The world according to Rico – Love me some Leenie

I’m so blessed in the fact I have my mom and yes, another mom.

They jokingly call themselves “Sister Wives.” I think the reference is to a television show where a man named Kody Brown was married to four women (Meri, Christine, Robyn and Janelle) at the same time and had like 100 kids or something before three of the wives left him. It’s a reality show on The Learning Channel, I hear. I don’t know – too much drama for this little puppy.

I think my two moms called themselves Sister Wives because they probably spend about the same amount of time with my dad every day. My mom is married to Dad and my second mom works with them at JW’s Catering pretty much every single day. It takes the two of them to get through life, it seems, so it’s really a blessing they are such great friends.

My other mom is Aunt Leenie. I think her real name is Eilene Westwood Fox.

And I love her.

She’s my official babysitter when the full-time mom has to be gone for a while.

Did I mention I love her?

For starters, she smells delicious – like bacon and wedding cake. Being just a baby, I’ve never eaten bacon or wedding cake, but I fantasize about how exquisite they might be. She makes lots of bacon and all kinds of other things for my dad. And somehow when she’s not with them, she has time to make her Country Sensations wedding cakes for many couples who are saying, “I do.”

She has soft hands. Probably from all the dishes she does.

Her voice is distinct. I hear her calling my name from the deck and I instantly know I’m about to embark on a hug-fest with plenty of belly rubs and paw massages. I get super excited when Mom puts her Eilene calls on speaker.

Aunt Leenie has the greatest tan. She doesn’t like her flip-flop tan marks but I adore them while I lovingly lick her feet every time she comes to visit.

And don’t get me started about her brilliantly blond hair. She shines like the sun when she bounds through the door and I jump into her arms. She goes to a cool beautician named Kat who intentionally darkens it, but as soon as Aunt Leenie is in the sun, it automatically turns back to platinum blond. That Kat lady at Personal Touch does a great job keeping Aunt Leenie, mom and dad looking their best – but Aunt Leenie’s affinity to natural bleaching is something God created, like a river that can’t be tamed. I think it’s awesome, because it’s true that blondes have more fun (or at least I have more fun with blondes).

When Aunt Leenie has been nannying, she’s introduced many sweet characters to me. Let’s see – I’ve met her mom who’s a feisty woman in her 90s; her handsome husband, Jim, who so graciously shares her with my family; their dog, Tater, who is my BFF in the canine world; her daughter, Sarah, who is a beautiful boss in all the right ways; and a multitude of grandkids who hugged me until I nearly burst with joy. She’s also brought along Gemmy Jenna, a beautiful young lady who’s worked for the folks since she was 14 – she’s now 19 and in college, but still manages to join the fold when she has time.

Aunt Leenie offers words of wisdom and lots of tools of the trade when it comes to raising a puppy and just life in general. She bought my mom a “zipline” of sorts so I can hang out in the garden while she pulls weeds and picks beans. She reminded us the other night how to can beans because it’s been so long since my mom did it, thanks to past hail storms. She knows what my Sister Chickens like to eat and was instrumental in finally getting the egg production in full swing. She helped get my puppy biting in check with tactics that worked with Tater.

She’s certainly a Republican but I don’t know who she will vote for in the 2024 presidential election.

I’ve heard she likes to go to Disney World with her family and went on an epic cruise to Alaska. Those are certainly two different worlds – it shows she’s well-rounded.

She can haul wood like a logger, set up hundreds of wedding chairs like a designer and clean a bathroom like an Olympian custodian.

She set a world record for fastest peeling of potatoes, is the Leonardo da Vinci of soft quilt making and the creator of the best cream cheese frosting in the tri-state area.

And she loves like a mother.

I’m so glad this lady walked into my parents’ lives so they can share her with me now.

I just really love me some Leenie.

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