When my sister Sallie was born, I thought she was mine.
At least I wanted her to be mine.
After two brothers, a nearly all-boy neighborhood, and a town full of boy cousins, I was overjoyed to have a sister.
I’m not sure what I expected.
With eight years between us, the age gap seemed too wide for us to be friends.
It seemed especially wide when I was in high school and she was still in elementary school.
But as we became adults, the chasm narrowed, and the years didn’t matter.
Now we are like contemporaries, except she is younger, wiser, a lot funnier and cooler.
We have sister rituals that drive everybody but us crazy.
The one we enjoy most is the one that makes our mom say, “I can’t stand this anymore. You’re both about to drive me to the state mental.”
Every time we get together, we over plan.
We used to do it without realizing it.
We can’t help it.
We’re idea people.
We spin out wonderfully creative ideas until our families’ brains want to fall out and roll on the ground in search of relief.
But we keep going.
We rattle off ideas so fast that before we know it, we’ve developed a fun-filled two-week itinerary to squeeze into a weekend.
Then we come to our senses, realize how much time we’ve wasted, and settle for going to lunch.
After years of this kind of over planning, now we schedule a small amount of time to brainstorm all the things we’re not going to do.
We make a fantastic, completely ridiculous list of what we could do.
Then we go to lunch.
The other thing we do is laugh, a lot.
Just being in Sallie’s presence gives me the giggles.
Last week, after we got up and were still in our pajamas and sporting our morning hair, we called mom and invited ourselves to breakfast.
Then we got in Sallie’s car and showed up for boiled eggs, toast, and juice at mom’s house.
Just like when we were kids living with mom.
On the way home, I said, “Doug has a friend who can find out where Sara is going on her mission before she actually gets the letter in the mail…”
Before I could finish my story, Sallie said, “Oh my gosh! Where is she going?”
I couldn’t resist the opportunity to cash in on the moment and her gullibility.
“Are you sure you want to know?” I asked, trying to keep a straight face.
“Yes! Hurry tell me! Is she going to London or Paris?” she asked, knowing those were Sara’s top two dream missions.
I nodded my head in complete dishonesty.
“Oh my gosh I have cold chills. It’s London isn’t it?”
Again I nodded my lying head.
“This is so exciting!” she said, putting her hand over her mouth.
I worried happy tears would spring from her eyes any minute so I blurted out, “I lied! It’s all a lie!”
She immediately stopped her car on Main Street of our hometown, unlocked my door and said,”I hate you. Get out. Why did you do that? What made you even think of that big lie?”
I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell her Doug really did have a friend who could find out, but he didn’t ask him to look into it!
“Seriously, get out,” she insisted. “You have to walk home down Main Street with your morning hair.”
Thankfully she didn’t shove me out the door.
We laughed about it the rest of the day.
(And by the way, Sara got called to serve her mission in Paris, France the next day and that is a true story!)
And about that morning hair…
We have the best morning hair ever.
If there was a contest for the craziest morning hair dos we would win.
Actually, Sallie would win.
When we wake up with an especially pretty do, we take a picture and send it to each other on our phones.
She sent me one a few weeks ago that was a hands-down winner. So, I just wrote back and said, “You win!”
One of the other things we love to do is sing loudly, especially on road trips, usually to country music.
Our favorite tune last year was “Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland.
This year it was “Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band.
I have an excellent, fool-proof system for keeping track of Sallie.
It’s through our “Words with Friends” games. We’ve playing each other steadily since the game came out two years ago.
If she doesn’t play a word or two first thing in the morning, I call to see if she’s okay.
And if I don’t play a few words before I go to bed, she calls me.
No words means trouble. Words mean all is well.
I’d like to say I always win the word games, but she has evolved into an excellent word-maker- upper and tosses out a few random letters on the board, and comes up with words I never knew existed, and then she wins.
We’ve played so many games now that sometimes I don’t even notice who wins or loses.
I love my soul sista and have so many memories of her that crack me up, like the one of her riding a scooter at the beach, making a wide turn, and almost landing in a ditch.
Or us at Walmart in a rainstorm, putting plastic Walmart bags over our heads and braving the storm together.
Or her almost killing us when she suddenly veered off the road at full speed and stopped abruptly for a photo-op.
I can’t wait until we see each other again so that we can brainstorm a crazy list of things we’ll never do, sing together in the car, and laugh until we cry over something no one else gets.
That is true soul sista love.