First things FIRST

on 29 December 2009

Happy Birthday, DAD and SUSIE!

My sister was born on my Dad's birthday, did you know that?  No?  I think it's pretty cool, but then I share a birthday (um, I'm a twin, peeps--in case you didn't know that), so I think it's cool when family members share birthdays.

I've already told a funny story about my Dad (any story that includes the directive "Don't tell your Mother!" has to be a good one).  So I'll tell you a different story.

My Father has a map on the inside of his head.  Seriously, I can call him right now and tell him that I'm on GA-17, heading North and could he please tell me where it would intersect with I-95 and he could tell me.  The man is NEVER lost, occasionally he's just driving to see where something ends up, but he's never LOST.  (I get my sense of direction from him.  Also my love of maps.  Chris seriously considered buying me a GPS for Christmas but in the end he didn't because he knows how much I love a map, guess what he bought me instead?  Yep, a new road atlas for my car!)

Anyway, I drove from Seattle to Athens, GA by myself in 2003.  Well, I took my cat and all of my worldly possessions.  Anyway, I did fine.  My Dad kept calling me and asking where I was and warning me to be cautious in certain areas, to keep in touch etc.  I remember calling him at one point, and I'm fairly sure he'll recall this particular phone call from the edge of panic when he reads this.  I had been driving for 3 days straight.  My cat had ceased howling somewhere in Wyoming and was no longer speaking to me, in fact, she was snubbing me from her crate.  Anyway, I was somewhere in Indiana and the freeway merged with a state highway for some miles.  It literally became a winding 2 lane road that passed through miles and miles and MILES of cornfields.

I was feeling a bit lost.

And also a bit concerned that I had missed the sign saying, "HEY YOU, MORON, THE FREEWAY IS OVER HERE."  So I did what any member of my family would do, I called my Dad. 

I told him where I was, that I was a bit freaked out and he chuckled and said, "Yeah, you're in INDIANA.  All they have there are CORN FIELDS.  Stay on the road and in 10 more miles you'll see a sign for the interstate.  Follow the signs and you'll be fine."

You want to hear something moderately disturbing?  He was RIGHT.  Perfectly so.  In 10 more miles I saw signs for the interstate, I merged and sure as my father had said so, I arrived in Kentucky.  I love my Dad and not only for the maps on the inside of his head.

As for my Sister!  Come with me back to the winter of 1986 or 1987 somewhere in those parts.  We were living in Washington, my sister was a popular junior or senior in high school.  She had LOADS of friends, many from church, and they were just so COOL.  I would have been all of 10 or 11 so I really knew what cool was (I was wearing NEON for pete's sake), and I KNEW that my Sister was one of the COOL kids.

Anyway, this particular winter it had SNOWED.  None of you should be surprised to hear yet again how I love snow.  I loooooove snow!  Snow is magical!  Snow is like catnip!  Snow is the most fun weather you can ever EVER have!  Anyway, it had snowed.  And my Mom had made up cinnamon rolls, or homemade doughnuts, I'm not sure which because I was 10 or 11 and didn't have the most discriminating palate out there.  Did it have sugar?  YES.  Ok, that's what I'll have.

Anyway, it had snowed and school was canceled and my sister being popular and COOL, her friends gravitated to our house.  How do I know?  Because I followed them around

My poor sister.  I'm absolutely certain, in retrospect, that I drove her to the brink of insanity.  In fact, I probably drove both of my sisters to the brink of insanity.  In fact, I am probably the reason they were so keen to go to college FAR FAR AWAY.  I was annoying.  I'm fairly certain of that fact, much as it pains me to admit it...I was NOT a cool kid.  (I'm not a cool adult so I don't know why it pains me so to admit it, you'd think I'd have come to terms by now with my total lack of cool.)

Anyway, she and her friends built snow women (my sister has an inner feminist, that's where I learned it), had snow ball fights and at some point made a human pyramid (I think there may be photographic evidence out there somewhere but I don't know where).  And in the whole day, I can clearly remember the sunshine, the snow, and her and her friends--all of them vibrant and young and so very cool, she was never mean to me.  She never told me to get lost or go away, never called me names or mashed me in the face with snow, never did anything you'd expect a cool older sibling to do to a young and very uncool younger sibling.  She let me be the very top of the human pyramid.  I can remember.  It may have been that I was just so much smaller than the other kids, but for that one day and that one moment with the bright sun and the snow on the ground I felt like I was one of the cool kids.

That's the power that older sisters wield.  


Erin P said...

Beautiful stories. You come from a loving family--that's obvious. Happy New Year!