Tag Archives: sister relationships

Conversations With My Sisters: Buy a Cell Phone So We Can End This Drought

Yikes, the phone is ringing!

I am coming to the realization that technology is getting in the way of my relationships. Once upon a time long ago, people used to call me. Not so much anymore. I don’t even look at my answering machine because the only people who leave messages are charity groups. Even my stalwart friend Erica doesn’t phone anymore. “Why would I?”, she says “You don’t answer your phone and you don’t return calls. If I didn’t know better I’d say you didn’t love me.” You see, my preferred method of communication, is text. I like to write people (often randomly) pop in, say hello at all hours of the day and night and then get the hell out of dodge but not before including an adorable emoticon to convey my genuine emotion.

Unfortunately, I am diametrically opposed to one of my sisters. Let’s call her Jokelee. Jokelee (the owner of the late Birdie) is the bastion of non-social communication. She is on facebook but has no friends. The friendly thoughtful algorithm in fb’s sidebar frequently reminds me to help my sister find more fb friends. She doesn’t really need help finding friends. She is the same person who goes to the liquor store and invites half the people in the line-up home for a little dinner for 20.

So while actually talking to my text friendly sister Petra I told her to tell Jokelee to get a cell phone so we can connect. “I’ll mention it to her.” she said.
Me. “Good. Tell her if she needs help texting I’ll teach her.”
Her: Why don’t you tell her yourself?
Me: Because the last time I called (3 months ago) her line was busy and she has no auto voice mail.
Her: Alright. But she won’t do it.
Me: Just tell her.

Next phone call:
Her: Have you talked to her?
Me: No. Did you tell her?
Her: Yup.
Me: What did she say?
Her: Not likely.
Me: Oh.

Many months later. Guilt is setting in. Jokelee is probably really mad at me. What could she be mad at? I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ll send her an email and tell her I love her and mention the phone.
3 weeks later. THE GUILT IS KILLING ME. I’m breaking down. I am convinced she hates me and is seething with anger at some unbeknownst slight I have perpetrated against her person. I should phone. I’m going to phone. When I mention this to my brother he agrees with me. “She’s probably really mad about something. What did you to her?” “I didn’t do anything.” “Well you must have.” he says. Thanks.

So I phone her.

Ring Ring
Jokelee: Hello
Me: hi
Jokelee: Hey!
Me: I figured if I can’t make the mountain come to me I will come to the mountain.
And we erupt into wild laughter.
Jokelee: Petra told me you told her I should get a phone. What the hell should I get a phone for? So I can tweet all of you what I had for breakfast.
Me: You mean text.
Jokelee: Hey I’m tweeting you and everyone else that I’m slicing peaches. How exciting is that? Or that I’m just arriving at your house. Hey I’m tweeting that I’m going to zoomba again! I’ve done a cost analysis of getting a cell phone. I’m not doing it. I think of phoning you but you never answer your phone.
Me: I know. I still won’t answer my phone but my compromise is that I am going to phone you more regularly. The anxiety of not talking to you isn’t good for my soul.

And so our conversation goes. Like sisters. We laughed like the old friends we are. The comfort of family is like fitting perfectly into a curve. It snaps together. We’re over our drought and will continue on. And me. I’m going to try and use the phone. Every so often. Because I’m flexible. Sort of.

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The Story of Birdie and How He Was Almost Saved by a Spatula

Once upon a time a few years ago I went and visited my sister. My sister lives in a small town in a land far, far away. Ontario to be exact. She was a little under the weather at the time so I went to help out and visit with her.

At any given time her home is shelter to abandoned cats and birds. For many years she had Birdie and Olivia two cockatiels she inherited from a friend. This is how she keeps the cats from eating her birds.  “Don’t eat my birds or your gone.” And this has worked beautifully.

On my last visit I was quite horrified to see how Birdie had aged. He was mostly featherless with a large goiter on his shoulder. Bulging eyes.

So this is what happens: I was busy in the kitchen cooking away (while she bossed me around from the couch – don’t skimp on the salt – more butter – don’t forget the herbs – not too much, not too little!). Older sisters, as we all know, can’t relinquish their crowns, even if they have a raging fever. So dutifully, I listened – no more salt – no more butter I can’t stand it – and she won’t notice if I don’t put any herbs in at all!.

Pick him up!

Amidst my culinary drama, suddenly I look over and I see Birdie lying featherless and goiter-heavy on his back on the floor. So I call out to my sister “Oh no, Birdie is lying on the floor. What do I do?” “Pick him up.”she yelled from the couch. “Oh, ok.” I said.” With what?” “Your hands.” she answered. “What do you think, your teeth?”

Meanwhile back at the ranch

Meanwhile back at the ranch, my inner dialogue was going like this – She wants me to pick that bald obnoxious bird off the floor with my own two bare hands. NEVER. I can’t. I won’t. Those cats won’t kill him. If I wait long enough maybe she’ll get up off her sick bed and pick him up for me. They’re her birds and she is my older sister and therefore more capable and well, it’s just her job. What if I can’t do this? She’ll beat me with a stick. No wait, she’s never done that. She’ll want to beat me with a stick. She probably already does. Jeezus, what do I do? I can’t touch that thing. Where are the oven mitts?Oh wait. The spatula. That’s it. I’ll wash off this spatula and lift Birdie off the floor.

My sister leapt like Superwoman from the couch

No sooner had I grabbed the spatula and walked with boldness and extreme courage towards the ailing Birdie than I saw my sister leap from the couch in a single bound (not unlike Superman except in this case Superwoman) push past me in her narrow hallway and run and lift the ailing Birdie into her loving hands where she restored his dignity and showered him with loving kisses.

It was certainly one of those times where I was outside the moment. Birdie and my sister were suspended in a bubble of love – she kissing him -him looking lovingly into her eyes, his dignity (if not his feathers) restored.

She lovingly placed him back on his perch where he remained for a few more days until he passed away.

And that’s the story of Birdie – who almost got lifted up by a spatula by a heartless auntie but was instead rescued (as always) by my sister who’s heart and house is always open to abandoned critters.

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