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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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sisters

Is There Beer in Heaven Part III

     The inevitable has happened. We buried my brother-in-law last Friday. It wasn’t even a week ago and it seems like so much more time has passed. Maybe it’s because Christmas happened and I didn’t think about it for a couple of days. I’m not sure, but it has me thinking a lot about time.

   You know how it always takes longer to get someplace by car than it does to get back home. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation that it makes it feel like it takes longer, or your desire has been satisfied for making the trip, so getting home is just something you have to do. This happens to me even when I know the route I am taking, like to my sisters, a different one, three hours away or when my girlfriends and I are going on a quilt shop trip. Continue reading “Is There Beer in Heaven Part III”

Make It Happen

In this busy world, unless your relatives live in the same town you do, time to visit is often not a priority. It should be. I know, some families don’t get along all that well, but they are still family. My husband’s family has a reunion every summer and groups come from all over the U.S. for dinner on Friday and a picnic and dinner on Saturday. Yes, it’s expensive for those that have to fly and rent hotel rooms, but they share a bond very unlike my own family because they make it happen and stay close.

It’s custom in my house to have my adult children and their families come for Sunday dinner once a month. If we didn’t schedule it in advance it wouldn’t happen. My son works crazy hours so he looks at “Sunday at Mom’s” as his total relaxation day. I love to do all the cooking. We are lucky and only have one month in the year that there are two birthdays, so the person of the month gets to pick the menu. One month I  made chicken enchiladas to the response of my grandson, “Who picked that?” I’m sure you can hear the sneer in his voice. Other favorites are steak, marinated chicken, prime rib and lasagna.

Today my husband and I are actually on the road, traveling to Hoboken, NJ, for a family gathering. On our way back we will stop in Binghamton, NY, to visit two of my sisters, one of which is digging me up some ground sedum to bring home. That’s a plant. The other one is buying us lunch. It will be a quick non-stop talking weekend but at the end of it we will be caught up on the family news with lots of stories thrown in that never make it to Facebook or e-mail. When we get home our chairs will feel good, but we’ll have added to the memory banks and hug meters. The cats can feed themselves for a couple of days and I’ll get to see the New York City skyline up close and personal.

I hope you have a nice weekend too. Try to make some time to visit family.

I’ll Claim Alan

It’s brother’s day. I’m not sure why they picked the picture above. I would have picked a bunch of young people sitting around a picnic table so everyone could identify with it. I envy all of you that have a brother because I didn’t. Sisters are fine, but you can’t go to them and ask how a male thinks. I claimed my friend Mimi’s brother, Alan, as my own. I used to stay overnight at their house and Alan and I would have talks. When I got stressed in school, it was him who I sought out because he knew what to say to unruffle my feathers. When I had questions about other guys, I went to Alan. He would always take time for me.

I have a young man in my life who I call my  bonus-son. The definition of that is someone I claim as a son, but didn’t have to give birth to. I have decided it would be all right to call Alan my bonus-brother; a male I could depend on like a brother and who cared about me like a sister. He was even better than a brother because he never tried to scare me with a snake, put a frog in my bed or steal my Easter candy. He was a really good friend and confidant. Unfortunately Alan died way too young, so I have been without him for the last 17 years. His sister and I still have lunch together once a month, she remains my most trusted secret-keeper, even as old as we now are, both over 60.

I hope you have siblings in your life that you can depend on and talk to. I know sometimes friends are better than siblings so I hope you have a special few you are close to. Brothers and sisters, in lots of cases, can make life so much easier to deal with.

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