The "middle sisters" are Theresa and Maggie, who sometimes are also big sisters. "The little sisters" are Liz, Cathy and Julie. We were born in this order: 3 boys, 5 girls, 2 boys, 3 girls, so you can see why the middle sisters are also grouped with the big sisters.
This weekend Judy and Mary decided it was time for a Big Sisters Weekend, something we have never done, surprisingly. The weather didn't look promising; I called to warn them off because snow continued to fall and there was about six inches on my porch. Our truck was still stuck and my AWD wasn't working properly. The driveway (1/4 mile of hill, basically, complete with steep drop-offs to the side) was in bad shape because under the snow was soft mud.
Did all this deter them? Not at all! After all, it has been 17 years since Judy was here, and 35 years since Mary's last visit. It was way past time for them to come see their sister! On they came in Judy's four-wheel drive truck, and they arrived after only one scenic detour on Friday evening just before dark. (Usually we go to Virginia to visit my family we see Mary at the family reunion; we see Judy when traveling in the eastern part of West Virginia. Some of my siblings have yet to make the 6-hour drive to my home on the western side of WV.)
We talked. We cried a little. We laughed a lot. We remembered stories of growing up, stories of Jon, stories of getting older. Judy and Mary slept in the log room and Judy and I both assumed that Mary didn't know how to load the fire so Judy took on that duty the first night. Early the next morning Mary got up and put on a log and Judy said, "I didn't think you knew how to do that!" "Of course," said Mary, "who do you think kept the fire going in my cabin at family reunion?" Thus sealing her fate: she got to load the fire the next night!
Saturday found us "doing Ripley"--at the Downtowner for breakfast. I had not been since Jon's funeral, because of what happened as soon as I walked in the door--a giant hug from our usual waitress. I was ready for it, and can report I did not cry. (Maybe going back to work will be okay; I just need to be prepared in advance). Friends arrived; granddaughter Jordan and great-granddaughter Cadyn arrived. Mary treated us to the breakfast; what a sister. We ate and talked until noon, thankful that the snow had kept the restaurant relatively empty.
Judy and Mary wanted to go junking so that was next. We went to Reta's where Mary found a pretty pearl ring; I bought it for her for her birthday, which is this Wednesday. Judy found aluminum feed scoops and a owl figurine for Mary's collection, and then we were off to the next stop, Cagle's Market, a junker's delight because it is so junky! Trash and treasure combine in a amalgamation of aisles and piles. I've found many a great deal there, including an early American screen with a floral design handpainted on canvas (you can see it in the background of this picture).
As spent at least two hours at Cagle's. I found linen napkins, a tapestry runner and some neat little bottles for storing herbs; Mary found a new throw and a few other items, and Judy found the deal of the day: five pretty crystal wine glasses for $2.99. So pretty! Then she gave them to me as a gift. What a sister. A stop at Goodwill turned up great playclothes for Judy's and Mary's grandkids, then we made a quick stop at Derek's so they could see his house.
Back home, we ate and then sat by the fire and just talked. Jordan and Ethan and Cadyn, along with two of their friends, came over. We played with Cadyn, fixed up snacks and kept talking. Derek and Amy and Derek's daughter Haley, along with our friends Andrea and Odie came in after a dinner outing. Snow continued to fall but no one was concerned--these mountain people just drive in the stuff in their four-wheel-drives. Larry caught a lot of ribbing over his truck which was still stuck about 2 miles away; he claims it left it there as a conversation piece for the neighborhood. We sang a little, laughed and told stories until midnight.
Sunday morning was quieter, with just the big sisters and Larry here. We ate breakfast and then the sisters were on their way home across the mountains. Their GPS sent them on an extraordinary detour though--instead of the usual way off this hill, it sent them down a little-used road called Board Run, really just a mud track that fords the creek three times! I couldn't believe it when they called and told me their route home via GPS--a winding trail of bad roads and worse weather. Note to all: don't trust a GPS to guide you in WV. Just because one of our roads is on a map doesn't mean it's traversable. You can't explain that to a GPS, though--if it has a road number it must be a two-lane, right? Wrong!
It was a good weekend. I was sorry to see my sisters leave, but very glad they braved the weather and came. Sisters: how glad I am to have mine.