Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sister Dear

It's my sister's birthday, and in the grand tradition of my adult life, I haven't mailed her birthday present yet.  It seems a little public celebration is in order.

She's the big sister.   I'm the one in the background looking pathetic.

Sometimes it seems like we're REAALLLY different.  But then I once asked my nephew "who's bossier, me or your mom?" and he wisely chose not to answer because we're really not so different after all.

this might be my all time favorite picture of my sister:

She claims she is laughing in this picture.  She's kidding herself.  She is totally yelling at the neighbor's dog.  I look at this picture every single day and it never fails to crack me up.  I mean really. Look at those faces.  That dog isn't budging and my sister is SO PISSED.  That's about 40 years of hilarious right right there.

This might be my other favorite picture of my sister:
Jee-zus!  How do you even get out of bed and go to high school when your sister is that cool?  She drove me crazy.  I don't know if she knew it.  Once, in 9th grade, I screamed "I hate you" at the top of my lungs.  I think I'd been bottling it up for 14 years.  I never felt the need to say it again.  I bet she doesn't remember.

I'm hoping that since we have 43 years and 11 months of shared history, she does remember the toy pictured below and can shed some light on it.  

It used to have ears.  Now it looks like it has male pattern baldness.  It's made of wood.  It's been around as long as I can remember.  It might have belonged to our mother, or I might just be making that part up.  It sits in my studio now.  Is it a dog? Is it a deer?  I've never known.  Does my sister know?  Maybe this will taunt her into figuring out how to leave a comment.  (maybe it will even make my mom comment instead of just sending me fan mail).

Here's some stuff about my sister:
  • She had more records than anyone I knew (until I met my husband)
  • She let me read all the dirty parts in Judy Blume's "Forever" when I was in the fourth grade
  • She once drew a picture of Peter Frampton based on the record cover of "I'm in You."  In my memory, this is the single greatest piece of art I've ever seen.  This may be the event that kept me from even trying to draw for the next 30 years.  I used to sneak into her room and open her sketchbook just to gaze upon his loveliness.   I wish I had it now.
  • The maddest I ever saw my father was when my sister got a D in gym.  I don't think I've ever properly thanked her for lowering the bar.  When I got a D in Spanish the next year, I got off pretty easy. 
  • When she went off to college I mailed her a care package of silly stuff.  One thing I sent was ten dimes, wrapped in green tissue paper, with a note tied to it that said "10 reasons to call home".  (remember when phone calls on pay phones cost a dime?  remember pay phones?) Anyway, she saved it.  It still sits in an old printer's drawer on the wall of her house.  And she's moved like a 100 times.  It always goes back up.  When she started following my blog she used a picture of that as her profile. I got a little verklempt.
  • She may have watched more TV than any other child in America during the 1970's, which means you can always count on her to settle a bar bet.
  • Once, I asked her "What would your Karaoke song be?" (which is my favorite question for anyone who would never in a million years do Karaoke).  She didn't have an answer.  About 3 months later I get a phone call.  She doesn't even say hello.  She says "Mrs. Robinson".  
  • She publicly "outed" me as an artist on facebook yesterday by posting a link to my blog.  If she had more than 2 facebook friends I might be pissed.  This post might be my revenge.
  • She asked for a digital copy of the painting I used as my blog background.  She uploaded it to and made it into a laptop cover.  seriously.  how cool is that?
  • she gave birth to two of the most amazing people I've ever met
  • Finally, NOBODY on earth, except my sister, can make me laugh until I cry.  and I'm not talking damp at the corners of the eyes.  I'm talking tears streaming down the face, doubled over, can't breathe, stomach hurts kind of laughing.  
So leave a happy birthday comment for Nancy.  
(you can stop crying  now, mom)


  1. Can't tell you how much I needed this today. Definitely crying more than Mom right now (probably because I'm laughing so hard). Might make a copy and keep in my wallet forever! I love you.

  2. Can I stop crying too?? lol My older sister is Lisa. Her birthday is in February. I could probably come close to cutting and pasting many of the sentiments here.

    Happy Birthday Nancy.

  3. Actually, i can't ... i'm mopping up my keyboard as we speak.

  4. I'm in tears as well. Karen what an awesome blog....I may have to carry it in my purse as well.
    Happy Birthday dear Nancy....and big hugs to you dear Karen.
    (and you too Mama)

    from pearlbetsy

  5. she got a D in gym?

    I LOVE the picture of her screaming in rabid fury at the totally oblivious dog.

    anyway. Happy Birthday you wild fox in tight jeans.


  6. You have an amazing ability to make everyone who reads your posts feel at home and as if we are one of the family! Thank you!!!

  7. P.S. Happy Birthday to your sis!!!

  8. Can I stop crying too? (and laughing) Where would we be without our sisters? I treasure my older sister and it's wonderful to read about your bond. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nancy!!!

  9. What a beautiful, funny, silly, over the top love fest for your sister's birthday! Lucky you, she sounds fantastic. xox Corrine

  10. I love the way you write and you make me laugh out loud.... the photo with the neighbours dog is so perfect... 40 years of hilarious and many more to come I think xx

  11. Makes me wish I had a sister...and a bond like that...

    Now I'm all misty too...

    Happy Birthday to your Sis!