Who is Aunt Beulah?

Aunt Beulah BodyMy Great-aunt Beulah gardened in her husband’s galoshes, talked too loud, laughed too hard, cussed a bit, and one day held me gently against her ample girth until I quit crying. An unhappy teenager, I was spending the night with her after going to a party with friends I’d left behind when my family moved to a nearby town. “It’s not the same anymore,” I sobbed. “I feel like I don’t belong either place.”

She said nothing, just held on and listened.

“Beulah’s a bit rough around the edges,” I overheard a hoity-toity second cousin remark at a family reunion. I knew better. Aunt Beulah was soft, quiet, and kind when it mattered.

So I took the name of an aunt I loved to represent all the adults in my life who provided a model of aging well, even as they struggled with difficulties and demons of their own: the good men and women who consistently nudged me toward maturity while I avoided chores, succumbed to peer pressure, and fell in love with ne’er-do-wells.

Watching the important adults in my life, I learned that to age well we must live well: cherish our friends and loved ones, nurture our bodies and minds, utilize our talents and skills, do some good in the world, develop financial fitness, and indulge in laughter and small pleasures.

For me, growing old with a modicum of grace was a journey filled with potholes; but as I bounced around from year to year, I learned a few things: flossing makes a difference; arguments with the IRS can be won; and we should try to live well no matter where we are in the arc of life.


39 thoughts on “Who is Aunt Beulah?

  1. Living well as we age, I think, has a lot to with how much we sacrifice for, or share with others. We’ve all known mean old stingy people. What a miserable existence that would be.
    Sorry this took so long, hunting season intruded on blogophobia.


    • I like, and agree with, that thought, Blaine, and I think you practice what you preach. You’ll never be a mean, stingy old man. Therefore, I forgive you for going hunting rather than staying home to read and respond to my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s really late here in Nova Scotia and I just stumbled on your blog and I can tell I’m going to love it but I have to go to bed! Boooo! I’m loving everything I’ve seen so far and can’t wait to read more. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Helen, I love this comment because you understand my aunt and why I loved her — and my other great aunts — so very much. Thank you for your wonderful thought and also for your blog, which I enjoy reading.


  3. I’m so glad I’ve found you. Isn’t it fascinating growing older and finding out that the things we giggled about (e.g., those galoshes) now bring a smile and a warm memory? I can tell there will be lots of great reading in here–plus your readers’ replies seem to be equally enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I look forward to reading more of your posts. I love your wisdom about nurturing our bodies and minds to age well. So many of us disguise them, deny the inevitable changes and try to beat them into submission through fear.


    • Oh, Sally, such wisdom there is in your last thought about the way we deny our bodily changes and beat them into submission because we’re afraid. It took me some years to learn the foolishness of those efforts. I’m looking forward to a mutually enriching blog friendship with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Watching the important adults in my life, I learned that to age well we must live well: cherish our friends and loved ones, nurture our bodies and minds, utilize our talents and skills, do some good in the world, develop financial fitness, and indulge in laughter and small pleasures.”
    Hello Janet,
    I would like to publish the above words with reference to your blog. I very much like the way you write. Because Barbara Pyett reblogged your last post I became aware of your site. I enjoyed very much reading some of your pages. Makes me want to read much more of your writing.
    Sincerely, (Aunty) Uta


    • It’s nice to meet you, Aunty Uta. I especially like your blog name because I was born, raised, and schooled in Utah and hold it dear to my heart. Thanks you for your kind words about my blog; I’m glad you found it by way of Barbara. Please do use my words any way you wish. I’ll pay your blog a visit soon and am looking forward to it.


  6. Came across your name on a comment page and it took me by surprise as I also had a great aunt Beulah who was very dear to me. Enjoyed checking out your blog and reading the story of your Aunt Beulah! Thanks.


    • I wonder what it is about aunts named Beulah; mine was a strong, wonderful person. Thank you for letting me know about yours and for checking out my blog. I appreciate your visit, and I’ll drop in on your blog soon.


  7. Pingback: the comfort of others | that cynking feeling

  8. I am so glad my middle name is Beulah!! Your Aunt Beulah was a gem, and I love it that you honour her with your amazingly beautiful writing.
    The meaning of Beulah is ; Marriage
    So we are related through marriage Aunt Beulah..he he he!!!!!
    I knew we had to be connected some how.
    Electronic hugs from Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊


    • Strange, Annie, but I have always felt from your comments that you would bring the same sense of comfort to people that my great aunt brought to me. As you can tell, I loved her and all those of her generation who were part of my upbringing. I was blessed to be raised in the middle of a large extended family of mostly good people.I had no idea that Beulah meant marriage. I like that; and I absolutely agree that we are related through marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your aunt sounds like my kind of woman or aunt if you like.What a wonderful tribute you have chosen in her honor.
    On another thought I read your post today FRANKLEY, ER, IF YOU WILL. It was delightful and quite funny. The problem no matter what I clicked on it brought me to a page that gave me this message;

    Hi there. You seem to be lost.
    It looks like nothing was found at this location. Perhaps it was there but now it’s gone. Maybe try one of the links below or a search?

    I finally clicked on your name at the very bottom of the current post and it brought me to this post. I of course enjoyed reading this one as well but thought I would give you a heads up about your current post. ☺☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry, though I’m glad my mistake led you to my tribute to my aunt, I thought I could talk to my husband and get a draft post ready for my next blog, but I couldn’t. I clicked on publish rather than save. I realized my mistake right away, and deleted it, but wordpress and Facebook were faster. I’m happy you liked my errant post, and now you won’t have to read it on March 1.

      Liked by 1 person

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