I think it’s fair to say that I have never quite been normal. Classmates would write in my Sr. Memory book about my being “strange.” Underclassmen would call me “weird.” And teachers more tactfully would mention that I was “different.” Even in graduate school after answering a question about library statistics a professor announced that I was an “odd duck,” to which my two closest friends in the room chimed in, “Yes she is.”
I imagine now that being the older sister so close in age to such an oddity was not always fun. Where Sarah excelled in school and sports I was more likely to be in detention for uncompleted school work and thinking strategically about how to participate as little as possible in phy-ed without getting in trouble for it. There were however areas where Sarah and I found a lot of common ground. We liked the same TV shows; we spent countless hours in the front yard playing catch discussing our peers and teachers. We both held the same opinion about a particular Hungarian dancer with brown eyes that we had seen in Winnipeg at Folklorama. And then there was music. We grew up singing together. Be it crawling into bed with Grandpa for a repeating chorus of “School Days” or hymns at the piano—As long a we kept singing Mom would take care of the dishes—we shared songs and would sing them readily. We enjoyed two years of high school in the same choir. If you want to get either of us to laugh just pick it up from “everybody knows a turkey.” At Rebecca’s wedding we were able to get the happy couple to kiss with a bit of “My Heart is Full of Merriment and Joy.” Rebecca would describe Sarah and me as children as the best of friends and the worst of enemies. I’d say that was a fair assessment of our relationship, but music was always in the friends category.
Happy Birthday Sarah from your Sister Goofus Dear.