Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Memories of my sister ... (part two) ...

Groton, Connecticut ... I believe that's where my sister actually sat on a nuclear submarine to try and keep it from being launched. She couldn't swim a stroke, mind you!

She and her husband were extremely active in the CNVA (Committee for Non-violent Action). The most descriptive phrase that I could come up with for her at that time was that she was an "active pacifist" ... I guess that's an oxymoron, but it was the best I could do. (By the way, I still cannot improve on that phrase!)

We (husband, daughter and myself) did make the trek to Connecticut one year to visit Peggy and hubby. It was a nice visit! I remember Peggy's having set out -- on some sort of line in the back yard -- food and water for the various 'critters' that she had become attached to, among them lots of raccoons and a skunk (!).

As it turned dusk, Peggy kept saying, "Sh ... don't move ... sh!" (We followed instructions ... did ... didn't ... did.) Said 'critters' appeared, and we were treated to watching them help themselves to all that had been offered. Looking back on this episode, I wish we could have captured it all on a video-camera.

My memories of my sister are not all that wonderful, I'm really sorry to write. There was a time -- and, for many years!! -- when one could not even mention the weather without her responding, "Yes/No, it's a good/bad day for 'marching'."

We drifted far apart. I loved my sister, but I did not feel "close" to her. We had, actually, very little in common other than our parentage.

To be honest, I think I contributed more to the estrangement. She made many efforts, over the years, to get closer. Most of the time I had little interest in what she was going on and on about in great detail, other than tucking away in my mind this latest fascination of hers.

She became enthralled with the TV series, "Northern Exposure", and kept trying to get me to watch it. She even taped a lot of episodes and sent them to me. I tried a couple -- just couldn't get into it. One addiction we eventually did share, however (but it was only after she kept badgering me to watch it), was "Beauty and the Beast". That one I enjoyed, perhaps, as much as she did, and we had many extended conversations about some of the episodes.

She re-located to New York City in the very early '70s, about the same time that my family and I were moving to Houston. She was a single gal now, and many of us thought that she would probably land a very good job as a translator at the United Nations (she was fluent in six languages!).

NYC was an optimum location for her. For someone who had never learned to drive -- (I kid you not, she never had! She had taken 'auto mechanics' in high school [!] but that was as close as she would ever get.) -- this was a non-driver's paradise. She quickly grew to love the city. In fact, she lived there until her death.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

"Beauty and the Beast"...excellent show.

Fluent in 6 languages....wow! Which ones?

Did you ever visit her in NYC? It's such a fascinating city!