Andrea Langworthy's column: This one is for Ginny
My Florida sister came “home” last week. Her husband’s class reunion was Friday and Saturday in the small Minnesota town where he’d grown up so he went that way and she reconnected with family in the cities.
This sister and I are 10 years apart. I’m the oldest of five. She’s the youngest. While I might have been described as cute long ago, she’s still darling. Pretty, too. I have no fashion sense; she always wears the right thing and makes it look effortless.
It was just the two of us and my husband at our house this time. On her way here, she stopped at the mall to pick up salads. Slices of Margherita pizza, too. Carrot cake because she remembered one of us liked it and a risotto, asparagus and shrimp entrée she thought my hubby and I could share for dinner with any leftover salad.
I heard my husband open the door for her and listened as they exchanged greetings. She said something and laughed. That laugh of hers. So genuine. So much fun. I hadn’t heard what she said but couldn’t help but chuckle, too.
You’d think 10 years would have put so much distance between us we’d be more like strangers than friends. Plus, I spent two-and-a-half years at boarding school. She was eight when I got married and moved to an apartment off-campus. Sixteen when I moved out East. Sometimes, I’m surprised she even remembers my name.
I know she doesn’t remember my changing her diapers or pushing her stroller around the block whenever Mom let me. But maybe she hasn’t forgotten the knitting class we took when she was in high school. The time we spent together when I made a skirt — her design, of course— for her Sadie Hawkins dance. The day I taught her to decoupage.
Maybe she laughs about the day we learned our father detested canned soup. Something we found out after she used my Campbell’s soup recipe for pork chops to make dinner for Dad.
Perhaps she recalls when she was in college and I was in the early days of my car-selling career. I must have complained about the mandatory Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning meetings at work and that, whether or not I was scheduled to work afterwards, I had to be in business attire.
The meetings didn’t last long so I was “all dressed up with nowhere to go” a couple days a week. My sister suggested I join her and a friend for coffee and bran muffins at a restaurant near the university’s west bank. Go home to housework or solve the world’s problems and eat? I didn’t finish college but I knew the answer to that question and our get-togethers became a weekly ritual.
I hope my sister recalls the time 25 years ago when my husband and I married. We had planned a honeymoon in Florida. She and her hubby asked us to stay with them for a bit so they could treat us to a celebratory dinner. Not only was the Tampa restaurant the most upscale place we had ever seen but a limo ferried us to and fro.
Three hours went by too fast last Saturday. We laughed and laughed and even though we talk on the phone regularly, there was still so much to say. I said it then but it bears repeating, “I love you, Li’l Sis.” Thank you for an unforgettable visit. And 57 years of treasured memories.