Quilting, Farming, Variety

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sisters ~~ Different Lives

Last week my sister had her 78th birthday; I don't think she minds me telling her age;  she's still in good health and sound of mind.  For some reason I began thinking of the different paths our lives have taken.

We were both born in the same room, in the little gray house on the rocky hillside farm; as Daddy used to say, "Wanda was born on one side and Charlotte on the other side of that room."  She was almost 6 1/2 years older, much more outgoing and made friends easily.  The word Daddy used to describe me was "timid", but I always had a smile.  As we grew up I know I pestered her too much, especially when she began dating a Marine and received letters from him; letters I wanted so much to read.

She met her cousin's brother-in-law and married him the summer after she graduated from high school .  He had just come out of  service and in about a year they moved to Michigan where he worked in the Buick plant.  As the years passed, they had four children; one sweet little girl died at age five.  She worked in various plants and at Wal Mart because now her husband had become a Baptist preacher.

I met my husband at college; he was a farm boy and that appealed to me.  We married and  moved away from our community; he taught school and worked first on a master's degree and later on his doctorate.  I went to college one more semester then dropped out to become a mother of three girls, and a full-time housewife.  We bought a small place and began our farm; he taught during the week and farmed on the weekends. 

So now she was a preacher's wife and I was the wife of a college professor/farmer.   She attended church functions, I worked cattle and chickens. 

She and her husband recently moved into a retirement center.  He is disabled and the upkeep of  the house and yard was too much for her.  This made me stop and think: could I live there and be happy?  Right now the answer is "no".  Even if the meals are prepared,  the rooms cleaned, and no grocery shopping, I believe I would feel imprisoned, isolated more or less, no place to go where there were no people. 

Here we are, ten years ago, sisters with different lives.  Yes, I'm the one with the white hair! 


  1. I hope Wanda is happy in her new home, I haven't seen her in awhile - you gals look good together! such different lives - I don't know if I could be happy in a retirement home either.

  2. Charlotte, love the picture of you and your sister. I have 3 brothers and no sisters. When I was little I wanted a sister so bad, still think sisters are wonderful. The Lord blessed us with 3 wonderful daughters, I always tell them to enjoy each other.

  3. That is so interesting.... I didn't know they had moved into a retirement home. I think I am with you on that. I'd rather live in my own disorganized mess!

    Next time you talk to her tell her I said belated happy birthday.

  4. What a sweet story. I hope your sister had a wonderful birthday.

  5. It is so nice to see you Charlotte - and your sister. It is interesting to see how you took different paths but still remained close.
    I think I feel the same way you do. I would much prefer my own little place.

  6. Different paths, but sisters still!!

  7. This was so sweet, Charlotte. It's probably hard to give up one's independence to live in a retirement home, but for many it is necessary and brings comfort and peace of mind.
    Blessings to you and your sister.

  8. Thank you Charlotte for telling a little more about yourself to one
    who lives at the edge of Tennessee
    at the edge of the woods.
    Soon your sister and I will be the same age :)

  9. Oh I love this.. You and your sister look so much alike.. I wish I was as close to my one and only sister as you..I hope she enjoys her new home.

  10. Oh, Charlotte~ what a precious post!! And best of all, I got to see you! *squeeeeal*
    You and your sister both are so very pretty... and neither one of you look your age!!

  11. Thank you for this beautiful post. So glad that you and your sister are still close.

  12. Aw... loved this post, Charlotte. We certainly never know what lies ahead. I hope Wanda is content in her place at this point in her life.
    Thanks for sharing the photos!

  13. How interesting the lives we choose, your life is the one I prefer if I were having to choose. My children know I'd never be happy in such a place, my own home thank you. Love your writing as always.

  14. Love both pictures but the one of you as children is charming. Such a good clear photo