As my Aunt Rachel said, “She does so many wonderful things for us but there is only so much complaining one can take.”
My mother was born and raised in a very close, large family of all girls. They all like to let you know, “Daddy never once complained that we were all girls.” There were six sisters.
This is when the family starts singing
Sisters..Sisters… There were never such devoted sisters
It’s been a big deal to be born a girl or give birth to a girl but even a bigger deal to be a sister/ have a sister on that side of the family. One aunt produced three sisters, who then produced a set of sisters and a single girl. It took four generations before a boy came along in that line of the tree. Another aunt produced a set of sisters. My mother produced a set of sisters (and a brother…shhhh). Her older sister produced a set of sisters…. well, you get the idea. Every year since the 70’s, the sisters got together for a few days in the summer to shop, do crafts, eat and laugh, laugh, laugh at the Sisters’ Bash. At one time, we had a wooden pig as our center piece for the bash. A humorous outlook at our ability to eat for three days straight.
My mother died ten years ago of pancreatic cancer. She was the baby of the family so she had a close relationship with each one of her sisters. She’d be happy to know that the bash is still happening and that my sister and I haven’t missed a bash since she died. She wouldn’t be very happy nor would she be surprised to find out that it took about 30 minutes of being together before the Sisters (as in, the remaining original sisters) started going after each other’s throats. Of course, it’s all done in a passive aggressive way, so, it all works out in the end.
One thing I like about my generation of the sisters is the focus on exercise and activity. Or, maybe we do it just to get away from the others so we can freely talk about them. One of our activities this year was to hike the ridge behind my cousin’s house. It gave me an opportunity to actually use my Merrells on a trail instead of just urban walking. My cousin K moved into the mountainous (well, mountainous to someone who lives in the prairie) area south of Louisville. Hello, instant cardio workout! The steep ridges had my heart popping right out of my chest before we’d made it half way to the ridge. The fragile shale rock crumbled with every step keeping my core taut and ready. My legs were challenged with steep ascending then descending not too quickly. I might be biased but I’m fairly certain that my Merrells out performed any other shoe worn on the ridge that day.
K’s sister has lived in the city so long that she was excited just to see a cat out-of-doors. She was constantly on the hunt to see and perhaps better able to flee from any type of critter. We happened upon a very unusual ‘critter’ that none of had seen before and were quite interested to view.
Red Velvet Ant Wasp
This thing was huge. It looked to be about 1 inch long and so bright it looked like it was some type of stuffed animal or puppet. Luckily, K’s sister may be a city girl but she’s also from Texas. She warned us that red usually means poison. This ant is really a wasp and is sometimes called a cow killer. Their stings aren’t poisonous enough to actually kill a cow but those that have been stung by them report them to be the most painful sting they have ever experienced.
Hmmm, a wasp that looks like an ant that has the most painful sting ever? Bold. Beautiful. Stings. Sounds like we have a new mascot for our bash.
Truthfully, the laughs at the bash outnumber the stings. Being with my mom’s family is the closest I’ll ever get to her again. Some of my cousins have turned into my closest friends. We laugh until deep into the night. And, I always want more time with my sister.