Things have changed a lot since the days we had to rely on snail mail to convey birthday wishes.
I have a few lovely memories of my sister that I thought I would share, some are only meaningful to her, but most are ones to which other readers can relate:
Making refrigerator cookies - When I was in third grade my sister and I decided to make some cookies. The recipe called for making the dough and putting it in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours to ensure ease of slicing thinly before baking. You could put them in the freezer to speed up the cooling process. We interpreted the instructions to be that you didn't have to bake them--period (full stop). They were 'refrigerator' cookies right? Yuck, we had cookie dough sitting in our freezer for six months after, because no one wanted to eat our frozen unbaked cookies--no one except for my sister's boyfriend at the time. He managed to eat half a dozen or so, before even he gave up.
Dancing around the living room to disco music - I was a child in the late 70s and my sister a teen, so she introduced me to all the latest disco music, such as Rod Stewart's Do You Think I'm Sexy, Donna Summer's MacArthur Park, all the Boney M stuff and so on. So we would often practice our dance moves in our living room.
A budding media star - My sis used to conduct 'interviews' on cassette tape using music lyric dubs as answers to her probing questions. An example:
Sis: So what do you think of the new movie by so-and-so?
Imaginary interviewee: plays the chorus to 'Tragedy' by the BeeGees.
Guess you had to be there.
Escaping the Table Manner Nazi - My father was always a stickler for table manners. He had his eagle eye on us at all times, just waiting to pounce on that elbow on the table, slurping of soup, not eating one biteful of each food in turn or not chewing your food at least 26 (not 25 or 27) times before swallowing. To this day, if you look at my plate at the end of the meal, you will find one bite of each food left. I am also the slowest eater of all the people I know. I am OK with that, and I find that I am really irked by the porcine-like manner in which my own children consume their repast. I have been known to tell my children to chew 20 times before swallowing, and to eat one bite of each food--history is repeating itself. So, to make a short story long, my sister and I used to take every opportunity on offer to escape the rules of the dining table. On the days that my dad worked late, my mom would sometimes make sweet and sour spareribs with lots of sauce. If one were to enter our kitchen on a day such as this, one would find us both there with sweet and sour sauce spread from one ear to the other, along with the biggest of grins.
Support of my love for dill pickles - I was never a normal child, I didn't take my pocket money and buy candy and potato chips--ok sometimes I did. Instead, I bought jars of dill pickles and olives. I loved the taste of the dill pickles and I had a particular way I liked to eat them, savouring all that sour goodness. One Christmas, I received a MASSIVE jar of dill pickles from my sister and her husband. I was over the moon!
Dung-de-dung-dung. (Something my sister will remember--or maybe not?)
Well, I am running out of time, but before I go, here is a quick list of the things my sister has done/can do. I admire her courage and determination:
- Camping in the woods by herself to overcome the fear of
doing it*...camping by herself in the woods(?). Anyway, I think it was about putting yourself outside your comfort zone, and that she did.
- Writing a children's book
- Joining the army reserves
- Finishing her counselling studies
- Starting up the Tri-City Mens Resource Centre (support for men separated from their families as a result of divorce)
- Learning how to drive a bus
- Making friends easily
Well Sis, I hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane, or you just might need to go into therapy :-) Have a great birthday. Haven't given you a St Patrick's Day birthday card in a long time, so couldn't resist including the little leprechaun.
* Edited. I just re-read this post and realise how that might have sounded.