Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My oldest sister and I have never had a 'sisterly' relationship for one pure and simple reason; she is 22 years older than I am, and was married and had a child before I was even born.

So it's been much more like having an aunt instead of a sister - or maybe like having a part-time second mom.

I do remember spending a lot of summer vacations with my sister's family. This may have been due to my parents marital instability, or maybe just to have me around kids my age (i.e. my nieces and my nephew).

And every single one of those summers was at some lake. Because the entire family was water-ski crazy.

No, crazy is too gentle a word. They were INSANE about water-skiing. Water-skiing for competition, water-skiing barefoot (that means without skis - and really, people do that), water-skiing with more than a couple of beers…
No, wait, that's another topic for another time.

My sister even set a record for women's skiing with something to do with Catalina Island - fastest around or distance, something like that.
But guess what? I never ever learned to water-ski, even with everyone teaching me and trying to get me skiing, each and every summer.

Well, not fully.

The 'getting-up' part is supposed to be the tough part, and I could do that just great. For me, it was the 'staying-up-one-the-skis-and-not-eating-lake-water" part that was impossible.

My fondest memories of vacation-time-at-my-sister's was one time when one of my nieces or my nephew and I did something out-of-line (something they did very rarely and I did continually).

My brother-in-law, who was then and is now retired from being a Los Angeles firefighter (read that BIG and TOUGH), stepped right in and was ready to immediately, how shall I put it, administer physical repercussion.

I, at the age of three or four, stood my ground and told him, "You can't do that."

"Why not?" with an expression on his face which would have undoubtedlly stopped a normal child who wished to live to disobey another day.

"Because I am your sister-in-law."

I think he is still a little bit scared of me to this day.