My Sister

My Sister

We have spent many moments together since I was born. Her first day of school she cried because she had to leave me at home. She asked our mom if she could put me in her back pack and take me to school for show and tell. I don’t know if there was that much to tell about me, but this sentiment pretty much sums up our relationship ever since.

We lived on an old farm road that led to a small town in Western New York. I believe it was the most amazing place to grow up. We had miles to stretch out and grow. Our house was surrounded by cornfields that you could run through and feel the leaves of the corn plants slap your face. Behind the field was a wooded area cut in half by a trickling creek. Across that old road was a hill with a pond at the top, surrounded by more forest.

We used to put on barn boots and bright orange hunting jackets and go walking in the woods. We didn’t really say anything, we just walked.

On cool summer nights we would throw heavy sleeping bags on our backyard trampoline and fall asleep staring at the stars. I met Jesus when I was staring at that sky.

Our sleepy town was just south of Buffalo, NY. On blustery snowy days, we would build towering walls of snow, and slide down the short gorge beside the lake. When I first heard this  song, it lifted me back to each of these times with my sister.

As we grew older, we grew apart in some ways, but as she always tells me, “Life cycles. We will be back here again.” And this was true for us. After I graduated from college, I moved across the ocean. On my first visit back to our new family home in Sweet Southern Home Home Baby, Virginia, we began the great adventure of visiting every airport in the state. There are 66 airports in Virginia. We finished it three years later, and I must tell you more about it in another story.

Next, we gallivanted across the ocean together, where we learned to dance. We made great friends who we lived with, laughed with, and danced with.

We ate spicy papaya salad and drank sweet coffee. The stars in the sky looked brand new. Children captured our hearts. We saw sights seen by pirates, gypsies, and thieves. We were never any younger, or richer than then. Whenever I hear this  song (most of it) I fly to a time when I had five friends and my sister at arms reach.

Sweet Southern Home Home beckoned us and we returned to finish our airport program, begin our State Parks program, and to drink cheap limey drinks at a Mexican restaurant. We watched Seinfeld until we were funny by association. Our wild friends drew more youth out of us, as we lived on the edge: in the middle of a dark forest camp, on the moon on the earth, and at College football games. We took road trips to visit friends during New Years.  Our trips took us to New Orleans, Amarillo, Annapolis, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New York City, and everywhere in between. We traveled far and wide but our favorite spot was a cozy little home that my sister bought, nestled in a row of tiny houses, with a long backyard which was perfect for late campfires and laying in hammocks. Up the road, that sweet James river was ready for an eight day, no shower, only pack what you can hold trip; or for a couple hour lazy float in that cheap canoe. We were regulars at a Vietnamese restaurant and  a greasy spoon diner. And we found the best coffee place in town. We became Southerners. We saw four seasons pass, three times before I moved across the ocean again. But whenever I hear this  song, I will remember our talks in which we could say anything and everything, our wanderings throughout anywhere and everywhere, and our days of nothingness on a lake with two paddles.

Now we head seemingly different directions, but never down two different paths. Change always makes me sad; I am the Queen of the land of Nostalgia. At the end of each of the above sagas, I felt the same: “How can I let go of this time? I will never be this happy again.” And always, time has proved to me that we must move forward, in the time that marches on, to get the gift of new times. Plus, I hear the voice of my sister, “Life cycles. We will be back here again.”


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