Thursday, April 12, 2012

A to Z April Challenge: K

This is day 11 of the A to Z April Challenge. 

is for Kite.  Edith Kite was my grand aunt, wife to my maternal grandfather’s brother Millard Davis.  I knew her just as an older woman.  She lived next door to my aunt and uncle on Sixth Street in Shenandoah, Virginia, right in the heart of my Davis roots.  Across the street was the house where my mother was born and the store my great-grandfather built and my grandfather ran for a time. 

Edith had the best posture of anyone I ever met.  She always seemed taller than most people.  She wore what appeared to be “old lady” shoes, kind of orthopedic-looking but maybe that was the style – I was a kid.  What did I know?  A house dress with belt or a skirt and blouse.  Always neatly pressed.    

Millard and Edith Kite Davis
before 1950
In her younger years, Edith and Millard had a vacation home in Ocean View. 

At the fence: Velma and Woody Woodring,
Orvin Davis Jr., Edith Kite Davis
Under the tent:  Lucille and Orvin Davis, my grandparents

They never had children.  Don’t tell, but Grandma said Edith used to go to Ocean View for a “procedure.”  Hmm.  Wonder what that means??

Millard and Edith Kite Davis
sometime in 1930s

Visiting Edith was always a part of our family visit to the Shenandoah Valley although we never stayed with her.  A visit meant an hour or so.  She lived in a cute Craftsman-style bungalow.

Side view of Edith's house
Cute from the outside anyway.  We NEVER were invited inside.  We always sat on one of the two screened porches that flanked the door to her mystery house.  It was odd never to go inside, but I never minded because she had wonderful porches and the best rockers.  Whenever I see those rockers for sale at Cracker Barrel, I am reminded of Edith’s rockers.  It was always pleasant rocking away in the cool of an afternoon. 

I think never being invited inside was somewhat of a metaphor for Edith’s life.  My memories are of a nice old lady. As I’ve learned more about her as an adult, she seems to be well, peculiar, bordering on bitter and cruel.  My aunt who was Edith’s nearest neighbor for years took care of her in her old age, brought her food, cleaned, sat for hours and talked.  Yet Edith gave her nothing.  Edith gave my cousin a table she no longer wanted but years afterwards demanded it back, practically accusing my cousin of stealing it.  A visit to Edith was met with sarcasm as punishment for not coming on a different day.  Was she always that way or was this the dreadful accompaniment of old age?

I don’t know.  But I choose to remember the nice old lady with gold fillings that twinkled through a quite lovely smile.

You’ll Kick yourself if you don’t check out the Killer blogs at A to Z April Challenge.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Old Lady shoes and a Twinkely Smile...what a special child-like way to remember your aunt. It's good to understand the in's and out's of adult events and relationships, but through youth comes the simple truth. Mmmm....I wonder about 'the procedure', too.

    Great post for the Letter 'K'...I wonder if we are Kin...maybe Kindred Spirts. Kinship...that's my 'K' post...hope to see ya there....Sue

  2. Edith was cool in a way. Heavens knows you had to go back over to Uncle Orvin Jr. and Scoop's if you needed the bathroom!

    Momma did say that Edith and Millard gave her the most beautiful purple Easter basket one year when they were all at Ocean View.

    I did love her porch with the rockers and the woven porch rugs.