Aunt Doily and Ms. Wheater : LuRain Penny on remarkable women




My Aunt Doily was born unusual.

Never cried as a baby, not once.

Always smiles and laughter.

Waving her arms around, talking a blue streak.

Creeped Granma Pen out.


She decided Doily had to know life was pain.

So she hit the little child on her head for any infraction, real or imagined.

Doily stopped smiling; and talking, walking or in any other way relating to the outside world.

Pen thought the Almighty cursed the whole Penny family.

She felt no remorse cuz she had moved on to denial. 


Over the years Doily fashioned a world of her own,

and lived almost entirely inside there.

Though I come to realize later,

she paid more attention to us than we were aware.

She was a “basket case”.

Sent to an asylum.

She rejected baskets as a mode of expression;

 made doilies like a spider makes webs.


Doil always found string, though I don’t know wherefrom.

Her creations were multi-colored,

covered in tiny knots.

Once she made a doily from a single ball of yarn.

Pristine white.

She looked at it sadly, shaking her head.

“God is the knots”, she said.


Doily saved pieces of cloth, all different sizes.

She used them to cover  walls, tables, pillows, lamps, windows, even Granma Pen’s bald head.

 Shawls, skirts, ponchos and tents – made without cutting or sewing.

Using only tying and pining, she recycled the material over and over.

She once made a doily big enough to cover a state capitol building.

What an inspiration.


When I lived with Ms. Wheater, I really saw the advantage of this knack

 in practical action.

With six mouths to feed and only enough for three, everybody got fed.

She was a master of scratch and stretch.

And queen of the hand-me-down.


We lucky in this country, because there so much that is free. 

If you can focus your mind on turning things to your advantage,

 you’ll always get what you need.


Find a penny pick it up.

All the day you’ll have good luck.

Waste not, neither be greedy.

Share, care and be aware.








2 thoughts on “Aunt Doily and Ms. Wheater : LuRain Penny on remarkable women

  1. I love your reminiscence of your aunt Doily and Ms. Wheater. You express these things masterfully, no matter how tender or heavy hearted the memory.

    <3 <3 <3

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