I can remember as a little girl when we would go to visit my mother’s sister that the amount of words exchanged were, well, vast. I mean VAST. To the point that the family joke was that the sisters would both talk at the same time about different topics and still follow the conversation.
I remember my sister and I sleeping on the floor in my cousin’s room with our heads close to the door so we could bear what was being reported about Patsy or Reed or Babe.
Those sisters didn’t see each other very often so they had to cover a lot of informational ground in a short time. Remember, this was when long distance phone charges were by the minute – and at a rate that competed with the grocery budget.
Somewhere deep within in my genetic make-up is an intrinsic knowledge that time is short so it’s good to talk fast and move between topics quickly. I like to think of it as conversational multi-tasking. So, when I flew to Colorado to visit my Dad and have a real-time visit with the Colorado Sister this month, history repeated itself. We only had so much time to talk – and we did it in grand style!
I thought you might like to listen in on the conversation and see how conversationally gifted we are.
Words start immediately – the crazy people you see in airports! And the snow from the plane was like a whole cloth quilt. And the …. And we have to remind ourselves to get the luggage.
Once we get to the ranch, opening the suitcase really gets the conversational ball rolling at top speed. Out of every pocket and corner of my carry-on suitcase (Don’t trust them to the baggage system.) come the new project samples to be reviewed and discussed evaluated and tweaked. Since she is the other half of my memory it’s amazing how Sister helps me put the final stitch here or there and reminds me that red stitches will make it pop. And that reminds us of the red boiled wool jacket that I saw in a photo when she was trying on boots in a dressing room and sent me a picture to ask which pair would work best with the skirt. I wasn’t really supposed to assume that the jacket was for my closet at that point in time. But now it is evident that the red really does go with my closet, so do I want it? And remember that red wool that we found in Mom’s closet when she went to Heaven and I thought I would never wear it because I lived in south Florida and I’ve thought since we moved to north Florida how I wish I had kept it?!?
And that takes us to the clothes I brought in the big suitcase because some of them are the right color but are just too textured so does the Colorado closet have a place for them?
Are you still following the conversation? Keep up, we are going to move fast.
Then as soon as the clothes are sorted – somehow it’s easier to share with sister than simply discard – we are distracted by the magazines at the bottom of the suitcase. I got these from her?!? I thought they were mine so I brought them back across the country because they have ideas and reminders. And of course right next to the magazines is my computer which reminds me that it needs recharged so we can sit side by side viewing the same information as we work – which lets us to move through information faster. And did I remember ….
Not sure I’m following the conversation at this point. Even the real cowboy coffee isn’t helping. I’m getting fuzzy headed. Sleeping off some jet lag will be a short, temporary interruption.
Early the next morning we push the ON button. (Okay, it’s not really that early for me because in my usual time zone it’s mid-morning.) With coffee in hand, we start off very focused. We know we might not end the day that way, but we do start off that way. We open the book we are both reading and share favorite sections. This year we are reading “Life Interrupted” – which reflects reality for both of us – so we get deep and foundational as we analyze our life priorities and how well they are reflected in our time usage. She’s in a paper version and I’m using a Kindle version so sometimes we aren’t always on the same page. (Oh, my, this is a reenactment of real life.)
I’m really not wanting this conversation to be interrupted. It’s the kind that anchors us and reorients us.
And we realize again what a rare gift we have in our life-long friendship. We take a few rabbit trails here while we review the “interruptions” of the past year. Mostly I try to listen below the surface to hear what is really important and I know I am free to share from the heart, too. And we echo to one another that business is not the most important part of this partnership.
At this point, trust me, the Colorado sister is thinking I need to interrupt this blog post conversation – move off the “warm and fuzzy” and the “heartfelt ” and go on to something productive.
Which would be Lunch. We talk recipes and kitchen tips (See the end of this blog for the BEST recipe for Rustic Chicken!) but mostly this is just a necessary interruption because the Rancher husband has been out in the snow taking care of baby calves and that makes real food a survival necessity. We share quick food because we have more important things waiting for us.
Like the fact that it’s time to finish the quilt top that we started last fall at the Marci Baker class hosted by the Calico Quilters. It’s a bit outside the box for us but learning new things well keep us from needing memory chips too soon. We check and recheck the instructions. I read and she navigates us through the light/medium, light/dark, and medium/dark combinations that have to be right to produce the dimensional effect. Colorado sister thinks more mathematically than I do so I stitch a bit slower but we FINISH!!! And-no surprise here — they are the same, yet different.
No rabbit trail conversations or interruptions here. Even a slight deviation from the printed page causes stitching confusion.
After a supper interruption, we take time over our coffee and dessert — I mean over our health shakes — to sort through old linens and patterns and “Notes to Self” pinned on our idea boards in order to plan for future sister projects. This is impeded somewhat because the Colorado sister recently counted her Unfinished Objects and this means there is a reluctance to start anything new when there is no plan to finish what she has in the “unfinished” basket. So why do you even count them? Is there a difference between duty and guilt? Or is it that some of us avoid being a grand starter but a poor finisher? And maybe there is the possibility that sometimes some people are over-responsible. (Guess that came from the sister who has the gift of rationalize anything.)
Not that we had finished that conversation when … look at this wonderful old quilt block! So unique a pattern that it requires a visit to the Smithsonian – via the web. We need a name for it and we then must decide whether or not it can be used as is -with some expert pressing and blocking or if it must be reconstructed due to some mis-measuring and puckering. Combining it with some wool …
And where did that Perrine quilt end up? Let’s check the plastic storage tubs in the garage. No, not there. But here are the star blocks that Mom started to sew together with pink sashing. Maybe it was an old sheet.
She made the stars from scraps she had from clothes she was making. Was this floral from a skirt? A gathered skirt … remember it!!! Remember Mrs. Callahan? Remember Mom at the sewing machine? Always afraid we would sew our finger if she let us sew before we were old enough. And that piece is … ugly! What would we have had from that? Did mom really teach us to sew or did you learn more at 4-H? What shall we do with the star blocks? Divide them of course…
Are we still on the same conversation?
The time flies and the conversation is never long enough. I’m not sure I can explain it. I only know that sister conversation leaves my mind invigorated, my heart rejuvenated and leaves me anticipating the next time we get to conversate (I know that’s not a real word) about whatever and whenever. No matter how life gets interrupted or changed, you can count on one thing … you’ll find us talking around the clock.
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 can (lg) chicken
1/4 cup chicken broth or water from can
1/2 pkg. frozen vegetables (if using spinach, dry well)
(I usually use whatever if a leftover in the frig)
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese, any combo
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Salt & Pepper
Bake on parchment paper at 475* for 15 minutes. Add a salad & crusty bread. As you can see this is NOT an exact science recipe. Use what you have and adjust as needed. Use leftover chicken or change up the cheese. Use pecans instead of walnuts. It will FILL one pie crust but the paper makes for easy clean up. Even the man who raises beef enjoys this chicken recipe.