“The sixties were when hallucinogenic drugs were really, really big. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we had the type of shows we had then, like The Flying Nun.”

This morning I was at my neighbor’s at ten then came home and went back to bed; hence, the late hour. I am just tired though I haven’t really a good reason to be.

It finally stopped raining last night, but the warmish air has deserted us. It is seasonably in the 30’s today. I guess I ought not to be complaining but I figure that’s what the weather is for. It is a common topic of conversation and great for the line at the supermarket.

My aunt was a nun. We always called her my aunt the nun and seldom used her name. When I was little, we’d put on our church clothes and ride to Connecticut to see her. We used to stop close to her convent, go to the bathroom and be tidied by my mother so we’d pass a visual inspection. This aunt was not real to me in the same way my other aunts were real. She wore a habit and didn’t have a whole lot to say to us. It was always questions about school. We answered in short, quick sentences hoping she’d move on to my parents. Meanwhile another nun would show up with a tray. It had cookies, milk, coffee and a few soft drinks. The nun would put it on the table and then leave without saying a word, but she did make a swishing sound the way all nuns did. After our snack, we’d go on a tour of my aunt’s school. I never thought it was interesting but it did eat up some time for which I was grateful. We’d head back to the convent and start our good-byes until the next year.

In time nuns were freed from their habits, were allowed to use their own names and could travel anywhere they chose, but my aunt the nun was still my aunt the nun to us. She started to wear skirts and blouses and jackets and always a big cross she used to wear on her habit. All those years of not having to choose her outfits left her with a really bad taste in clothes. My mother and I used to give her clothes for Christmas, clothes with a bit of style. She began to spend every Christmas at my parents’ house. My mother was a trooper about it, but she drove my father crazy by calling him brother instead of his name.

I was always polite when my aunt the nun stayed at my parents, but she never seemed to like me all that much. It was no big bother to me. I could live with that!

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6 Comments on ““The sixties were when hallucinogenic drugs were really, really big. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we had the type of shows we had then, like The Flying Nun.””

  1. Richard Says:

    Sounds kinda like my day. Got up, made the Breakfast Muffin, did a few images and things, listened to a bit o’ the old ‘news,’ and then decided there was nothing quite urgent enough that I should stay awake for. Back to bed. It was cold enough to at last break out the great Icelandic Wool Blanket my brother brought back to me from his tour in Hofn. It works better than any other I’ve had, and you know immediately it’s holding the heat where it needs to be. We’re due for low 30s tonite – unlike last nite’s 20s – and I’ll have it ready ‘n waiting.

    No nuns in my family, tho’ there was one errant cousin of dubious gender who became a priest of the order. We learnt thru my aunts that he had to sign over all his worldly goods to the Jesuits before they’d allow him to join. Clever,eh wot? That avoids all those messy little ‘inheritance’ and ‘property’ problems when the Good Father goes to his Eternal Reward. ‘Get them loose ends tied up and render unto Caesar before we let ya in, boy-o …’

    Closest I got to being all ‘nunned up’ was Kindergarten at St Francis of Assisi. Sis. Elvina ran the camp there, and should have been pastured many many years before my arrival. There were three ways to do things in ElvinaWorld: The right way, the wrong way, and her way … or, my way. Wait – that’s four, isn’t it?

    On any given day, she would tell us to read … I’d play in the sandbox. Or she’d tell us to play with blocks … I’d read. You get the idea. Whenever I was the Great Violator, I was made to sit on a three-legged stool in the corner, with the Big Pointy Cap on my head. I spent lots of time in the corner.

    In the fullness of time (about the middle of my second week), it came to pass that I violated yet another Elvinament. This time, tho’, she chose to let me feel the full Wrath and Fury of her Great Vengeance. What ever happened to that ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me’ thing … ? Anyway: Rather than the usual time spent in Corner of Contemplation, she instructed me to stand outside in the middle of the quad. In the rain. I went.

    After five minutes or so of being soaked to the skin, I cast my young eyes heavenward, mumbled the six-year-old equivalent of ‘eff this!’ and walked the five or so blocks to my aunt’s house.

    My aunt called Mom, Mom called Dad, Dad brought me home, and the next day I was a Free Citizen of the World again. I never tire of reminding my brother and sister that they owe me more than they can ever know for keeping them out of the nefarious clutches of The Elvina.

    The rest of my education was in the Publick Skewel Systeme established in New Orleans through a donation from Mr John McDonough. Good thing he’s not around now to see what they’ve done to his gift …

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      It was chilly all day. I did a quick errand for dog food then it was home for the rest of the day.

      I would send any kid of mine to the Jesuits to be taught. Any money goes for the good of the schools and the order.

      That is a horrible first experience with school. That nun needed to be gone. I started in grade 1 with Sister Redempta, who was a bit scary looking in her habit, but I was only 6 and this was my first nun. We all had nuns and most were nice. One was really too old, and we took advantage. Mea Culpa!

      We all went to Catholic schools until the move to the cape where there were none. I did end up in a college taught by Augustinians, and it was a good school.

  2. Bob Says:

    Today I returned to work and enjoyed every minute of the day. I love my family but being off for the last couple of weeks I was ready to get away from them for a few hours. 🙂

    It was just below freezing this morning for the first time since March 6th last year. The sun was shining with little wind.

    We had no clergy in our family probably because they were very poor and had to go to work rather than continue their religious or any other post secondary education. When I was a kid there was a Catholic school down the street from my grandmother’s house in Brooklyn. I was always curious as to what the nuns wore underneath their habit. I asked the same questions about the robe clad brothers who also walked by the house.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      It stayed cold here. The air was still dampish which made it feel even colder.

      I think we were even glad to get back to school. There was only so much to do all winter.

      Until I did, my aunt the nun was the only other one who had gone to college. Hers was paid for by the order of nuns.

      I was never curious enough to ask anything.

  3. olof1 Says:

    Winter is a good reason to be tired 🙂 It has started to snow here again and now it’ll get colder and colder. Lots of ticks will die so I won’t complain too much about it but I know I won’t be happy in the mornings when scraping car windows 🙂

    I have no experience with either nuns or monks but there was a monastery with protestant monks where we had our summer cottage. I’ve always thought it odd to have monks who are protestant but who am I to judge 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I think you’re right. The drab winter days don’t give me any energy.
      Like you, I’m hoping the ticks will die but you have more of a chance than I do as we’ve not been colder than 30˚ too many days yet.

      There are also Protestant nuns, but they weren’t mine. The priests I had in college weren’t monks but were part of a religious order called the Augustinians.They taught theology and philosophy but also math, English and science. They were good.

      Have a wonderful evening!


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