I have several sisters. One of them is having a round number birthday today, and this post is about her.
My sister's name is Davinie. She is 20 months older than me, and was a year ahead of me in school. Because I am tall, and she was always petite, we were pretty much the same size growing up (until I finally passed her, probably in junior high). I remember a picture of the two of us squeezed into a bathtub, lying side by side in the bottom of the tub, laughing up at the photographer. Two peas in a.....tub?? We were the same size, anyway. I also remember fighting over that darn yellowish sweatshirt with Pepe le Pew and a embroidered on it. We both swore up and down that it was *ours*, and not to be shared with anyone. I think the shirt spent more time hidden in someone's drawer or other secret hidey hole than it did on one of us.
Davinie and I had all sorts of adventures together. She convinced me to climb up onto the counter and get the rock candy out of the cupboard above the refrigerator (where I was caught red-handed); and talked me into letting her drive over me on the three wheeler (we wanted to see if it would hurt--our theory was that the tires were so wide, it wouldn't be painful.....it *wasn't* painful, but I cried anyway because I was scared). We spent lots of time in the field below our house in the canyon in Alaska flattening down the tall, tall grass to make 'rooms' for our playhouse. I think we were re-enacting Little House on the Prairie??
I was heartbroken when Davinie started Kindergarten when I was 4, so Mom set up 'school' for me at home to keep me busy. I think that trying to keep up with Davinie as a little kid was what motivated me in school, at least when I was small. I wanted to do what *she* was doing!
As we got older, we became big fans of Little House on the Prairie. We had all the actors names memorized, and knew the order they would come up on the screen at the beginning of the show....and would call them out just before they appeared.
I remember searching through the house for spare change, then heading over to Expressway to buy as much candy as we could. I remember walking to downtown Bend so we could ride up and down an elevator in some poorly secured law offices.
Because of our different school grades, and often different schools, Davinie and I had periods of time where we were not as close, and periods of time when we *were* pretty close. In high school, as Davinie approached graduation, we became much closer. In her last year at home, we would drive home for lunch every day, and we spent a lot of time together. I remember when she was banned from driving on the school campus for a week because she was falsely accused of bumping a twit with her car, so *I* got to drive us home for lunch. She would occasionally goose the car as I was trying to get in it....then stop and wait for me to catch up....then goose it again. When I was driving us home, I got my payback and pretty much had her run all the way home while trying to get in the car, with Kandy Easterday laughing hysterically in the front seat.
I remember the three Cooper girls heading off to Volleyball camp together, and Davinie got a speeding ticket. We were so scared when that cop yelled at her for not stopping sooner!!
After high school, Davinie was very supportive of me heading off for college. I visited her a few times in her apartment, and she came to see my dorm room and the campus shortly after I started at Linfield. I remember one of my last visits with Davinie, when we decided to go to a lake for some tanning and lazing in a rubber raft (this was of course before I resigned myself to the fact that I don't tan--I can burn purple, then resume my natural paleness, but that is about it). It was a nice, warm day, but there was still snow in places up in the mountains, so the water in the lake was cooooold! Our oar fell apart, and I was elected to jump in the water to retrieve the fallen portion of it. There is something about older sisters that just makes you go along with what they tell you to do. Or maybe I am just easily swayed. Anyway, I think my feet went numb in my attempted oar retrieval, but I eventually got it back and we had a wonderful lazy afternoon.
Even though we are not always close, and we have had our differences, I know that Davinie is there for me. When I have something I need to vent about, I can always call her and vent away. That is nice to know. When she had her babies, I rushed out from work and headed to Oregon to be there. And if Ethan and I ever decide to have babies of our own, I know Davinie will be up here for me, too.
So, today I am wishing Davinie a very happy round-number birthday. May it be the very best one yet.