Monday, July 10, 2006

A Celebration of Laura

On Friday my sister Laura turned 40. The weekend got away from me and the laudatory post planned for her birthday did too. So like a typical sister, I'm posting this, contritely but lovingly, three days late!

I was 4 and a half when Laura was born. Then my sister Sarah came along 2 years later. Because I was relatively distant in age and they were close in age, they hung out together and I kept to myself. We had periodic and inevitable interactions over the years, but didn't really become bestest friends until we were all out of college and living in the same city.

In 1995, Laura called me at work and said she had gotten a job in California and needed someone to go with her driving her car cross country and would I want to go with her? After one second of thought, I said yes and off we went. Our cross-country trip was amazing, hilarious, awe-inspiring, life-altering. We had a blast and were left with enough catch-phrases to make us laugh out loud for the next 10 years (and counting).

Here's a representative sampling (bear with me while I laugh uncontrollably and you fidget uncomfortably):

1. "I just got married and I'm really thirsty!" (the famous "Thirsty Bridegroom" at a hotel in Oklahoma)

2. The Chunky River and the Chunky River Penny

3. Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's "Lt Uhura") autobiography on tape, particularly the chapter about how shocked Hollywood was that she had had no work done on her magnificent teeth. The hilarity that ensued from listening to this lasted us for miles.

4. Me driving (or more accurately, me careening) into Butner, South Carolina off the interstate so that I could re-adjust the seat, because I was realllllyclose to the steering wheel, deciding that the group of men we saw by the side of the road was a dangerous chain gang of hardened criminals and without stopping, careening back onto the highway. After this experience (on our first day out), Laura drove the remaining 2700 miles to California and the 3,000 miles back on our return trip.

5. Laura maniacally yelling, "GIMME SOME SPRAY!" to truck drivers driving through puddles near us on the highway, after our car ran out of windshield wiper fluid and our windshield was covered with grime, causing us to drive 70 mph with a tiny 2" square clear space to see through.

When we got to Los Angeles, we had a few days to spend together, so we drove around all day. When she put me on a train to return to Philadelphia, I burst into tears because I knew I'd miss her so much.

But everything worked out okay. She decided to return east at the end of the year, and then I got to see her all the time!

Here are some things that I love about Laura:

1. She is one of the kindest, most generous-spirited people I know
2. She has a bizarre, absurdist sense of humor
3. She is an integral part of my son's life and he adores her
4. She likes to be the driver when we go on trips
5. Because she's honorable and morally upright (in the best, non-dogmatic sense of the word), she's my sounding board on everything from toenail polish to child-rearing issues
6. We can watch tv together on the phone. We used to do this when she lived in New Orleans or California and I lived here, but sometimes we still do it, even though we live 5 minutes away from each other.
7. She can bake this:

and this:

8.- 10,000. Too many things to list here. Because of her and Sarah, I think I'm the luckiest sister ever.

Sisters, circa 1967


Blogger Emast said...

I was all welled up over this. What great sisters you all are!!!

11:39 AM  
Blogger CurlyGirl said...

ok, I'm crying! I love you too!!!!!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Marfa's Mewsings said...

Dear Divine DJ,
What a sweet post.
As an only child, I have always, & yes, I do mean always, longed for sibs.
Reading your post I tho't of just how damn lucky you all are to have such love, friendship, joy, laughter & passion for each other.
I'm thrilled for you both!

7:16 PM  

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