Random thoughts occupying my mind this morning. My sister Fran celebrated her 84th birthday this month. My sister is someone for whom the statement, “ She’s a pistol,” was coined. She has survived two heart bypass operations, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and lymphoma. Every afternoon at precisely 4 p.m. she pours herself an ice cold glass of beer, and considers what to prepare for dinner. She’s a great cook, but now that she’s living alone, she mainly thinks about what to add to her egg white omelets.
Every Wednesday, though, her children, their spouses and all of their children come by for a pasta dinner. Fran will start two pots of sauce, one for meatballs and one for sausages first thing in the morning. The gang will arrive around 5 o’clock and she’ll boil 2 pounds of penne, 1 pound of spaghetti, and 2 pounds of rigatoni. Feasting lasts until the last noodle is consumed.
After her husband died, she came to visit me and brought her own pot roast! “I thought I’d show you how to make pot roast, Diane,” she said.
“But, Fran, I’ve been married for nearly 40 years. I’ve made pot roast a time or two.”
“Yes, but I thought I’d show you how to make a good pot roast.”
Hmmm. “O.K. Thanks.” What else was there for me to say?
I love our conversations. She and I remember incidents in entirely different ways. If I say “Remember when you took me to see Cinderella at the Irving Theater in Carbondale, and Daddy made you promise not to ride the bus with Stu Rutchak?”
She’ll say, “Daddy never did that. He liked Stu. I was the one who didn’t like Stu. He wasn’t my type.”
Or if I remember her pushing me off the dock into the lake teasing me to “sink or swim,” she’ll insist she would absolutely NEVER have done such a thing.
Her granddaughter is getting married in May. Yesterday I promised I’d drive up to take my sister to shop for a dress for the wedding. That will be a long day. Fran is frugal. She’ll want something elegant but not fussy; comfortable but with good lines. She’ll want sleeves and the dress will have to be a shade of green, her favorite color. And she’ll want this dress to cost less than $50. See why it will be a long day? I will enjoy every minute of it.