Sisters: Flowers from the same garden, just transplanted

One reason we relocated to Pennsylvania from Florida 18 years ago was for family. Not for the weather. Really. For sure. Word.

At the time, we lived in Homestead–before Hurricane Andrew committed suburban renewal thereupon. One sister lived in California, another in Chicago, and the last in Erie, PA. We were widespread, exchanged phone calls and Christmas cards and wished for vacations so we could spend time together.

Once I had children, the tropical charms of South Florida gave way to thoughts of living in places where we didn’t get shot at. (I’ll tell those stories another day.) Suffice it to say that we came for a visit one verdant summer to the hills of Pennsylvania and it felt like home. We packed dog and caboodle and moved north.

My sister here was thrilled. She helped us find a realtor, etc., and we had dinner at each other’s place several times. She had kids, we had kids, we all had jobs… so we didn’t see each other often. But we lived close.

My California sister moved back several years later, living right next door to me for a short time with her son. We visited a lot, then. But she went back to school and moved about 20 miles north to the state university, near my first sister. We still lived close.

What happened over the years is that although we live 20 miles apart, we hardly ever see each other. Not because we don’t like each other–we get along famously. All that longing for family togetherness we had when we split the country has been consumed in the everyday grind of surviving children, school, work and life in general. We email more often than we call now. I know at least one of them reads the blog. I actually communicate with my Chicago sister more often because she’s brave enough to use the Internet daily, and we chat on MSN a couple times a week.

March 1, my former-California sister is moving closer to her new job up on the lake in Ohio. The split begins again. It’s true that in the last year the three of us have started planning get-togethers every couple of months on purpose, because we all feel guilty. We remember families are supposed to stick close. But it’s not a hundred years ago when many branches of a family tree grew within blocks of each other. Busy professionals have demands that require setting priorities. These don’t always include time with extended family, especially when you’re barely meeting your own kids’ needs.

So best wishes and happy housewarming to D in Ohio! I miss you and stay warm! to M in Erie. Keep writing that book, Casual Gardener in Chicago! And I guess we’ll always have Christmas. My place or yours?


‘Tis after all Carnival season, so catch my posts at the Mothers and Daughters Blog Carnival and also at the Personal Development Carnival. Party on!


5 thoughts on “Sisters: Flowers from the same garden, just transplanted

  1. Hi Babs –

    I didn’t see your email address on the site, so my apologies for doing this in comments.

    I write a blog called Special Needs Parent (address below) which is geared towards parents of children with disabilities (of which I have two) of all kinds, from mild learning disabilities to children in a vegetative state.

    On Tuesdays, I feature another blogger, and wondered if you’d be interested. This would entail me sending you interview questions, and then your answers would be posted, along with your photo (if you’re comfortable with that) and a link back to your blog.

    Please let me know if you’re interested, and thank you for your consideration.

    Michele Wilcox
    Special Needs Parent

  2. Howdy Sis!

    How true is this? I have relatives that live close to me as well, but spend more time speaking with you hundreds of miles away because I see you online more. I’m glad we’re sisters.

    The truth is our society has become isolationist. We are all spread out. This is even true IN OUR HOMES! Many children are allowed to watch tv in their rooms [not mine]. I’ve had friends tell me, “What’s the big deal – they like shows I don’t.”

    I’ll tell you what the big deal is – – even within our own home we rarely see each other if the kids have their own tv’s, computers and more. It takes a monumental effort, but in my mind, I truly believe it’s worth it to try and spend time with people you love. Raising kids to have a feeling of worth and familial closeness does a lot to increase their capacity to handle life as an adult.

    IMHO, life is worth living when you stay in touch with your “people” – with your kids, your husband and your sisters. I’m glad you touch my life every week. It brings a smile to my heart!


  3. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Nice to know that someone is already reading it! I look forward to reading yours too!

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