Happy Birthday to my sister, Katydid!
I had a favorite picture I wanted to post with this blog, but I went off and left it at home, and I'm away for the night. It is a picture of Katydid on her bike, somewhere on the Withlacoochee Trail in Florida the one year we did Bike Florida. I snapped it with a disposable camera (before digital) while I was on MY bike. And we both lived to tell about it.
I was always envious of Katydid when I was growing up. She was A) skinny; and B) pretty. And she had C) straight hair, which folks in our family would gladly kill for. She was a high school cheerleader (when I was still very, very, very, very, very, very young ha ha ha ha ha), and they had these cute little outfits they wore for pep rallies. Because we were the Warriors in our county, their pep rally uniforms were navy blue squaw-looking things with white fringe all around the edges. And they wore white moccasins with them. And thank goodness for spell check, because I always think moccasins has one "c" and two "s"'s.
I had crushes on every one of Katydid's boyfriends, including the one named Bubba. She finally found out his real name, but I won't publish it here, just in case someone out there knows him. I wouldn't want to embarrass him. Let's just say being called Bubba was a very good thing.
The first time I decided to ride in the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, Katydid was going to give up her vacation and go along with me as a "sag", or support person. It wasn't necessary, but it meant I wouldn't be totally alone. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. Probably a good thing. Two months before the ride was to begin, Katydid bought herself a bicycle and decided she would go with me. Two months. And she did. She rode every mile with me. She waited while I lay down on the side of the road (and we have pictures to prove it), but we never got into a sag wagon. That may be because we didn't know there was such a thing. If we had known that in a truly dire situation a vehicle would have taken us to the next rest stop or maybe even into camp, we probably wouldn't have finished that first year.
But we did, and we went back the second year. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. And we just finished riding part of BRAG for what was my 18th consecutive year. Katydid took a hiatus for a few years, but she came back and picked up right where she left off.
We had always wanted to ride a tandem. Well, actually Katydid wanted it more than I did. I wasn't sure how we would manage. But when she came back from the Land of the Strange and Unusual, we bought a tandem. I don't think we ever discussed who would be the captain; we both just sort of figured it would be me. And she trusts me. I need to talk to her about that.....sometimes it may not be a good thing that she trusts me. Because I don't always have the best judgment. I haven't gotten us killed yet, and we haven't even fallen over (although there have been a couple of close calls), but sometimes I don't think things all the way through before deciding what to do.
Katydid was always good at sewing, a skill that somehow eluded me. I know how to read a pattern, and I understand what it's telling me to do, but I can't make my fingers obey what my brain is saying. I cross-stitch, I crochet, I quilt, but I cannot sew. I will sew on a button under duress, but that's about it. If I have a pair of pants that need to be hemmed (and every pair of pants I buy needs to be hemmed, except for capris, which on me just become pants of a proper length), I either go to the alterations shop (if I have time) or I use masking tape (in a pinch). But whenever I had a special occasion, I could count on Katydid to sew something for me. Like my prom dress my senior year. I had a specific pattern in mind, and I bought the fabric, the lining, the pattern, all the notions, etc. And she made a beautiful dress for me. She told me when she was finished to throw that $%!*::&^! pattern away, but she still made it. She made my going-away outfit when I got married, and she even altered it for summertime wear. It was beautiful yellow linen.
When I was 10, Katydid's then-husband was stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Mom put me on a bus by myself, and I went to visit for a week. (Oh pipe down, that kind of thing wasn't considered at all dangerous back then.) Katydid and I hung out at the pool at their complex (trailer park? apartment? I can't remember) while her husband worked all week. They took me bowling for the first time. I don't remember what my score was, but I can assure you it ain't much better today.
I always knew I could go to both of my sisters with any problem in the world, and if they couldn't solve it, they would help me figure out a way at least to make it better.
Katydid, however, sometimes has to be reminded that I'm all grown up now.
Seriously. "Did you go to the bathroom?" Did you really ask me that? Just last week? Seriously?
Happy Birthday, Katydid!