We were a typical small farm family in Pennsylvania during the 1950s who "dressed up" for church on Sundays (see photo below). We had to wear dresses for school, too; all through the 1960s our high school prohibited pants for girls. When we were home on the farm, we wore "overalls"; jeans before they were cool.
I'm holding a barn cat in my lap. Our mother wouldn't allow animals in the house. Too many parental rules! I learned early in life to never ask for permission, just do it, suffer the consequences later. I would convince Vicki to help me sneak a cat inside the house with a basket and rope to my second-floor bedroom window.
Dementia has been a blessing in disguise for our parents, now age 94 and almost 89. They live in assisted 24/7 memory care near Vicki's home in Maryland. They've totally forgotten their former marital problems. They're now pleasant together, showing an affection and mutual respect I rarely saw in my youth.
And when my sister Vicki and I were 14 and 13 years old, we welcomed Maria who's from New York City, then age five, into our sisterhood. Our mother greeted her when she stepped down from the train; this bashful little girl with a pageboy hair cut won our hearts.
Over the last 53 years our lives crossed paths every summer when we were youngsters, but rarely as adults. Now that we're all retired, we got together at Vicki's place last week (photo below). Why is it that Puerto Rican women look 27 when they're 57? Not fair!
The three of us sisters had a wonderful three-day reunion, mostly laughing and sharing stories at the dinner table for long, four and five hour dinners with a bottle of wine. We laughed at all our foibles in life :) We're all animated, good story tellers with tons of facial expressions and body language. Not shy nor reticent!
This is Maria and Vicki with one of Maria's five grandchildren a couple years ago.
Liz came into our sisterhood 48 years ago when all three of us were college students (I was a slacker in college too). Back in 1971 we visited Liz at her childhood home in Grahamsville, New York (photo below is early 1900s historic cabin made of chestnut logs). We were all young and naïve, dutifully wearing skirts and dresses of course.
Liz and Maria and me were bridesmaids at Vicki's first wedding (very traditional) in 1972. This photo brings us all big smiles of remembering "the way we were".
Photo below is the three of us ten years ago, now older and wiser, with matching Guanacasta Seed earrings. I hand-made the earrings from seeds I had collected under a Guanacasta tree in Belize.
Time flies by . . . . this is the three of us today celebrating sisterhood during a long luncheon at Vicki's place.
Of all us four sisters, only Vicki found a man who was a keeper. Barry's a sweetie, and he happens to be a New Yorker too. Photo below is four years ago when they dressed up for the annual Senior Prom Night with our folks at the assisted care facility.
See Vicki's buzz cut in photo above? When she's globe-trotting with Barry, which is frequently now that they're retired, she gives them both a buzz cut. It makes traveling easier (especially in third-world countries). So in preparation for our upcoming adventures in Iceland and Europe, we gave each other a buzz cut. Takes guts for heterosexual women to brave the world with a buzz cut!
Tomorrow, Vicki and I board the night-owl flight to Iceland (I'm taking Barry's place due to his sister's failing health). In Iceland, we'll rent a 4WD Suzuki with a tent on top, travel the "Ring Road" and more. Because we're renting a 4WD, we'll be allowed on "F-roads" which prohibit normal rental cars. Then, we'll fly to Eastern Europe to visit a dozen countries over the next few months. Ole!
One excursion will be rental bikes on a 200-mile section of the Danube River Bicycle Path. Another excursion will be the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and later a stay at the cradle of those Lipizzaner horses in Slovenia, the Lipica Stud Farm. We've planned a mix of bus, train, and airline travel (prepared for different languages and currencies, plus head-coverings in Israel, Jordan and Palestine). And in the mix, we'll part ways temporarily in Jordan. Vicki flies to Dubai and I fly to the Gulf of Aqaba for SCUBA diving (weather permitting, the last week of October). On our return flight home mid-November, we'll stop at Iceland again for a few days hopefully to see Northern Lights.I'm not taking an Internet device but come December in Texas, I'll have time to compose my photos and thoughts for several blog postings.