As a small child, Aunt Olive was my savior. She was the one who made me new clothes, allowed me to travel and see the world (or at least Chicago and Indianapolis), and provided the sort of nurturing and guiding experiences one might expect from an older adult. At five years of age, I announced that I wanted to wear dresses every day. Mother said no way, that I would ruin whatever few pretty dresses I had hanging in the closet. Aunt Olive to the rescue–she made several darling dresses and instructed Mother that they were to be worn whenever I wanted to. As you can imagine, I was very grateful for her intervention and assistance.
One year, Aunt Olive gave me a book about a Miss Flora McFlimsey and from that moment until today she and Aunt Olive are interchangeable in my mind. The book was called Miss Flora McFlimsey’s Christmas Eve, and it was a favorite of mine for many years. Later, I read Miss Flora McFlimsey’s Valentine, Miss Flora McFlimsey and the Baby New Year, and Miss Flora McFlimsey’s Halloween.
What I loved about the books was that Miss Flora McFlimsey was a no-nonsense woman who solved problems with good judgement. She was calm and delightful, and I even named one of my dolls after her. When Mother became out of control, I could look at one of the books about Flora McFlimsey and remember her grown-up way of handling situations. Unlike Mother, nothing ever threw Miss Flora McFlimsey.
Today I discovered that Miss Flora MsFlimsey is a very collectible item on Amazon. Her original books (the ones I had) are worth $300 to $500. The books were written by an author named Mariana (whose real name was Marian Foster Curtiss).
Where do you think my books are? Do you think they are stored carefully in a box so that I may share them with Taylor and Fiona? No, Mother kept nothing of her childrens’ belongings. Those books were given away to someone she perceived as less fortunate than herself or thrown away when they became too cumbersome to pack for the next move.
Miss Flora McFlimsey was indeed too flimsy for her own good.