Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy birthday, Janet!

Today is my little sister's birthday. We shared a room until I was in the 9th grade. We fought a lot and had a lot of fun, as well. At least, that's the way I'm choosing to remember it now.
I remember we used to fight over whose turn it was to do the dishes. After my parents developed a system where one of us would wash and one would dry, then we fought over whose turn it was to wash and whose turn it was to dry. We also fought about who would sit where in the back seat of the car, but since there were three of us, with my brother, someone always had to take the "hump" in the middle. Of course, the way I remember it, I was always right. (There has to be some benefit to being oldest.) We must have driven our parents crazy.

On Friday night my dad used to work late at his shop. Sometimes, that would be "pancake night" (my father did not consider pancakes to be a proper dinner). Sometimes my sister and I would have pancake eating contests. A few times we would start laughing so hard we could hardly finish our dinner. My mom always looked a little mad then. I remember thinking, "why is she mad? We're not fighting."

My parents also enjoyed the game we invented, called "Flood." We only played it on Saturday mornings. We pretended that our house was flooded, and that our beds were high ground. Eventually, though, we needed to go out to the living room to watch Saturday morning TV, and also to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Here's where it gets interesting. We would take all the books off the shelves, and use them as stepping stones to get to the other rooms in the house. Yes, our parents were wild about that game.

My sister and I tried not to be competitive. If I liked Simon and Garfunkel, she got interested in John Denver. I played the piano; she switched to violin and guitar. I liked writing; she was interested in art. Sometimes that worked, but not always.

My mom used to tell me that when I grew up, I would appreciate having a sister. I think she would say this during fights, and from her own perspective, she became really good friends with her older sister. In fact, I believe they shared an apartment in Minneapolis after they moved from the farm. I shared an apartment with my sister for a few months after I graduated from college, and while she was a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was a funky old brownstone one bedroom with hardwood floors and a huge walk-in closet.

Then, she got married and moved to Phoenix. The rest, as they say, is history.

I'm proud of my little sister. She became a graphic designer. She designed my ordination announcements, and also our wedding invitations. I used to dream that we would become a writing/illustrating team. But then, I would actually have to finish writing something. Perhaps I could self-publish a book of sermons someday, and have her illustrate them.

What do you think?

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Janet!


FranIAm said...

Happy Birthday Janet!!

And what a lovely- yet another lovely and well told tale of your life. Thank you Diane!

That flood game cracked me up!

I did click into your announcment- after all, I did not even yet know you in July, and wow- that is gorgeous. (And the post about it!)

This blog is so amazing, I get so uplifted just by clicking in.

Wyldth1ng said...

Happy Birthday Janet!

I played the flood game as well or something like that, fun times.

Gartenfische said...

Happy birthday!!

My sister and I used to fight over who got to sit in the front seat when we went anywhere with our mom.

Katherine E. said...

What a great post, Diane. I can relate to so much of it, having a younger sister myself.
GREAT picture, btw!

My sister and I had to share a bed for a year or two. Oh, my. We'd draw an imaginary line down the middle, and if she got one TOE over that line, watch out--it was war!

We laugh over that, and so many other things, now. Yep. Sisters are good!

Happy birthday, Janet!
(Janet and Diane--was your mom a fan of the Lennon Sister?)

mompriest said...

I think publishing your sermons and having your sister illustrate the book is a great idea.

And, Happy Birthday Janet!

Jan said...

Happy Birthday, Janet! Since that is my "real" name, I am glad to know someone else with that name. Not many left. Maybe because the Lennon Sister's popularity waned.

Flood game sounds cool, but not one a parent would like. Still, your parents didn't forbid you to play. Cool parents.

Thanks for the picture and the memories. Plus, the announcement was beautiful!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

yaaa-aaay... write diane. write.

Diane said...

yes, Katherine, I believe the Lennon sisters were very popular when we were born. My parents watched Lawrence Welk every week.

Barbara B. said...

very cool! Happy Birthday, Janet!!!

Rowan The Dog said...

You could publish an anthology of blog posts! You have such a great, great way of saying things. It makes people feel good and has a little message slipped in so that we hardly notice. Like putting a pill in a wad of cheese for your dog I guess. Only much more elegant. And less slobbery. And, see! This is why you should write and I should do what I do.

Great pix too!


Diane said...

Lindy -- you have a way with words, too!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Happy Birthday, Janet!

Does this post bring back memories of me and my sister, Gayle! She was three years younger, and we shared not only a room, but a bed, and we fought about our territory. We'd draw an imaginary line down the middle of the bed and howl if the other encroached on our side.

When we were teenagers, she'd sneak out in my shoes, which made me angry, because her feet were bigger than mine, and she'd stretch them. On the whole, we really didn't fight that much - at least as I remember.

We were very close throughout our lives, even when we lived far away from each other.

Go for publishing your sermons or your blog posts, as Lindy suggests, and have Janet illustrate.