teddy and his men are done with this, it’s going to be beautiful.  It’ll hold all the spices I need room for, Aunt Ramona, and still have room for early tomatoes and late peppers.”

Aunt Ramona had a taste for peppers.  “So you’re going to do proper gardening in it, then?  Not just this Iranian saffron nonsense?”

“Of course.  There’s plenty of room for all my personal projects and for some good old garden veggies.  Of course,” she added with a small smile, “I had to move aside a bunch of Aunt Zenobia’s old projects to make space.  Everything’s all boxed up, if you want to look through it…”

“Oh, did you, then?  Well, it’s good of you to keep the family place clean.  Keep up the good work, Teddy!” Aunt Ramona called as she hurried off.  “Good luck with Zenobia’s things, Evangaline!  And good work on the greenhouse!”

Eva smiled privately as she waved good-bye.  Some parts of the Aunt legacy were obvious – the magic, the house.  And then there were things like that.

“Good work, Teddy,” she echoed.  “Make sure you get those runes in to all the structural supports just right.”

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