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Auntie Pat’s Place

Faye Lippitt

Faye Lippitt is a Canadian journalist living in Grand Cayman with her husband Greg. Together they raised six children in eight years, four of which arrived in pairs. To keep her head above water, Faye began writing about the crazy things the children would say and do, and these became the source of her book, “Sixteen Chickens on a Trampoline.” Excerpts are printed on a regular basis in The Cayman Reporter.

One of our favourite stopovers en route to and from summer camp each year is my sister Pat’s place.

Pat is an angel who welcomes us with open arms, gamely feeds us and gives the tribe a room to sleep in even though – for some unknown reason – just about every summer somebody gets sick.

Last year when we wheeled in to Pat’s and she ran out to meet us, I opened the van door and yelled, “Open the garbage, quick!”

She knew immediately what to expect and did so just as Charles stumbled out of the van. And threw up on her foot.

This year we outdid ourselves as four of the kids came down with the flu bug. Pat was ready for us with a brave smile on her face. And boots. Once again I opened the window as we wheeled in and called out to open the garbage, however this time there was a significant improvement – bagged lunch – I finally managed to catch the little barfer in time to pull over and give him the bag I now kept handy. He dutifully filled it.

That night I slept on the pull out couch with my sister and we packed the six kids into her daughter’s room. There was only one bed, so we tucked three into it, and put the others on the floor in their sleeping bags. At around 1 a.m. Charles wobbled downstairs and whispered the bad news: he’d been sick all over the bed. Not wanting to wake my sister, I groped my way quietly to the kitchen and fumbled through a cupboard for a bowl and spoon, and trudged up the stairs.

To keep from waking the kids I managed in the dim room to move two of them from the bed, scrape the mess from the sheets into the bowl, and stepping over many small bodies on the carpet, put the sheets in the wash. I then returned for the bowl and made my way to the bathroom toilet to tip the contents, turned on the light and discovered, to my horror, that in the kitchen I’d grabbed… a sieve.

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19 Walkers Road George Town P.O. Box 10663 Grand Cayman KY1-1006 CAYMAN ISLANDS

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