Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sister Visit

My sister lives on a farm. She is a farmer, or wants to be a farmer. She is a farm inspector. She inspects farms claiming to be organic. She doesn't even count horses anymore because she sees so many. What is a heifer, what is a bull calf, what is a bred heifer, what is veal? The Amish men don't like her she says. They conduct business with men. They keep their cows' business at the wrong end of the business end of the barn. Sometimes. She points that out. Writes it down. What goes in can't be around what comes out.

My sister is landlocked. She came to visit me. Came to visit the lake. The lake on which we grew up. The lake our nightingale, our lullaby, our white noise. She can come and just sit and watch the lake and not talk I told her. She brought a kitten. We are wild for animals.

A red-headed woodpecker started working the willow out front. Other birds than lake gulls hopped in the grass. Look I say and she says yeah. We saw a flock of bluebirds yesterday she says. She lives on a farm. She lives away from water. Where bluebirds go.

We have purple martins I say, even though it's my neighbor who has purple martins which I haven't seen lately. I'll have to ask. Did the purple martins leave already?

We talk about how we took care of our parents. She more than me it's true. We talk about how they became our children, why we don't have children now. What's it like to have live parents? We can't imagine anymore. We look at pictures of our parents before they became parents or even knew they were going to be. They look scared.

We aren't scared anymore. I don't think. I actually don't know. I'll have to ask. It didn't come up.

My sister misses the gulls.


Maureen McHugh said...

The other day I was trying to remember what it was like when my mom was my mom and a person who could not only function, but was the person other people expected to function when others weren't.

I couldn't. Which is a weird kind of little death.

Nin Andrews said...

My mom is 90 years old. Her mind is still her. Her body pisses her off. She was a serious hiker. Yesterday she got pissed. We took a three hour hike and went about two blocks, only it was on a path with bad footing. She would not quit. At the end of it, I think she was ready to cry and cheer. Today her body hurts.

Sara said...

It's good to have sisters, no? I feel bad for all those poor lonely only children out there...and the girls who had only brothers. There's something about a sister that's so much better than anything else could be.