4th of July

Happy 4th of July to my sister Jeanne, her family, and all of our neighbours to the south of us in the USA.

I used to visit the USA quite regularly, years ago. We lived so close to the American border that it was never a big deal to spend a couple of days in Minot, North Dakota just for the heck of it. After my sister Jeanne and her husband Paul moved to Gillette, Wyoming I made a number of trips down to visit them – at first with my parents and then with my own family.

Wyoming was always a great place to visit. I remember an abundance of steakhouses, country bars and friendly neighbours. There was always a visit to the Black Hills – Flintstone Village, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Every curve in the road was another tourist attraction and another fascinating little gift shop. I still have pretty little vases and stone bracelets to remind me of those days.

Jeanne and Paul moved to Chadron, Nebraska when Paul left the oil rigs to run an apiary. We were down there a couple of times. As always, it was good times and friendly people. Unfortunately, a few years after the move, Paul died in a tragic accident. Jeanne stayed on, running the apiary with an American friend of theirs. They eventually married and still make their home in Nebraska. Jeanne’s son is raising his family in Wyoming and her daughter is in Washington State with her family.

It is so sad how times have changed between Canada and the USA over the years – with border control, tariffs, and of course now with Covid 19 closing borders. I would love to travel back down through the States. There are so many places that I would love to visit and of course it is always an easy drive to better weather during our frigid winters!

I just want to say, I really appreciate the photos and stories that our American neighbours post on WordPress – it is an inside look at a country that I would love to see more of.

From this side of the border, have a great USA Independence Day!

Siblings

Butterfly Sister

I am the youngest in a family of six siblings. We are all different in so many ways and eerily similar in others.

My eldest sister Denise phoned me yesterday to see how retirement was coming along. We spoke for a couple of hours. It was great to hear her voice, especially since she was sounding really good. Denise has been battling serious health issues for the past few years, so not all of her days are good ones.

As sisters, Denise and I have rather a unique relationship. She was married by the time I was two and a mother by the time I was three. I do not remember a time when we lived under the same roof as ‘family’. Once she married, she also moved a lot – generally far away. I have not spent a lot of time with her over the years.

Denise and I are different in a number of ways. I love elephants, Denise loves butterflies. Denise is exceptionally organized, me not so much. We grew up in different decades, with different music, different styles, and different social standards.

Although we grew up in such different times and so far apart, the funny thing is that we have so much in common. We both had disastrous first marriages. We could both easily live the life of a hermit. We both love nature. The weirdest thing is that when we do see or speak to each other, we will both be listening to the same music, reading the same book, or sharing a common interest that we would never have imagined.

I love all four of my sisters and my brother but I have a special place in my heart for Denise. We share a common bond, which is so very strange because as ‘sisters’ we have never shared much bonding time.