You Have One Sister…Love Her

There we were, Mary and Theresa Bahr, skulking off to elementary school, silently walking in single file, each hoping the other would be instantly taken out by an alien or a run away bus. Two little uniformed girls, we were ushered across a busy four lane road by a crossing guard who knew us well. ‘Are you two fighting again?” was the usual morning greeting by our guard.  Yep, we were.  About what?  Nothing and everything.  We were one year apart and spent every waking minute in each other’s business.  We shared a room, a bed and fought over clothes, space, oxygen. I remember the guard saying “you have one sister, love her”.  Ha, easy for her to say.

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Reluctant hand holding coupled with a bad hair day 1968.

It is actually a miracle that my sister and I lived into adulthood without a major orthopedic deformity or significant brain trauma.  She smashed my guitar over my head and I , in turn, tried to kill her with a lamp. Hair pulling and strangulation also not uncommon.  Our poor parents..I can only imagine how badly they must have wanted to plant both of us in the garden for some peace and quiet.  Our brother, according to our mother, actually ran away from home as a little boy, and when “found” by Mom, he stated he was not returning unless they did “something” about “the girls”.  Sorry, Tim.

 sisters 4

Just home from the hospital and already trying to kill me via a choke hold.

Funny thing about sisters though..when we weren’t trying to end each other, we were fiercely holding on to each other.  Mary held my hand at night when I was scared of the witch that lived in the closet or the shark that was going to eat me (thanks active imagination).  She gave me a piggyback ride once after we saw a mouse run through the room and I was afraid to put my feet on the floor, and gave me a good slap across my face to bring me back to reality when I was freaking out in a tornado warning and watched our shed blow away.  She was my evil nemesis..she was my loving rock.

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This weekend we celebrated Mary’s 50th .  Laughter and love in abundance, I hope she felt the appreciation for the beautiful and strong woman that she is, because I sure did.  Happy Birthday Mary..that crossing guard was right..I have one sister and I do love her with all my heart.

                                                                                          Mary: Tea?    Me: Why yes, thank you.                                                                                           Mary:  Screw you, get it yourself.

sisters 2                                        sibs

Something Good Is Going To Happen Today..

Regular readers of this blog may recall that I hate the grocery store, from door to door, I loathe the entire least I use to. Not so much anymore. Not after today.

About two hours ago, after hauling ass to my kid’s schools for drop off, I raced to the grocery for like, the umpteenth time this week, playing my usual game of  beat the clock, getting it in before the race to work.  Most days my life feels like that old movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”..sometimes I fully expect to look over at a stop light and see Ethel Merman and Milton Berle staring back at me. I could probably make less trips to the market, but as soon as the automatic door parts and I push my cart through, I go into the “zone”.  My husband insists that if I make a list  I wouldn’t have this problem.  I push my cart up and down the aisles, having little idea what I came for.

The problem is, I think about everything but food in the grocery store.  Depending on the music playing, I am transported through time. 60’s music? I am a little girl hanging out at home with Mom listening to 8-tracks, jumping up and down on the sofa bed, eavesdropping on her phone conversations, getting the hospital scandal gossip where she worked. 70’s music..  I am back at Our Lady Of Victory, dancing in the gym in my Levi cords, hoping a cute boy would ask me to dance..  80’s?  Forget about it..High School, avalanche of memories. Who could think about food?

So, today. ..entering the store.”Memories.light the corners of my mind..” Dear God, no.  Barbra Streisand..@ 8am?  It has been a sad week . My eyes instantly welled, because that is what normal people do when they hear that song. Lost again in the store and I hadn’t even gotten out of produce. I managed to find some food and pushed my cart to the finish line to “I Had the Time Of My Life” blaring through the mostly empty store.  I started loading my groceries on the conveyor belt and an older African-American man came behind me, holding one item and looked to be heading to work, judging from his paint splattered clothes. I ushered him in front of me, and he looked hesitant.  I gave his arm a gentle shove and he thanked me, moving forward.  Then he turned to look at me, really look at my pre-shower, middle aged wreck self, and said “Something good is going to happen to you today”.  “Really?”- I said.  He wasn’t done yet, with a kind smile and that beautiful cottony white hair, he said, “HE loves you”.

I left the store, still with the Dirty Dancing tune playing, I must have been smiling, judging from the strangers smiling back at me. Something good is going to happen today, stay tuned. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.


What Will They Say?

What will they say about you when you pass from this earth?


Will they say you were a loving and proud father, husband and son?

Will they say you were generous, warm and kind?

Will they say ‘ll help you”  was your favorite phrase?


Will they say you were strong, handsome and smart?

Will they say you could build anything, fix anything -instructions need not be included?

Will they say that no one worked harder than you?


Will they say your easy smile and happy spirit could fill a room?

Will they say you were a man of unwavering faith in his God?

Will they say that to be your friend was a life long bond- no strings attached?


They said all that about our friend Jon yesterday.


Work  and play in peace with the angels Jon, until we all meet again.Image







Peaceful New Year

I was struck by the strength and beauty today of this very old nun working in the New Year’s sunset. Her spine severely curved under her heavy black robes, she dug and shoveled dirt into her wheelbarrow unassisted, her bare hands exposed to the cold evening air.


Nearby, the albino deer “Prince”, named by the nuns, made a reassuring appearance, my quiet, gentle son gasped  at  the sighting…we all worry with the recent bow hunters moving through the woods. He stared hard at my son and seemed to be saying “I’m alright dude..different, but still o.k..”   We declared this New Year’s sighting of Prince a special sign, easy to believe in this mystical feeling place.

Wishing everyone peaceful moments in abundance this year.