Everyone needs a Sister in their Hive

Today is my Sister Lady’s birthday.  Everyone should be lucky enough to have a sister.  My story is unique in that she was 15 when I came along…much more like a mother to me than a sister.  All my positive childhood experiences are rooted deeply in the love I felt from not only her but my two brothers.  Several years ago, Earnie gave me a few albums with photos she had made from slides from my birthday parties and family vacations.  In almost every photo, I am being held by someone.  Earnie always says that my feet never touched the ground my first year of life.
But, today is reserved for Sister Bee and the many things I learned from her…
She taught me my ABC’s. Always be aware of boys with rocks.  “R” for rocks.
You must accessorize, even in the mountains.  Notice the purse and scarf.
Swimming can be fun, but never before 4 p.m.,
and ladies never get their hair wet while swimming.
I learned counting…like how long can I hold you because Earnie is feeding you a tad much.
I learned that chocolates are to be savored and not shared with the dog.
I also remember…
1) Learning to tie my shoes in the front seat of her Camaro (circa late 60s)
2)  Going to Dairy Queen for an ice cream if I did really well on a math quiz
3)  Making asparagus jello and that those two food groups should never be used in the same sentence.  It was terrible.
4)  Sister helping me come up with a craft to make to give as gifts for Christmas each year.  One year I made “kitchen spice ropes” and another year a recipe holder using a hairspray lid, plaster of paris, a plastic fork and flowers.
Happy Birthday, Sister Dear.
“Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply.”
 ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

The Mother’s Encyclopedia

Sister Bee dropped off a box of things from her house, of which consisted six volumes of “The Mother’s Encyclopedia”.  The first copyright was 1933, followed by a reprint in 1942 a year in which I am sure many new things were updated on childrearing — being how we were so progressive in the ’40s.

Each volume covered a broad range of topics.  My favorite is Volume Four:  Measles to Prostitution — how about that for an opener at the dinner table when Timmy gets home from school.

The photos are hilarious.  I have taken the liberty to update the captions from the original…

“Go on outside Suzie with your brother and play on the rickety, tetanus infested fence
while Mommy makes me a pitcher of margaritas.”
“Dear, do you think it’s a problem we dressed Jeff in a dress
for the family Christmas card?”

The original title of this photo read:
“The disturbed child may need help.”  I think that’s a keeper.
I shall close with a dramatic reading  from Volume One titled “Natural Childbirth.”  This is exactly as it appears:
“As the doctor lifted up my baby and placed her on my stomach, a wonderful feeling of accomplishment came over me.  Under the sheet my hands moved forward to touch her, and it gave me such a thrill to realize that this little girl, with the umbilical cord still attached to her, was really part of me.  I had just been through a normally comfortable delivery following the principles of natural childbirth.  And it had worked!  Just as I had been told it would.  Every stage of my labor was clear in my mind, and not for an instant had I wanted to avoid the experience through the blackout of drugs or anesthesia.  I felt well, not at all fatigued, and greatly refreshed.”
Alrighty then.



Mother Dear

Earnie turned 84!  She was having her girlfriend’s getaway with her 99 year old friend in Denver last week on her actual birth date so we had to delay the celebration until yesterday.  We gathered at the sister-in-law’s hive and enjoyed a salad luncheon — chicken caesar salad, bean salad (Miss Bee’s fave), potato salad, and broccoli salad.  Then for dessert, Earnie’s favorite — Strawberry Cake.

This is the recipe using strawberry jello and about 8 cups of oil and a dozen eggs.  But, boy is it worth it.  Miss Bee adorned the cake with candles and we sang.

My mother is beautiful, funny, strong, smart and kind.  While Daddy has always received the laughs and attention over the years, she’s the one that has been the backbone of the family.  One of the things I love about her most is her ability to laugh at herself and not take life too seriously.

She’s also very inquisitive….about everything.  Driving her anywhere is a real treat sometimes…”why do you suppose they are building that facing that direction?”  “That office wasn’t here the last time we were here, what kind of doctor is that?”  “How you think I could get a hold of that glue they put on the back of credit cards they send you…you know the rubbery adhesive that you peal off things?” “I see that person out walking all the time, how far do you think they walk everyday?”  “I could use this box for something.”  And the list goes on, literally, everyday.

And, don’t even get me started on her poor hearing.  That’s made for alot of funny laughs.  Latest installment:  “Do you think Ruthie might like to have a treat?”  — Earnie’s reply — “I didn’t go to a University.”  Okay.

I love you Earnie.  Each day you are with me I am a better person.