I celebrated Labor Day weekend by traveling to Glenwood Springs with my sister, her boyfriend/my room mate, and my little brother. It was definitely a much needed weekend for all of us. We spent two days, enjoying the mountain air and awing at the majesties available to us in Colorado. I came back today, appreciating my family, and appreciating living in Colorado.
No doubt my family has been through a lot together. And, because of these experiences we share, my siblings and I are very close. They truly are my best friends. I loved growing up in a family of six, because it meant there was always someone to hang out with, or someone to take your side when you got mad at another. I have vivid memories of my older sister and I fighting over who got to sit next to the hot water in the bath tub and then her biting my arm so hard it bled. On the other hand, I also have vivid memories of my older sister and I, tackling the many challenges of growing up together, such as my mom dressing us up in matching clothes and us making a sign that said, “We need friends” after we moved into our new house. I remember going into my German class in high school, irate about my little sister making us late to school, and I remember driving home from college to help her get ready for her first prom. I remember passing out at the hospital from seeing my brother in his post-golf cart accident mode (bloody, swollen face, broken nose, closed eye, etc.) and I remember coercing him to dress up in high heels, a skirt, and paint his fingernails pink. Despite everything that my family has been through, we have been through it together and it has made our bond as siblings even stronger. I know that, when I get stranded at a Dave Matthews concert, when I want to go to Wal-Mart but not alone, or when the neighbor immaturely drops dog poop in between our doors, one of my siblings has my back and will come to the rescue.
The four of us are vastly different: I like school and dancing, my older sister likes photography and making fun of things, my little sister likes her boyfriend and her horses, and my little brother wears a cowboy hair with a feather stuck in it. However, together we make up a whole. I know that, whenever I need a good laugh, I can call my older sister. She is by far the most hilarious person I know (well, next to Jenna Marbles). She is not afraid to speak her mind and I look forward to daily pictures of her torturing her dogs by putting them in costumes. In fact, I have a file saved on my computer dedicated to her silly dog pictures so that I can look at them anytime I am having a bad day. I can also count on her to be my drugstore, if ever I run out of lip gloss, nail polish, pumpkin scented hand sanitizer, candles, mascara–you name it, she has it. My older sister and I grew up together as twins. My mom dressed us alike, we had the same friends, and we did all the same things together. For example, when we were in high school, we would walk to the bus together. My older sister was always late and I, for whatever reason, would always wait for her to walk to the bus stop. One day, as we were walking to the bus stop, we see the bus come up the hill, so we start running. My sister slips off the sidewalk, falls, breaks her ankle, I keep running, and turn back to yell, “Don’t worry, I will tell the bus driver you aren’t coming!”. What love and appreciation I had for her.
My little sister and I fortunately have become very close in these last couple of years and I am so proud of the young lady she has become. She is caring, genuine, always willing to help–when the Black Forest Fire occurred, she hitched up her horse trailer, drove out to the fairgrounds, and offered to help people move their horses. She is also quite hilarious, in her own sardonic kind of way. We have evolved our own language with each other. I am not sure how it happened, but exchange certain letters with other letters. It is sometimes difficult for me to turn off when I go to school in the morning. Last week, we were at CostCo, grocery shopping. We were discussing whether we should purchase brue (blue) solor cups or red solor cups. Then, she has this brilliant idea! We should purchase cwear (clear) solor cups. I died. I died even more when she told me we needed to buy her boyfriend coron (cologne–I was walking around trying to find the Coronas!).
One thing that I value about my relationship with my siblings is that no matter what happens, we are always willing to find the humor in the situation. When the hot water heater goes out at the house, instead of being irate about taking cold showers, we laugh at my mom going out on the roof to heat a pot of water, and then getting an ear infection from her make shift shower. Instead of being depressed about visiting my sick grandpa in the hospital, we laugh at the fact that we went mistakenly went in the staff elevator and ended up on the bottom floor with the cadaver bags. And, instead of being concerned for the puggle that is overweight, we laugh at her trying to run across the grass to catch a bunny. We never have high expectations, we never stay mad for too long, and we never get too upset when things don’t go according to plan.
Here is a perfect example: We decided to plan our trip to Glenwood Springs the night before, so of course, Labor Day Weekend + Mountains = no available hotels. In searching for hotels, our criteria was it must be clean and it must have a tv with cable (we don’t have cable so it would be considered a ‘luxury’). Here is what we got:
Not only was the tv an old, outdated tube-type, but there was some mysterious staircase above it, which prohibited one side of the room from even seeing the tv. The shower was also an interesting experience: not only did it not come with a shower head, but the faucet was coming out of the wall, the shower curtain did not even fit the tub, and the water was luke warm at best. Oh, and there was a Mexican baby shower the night of, so there were people running up and down the halls. Instead of getting upset about this, however, we laughed so hard at the situation we were in that our abs hurt. And, then we ate gummy worms/gummy bears/gummy watermelons/gummy fish.
(I should also add that my little brother and I shared a queen sized bed, which has probably never happened in our entire lives. We both slept, butt to butt, under separate covers, with a pillow in between our heads.)
Yesterday, we went rafting, took a shower, went to the hot springs, took a shower, and then woke up this morning, and took a shower. We had a pile of towels as high as the bath tub by the end of this excursion. When we were packing up this morning, and we were sorting through clothes, we realized that we had two boxers of the same sort. Same color, same size, used for the same rafting purposes. The only problem was that we had two claimers. At first, we thought we would just divvy them up, one to each boy. Then, we realized that was gross and decided to just throw them away.
My siblings and I are always stuck in unfortunate situations: a crappy hotel with a tube television, getting sick and throwing up over the railroad tracks, belly flopping off the diving board and having your swim suit fall off, spending 20 minutes in the middle of the night blowing your nose, huddling inside your house while the search helicopter looks for a fugitive in your backyard, having your truck break down on the side of Parker Road, watching a cop body slam and hand cuff a family member, going to court together, not quite making it to the bathroom in time (which, according to some conversations I have had with colleagues, happens more than you think). But, we do these things together. And then, we laugh, at the situations, at other people, and at ourselves.
To my siblings, I owe some of my fondest memories.