Just easing back into things after a trip to Atlanta to be with my 3 sisters. This used to be an annual event — our Sisterfest — but we hadn’t done it in 6 years or so. Thanks to my Atlanta sister’s excellent hosting and pampering skills (she’s the middle child — always aiming to please), we visiting sisters had a great, relaxing time (although I’m not convinced SHE did). And I’m sure I gained 5 lbs. in 5 days, happily tossing aside the last 5 months of dieting to eat absolutely everything in sight. It was heaven, on many levels.

I didn’t take a camera — sometimes taking pictures of the 4 of us together can be a little too “Picture of Dorian Grey” for my taste — except that we’re aging in real life, too, not just in pictures.

But I was glad to have my phone camera to snap a few shots of whimsy.

My favorite is this…on my seat on AirTran Flight 993, non-stop service from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, someone made my day.

Someone fun and mischievous and talented who sat in that same seat sometime before me had knitted or crocheted a “cozy” around the tray table arm. (I’m thinking crochet, since I don’t know if they let you have knitting needles in your carry-on!) Seamless, it would have to be cut or unraveled to remove.

No way of knowing how long it’s been there. I didn’t notice it for a while. When I did, my sister and I checked all the seats around us, wondering if this was some new design element. But no, it was just for me.

How cute. How unexpected. I’m sure I’d love the woman who did it (because, you know, it had to be a woman).

My other “wish I had a camera” moment came on our visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

They had a “living wall” — something Mike and I have talked about adding to our side patio, but haven’t managed to execute yet.

It’s so cool. Chock-full of herbs and succulents, it looks and smells great. A guy was watering it by wringing out a wet sponge over the plants. In Atlanta’s heat, I imagine that would be a constant battle…or they have some other, faster watering method too.

I want one!

I’m also a sucker for garden art.

Loved this rustic and beautiful St. Francis statue.

Coveted this awesome wrought gate.

As my sister and I noted, there’s nothing like a trip through someone else’s glorious garden to make you feel like you better get home and get to work.

So I am. Too bad it’s not all in the garden.

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.
~ Author Unknown

Pondering oil and water and why they sometimes mix

A blog I visit regularly is The Sister Project — a collection of blogs, really, devoted to the complex bond that is sisterhood, whether by birth or by choice (sister-friends). I was immediately drawn to it because my own sisterly relationships have done more to shape me as a person than anything else in my life. It’s interesting to read the stories and see how the relationships differ from family to family and friend to friend.

Sometimes, the relationship between sisters isn’t so good — my sister and I were recently talking about this, and wondering why that was. It’s not that we (my three sisters and I) have an idyllic relationship — we’re all very different and have our moments of disconnectedness. But the underlying ties are always there. Maybe stretched at times, but never broken. Always more in touch than out. Oil and water that mixes…usually.

Not so the two sisters in question. Only 3 years apart in age, they just don’t seem to have that closeness, and we don’t understand why.

Are they holding on to perceptions of childhood wrongs, even into their late 20’s and 30’s? Well you got to do this, and I always had to do that. You were the smart one. Well you were the pretty one.

Are they just really different people with different outlooks on life that keep them from “clicking”? (But so are my sisters and I, in some ways. It hasn’t stopped us from being close.)

Are they just not impressed by the fact that the other is the only sister they’ll ever have? The only one who’s been there, done that through their shared childhood? The only one for whom “remember the time Mom…” and “remember when Dad…” will bring that spark of recognition?

Do they just not like each other very much?

I can’t explain it. Or understand it. But I think about it, and hope that someday the elusive bond will be forged. Because if you’re lucky enough to have a sister, you should be lucky enough to like her…a lot.

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves
and very much not ourselves — a special kind of double.
~ Toni Morrison

I’m in love.

I don’t have a lot of blogs I like, and one I did follow (The Burgh Blog) recently closed up shop. But now, thanks to the wonderful creator of the beautiful gardening blog, A Way to Garden, a pleasant distraction featured at left, I have a new bloglove: The Sister Project.

I have three sisters — all older (ha ha). We look nothing alike, although people always tell us we do (especially as we age), and we’re always told we all sound alike and have the same mannerisms. We have all been told, individually, quite seriously, in performance reviews, that we really must curb our body language at work (or else) (e.g., eye rolling at particularly asinine comments from particularly asinine bosses). We don’t share the same political views or taste in clothes or decorating or where to live or what to do in our spare time. We do share a love of artichoke dip, napping, The Wizard of Oz, napping, reading, napping, talking about what the other 3 need to do and why aren’t they doing it, napping, and, most of all, one another.

I would not be the person I am without my sisters. I’m not sure I would be a person at all. I’m sure a billion other sisters feel the same way. How lovely that someone thought to capture it in a blog. How lovely that it’s two someones, Margaret Roach and her sister Marion, who will do it proud. How lovely that I stumbled on it. And now you can, too.

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves
and very much not ourselves — a special kind of double. 
                                                                  ~ Toni Morrison