Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wayside Chapel

When my husband and I were dating, we spent a lot of time sharing memories with each other. It was amazing what we had in common. One such memory was stopping with our family on our way to or from eastern Washington at the Wayside Chapel. We had even joked about having our wedding at the Wayside Chapel because we figured it would only seat a few people and we could have a small "church" wedding that way. His mom and stepfather used to stop there with him and his brothers when they went to their property in Tonasket. My folks would usually give in to my sister's and my begging to stop there on our way to a friend's cabin outside of Gold Bar.

We went to Leavenworth, Washington this summer for a camping trip with my family. On the way home, we took Stevens Pass which wends its way through several little hamlets. All of a sudden on the right was the Wayside Chapel! I turned on the signal and pulled off next to it. We got out and went inside.

It smelled musty (a general state for any empty building in damp Washington) and it was dusty and cobwebby but otherwise, much as we had remembered it. The little pulpit was still there and the tiny pews that would seat two people on each side of the aisle were still there too. We had a look around grinning like idiots. If we had been children instead of staid adults, we would've played church. Instead, we closed the door behind us, took a few pictures and climbed into the car and went on our way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


My sister is five years younger than me. In spite of this age difference, we really got along very well as children and played together a lot. Occasionally, when I was between 10 and 13, I didn't like her tagging along with me and my friends but mostly, we got along just fine. As my mother would say, we were EXPECTED to do so.

I went off to college when she was 12. After that, our relationship changed. She became much more independent and sure of herself. For the first time, she had our parents to herself. At the same time, I found out how much I missed her while I was so far away from home. We went from getting along well as sisters to becoming best friends.

When she went off to college, she came to live with me as my place was closer to the university than our parents' house. For seven truly wonderful years, we lived together in a nice apartment in the city. At first, we didn't have much -- she was on scholarship at school and I was at the beginning of my career -- but we had a lot of fun. Later as we became more financially secure, we did so many delightful things together from going out to dinner, to movies, to see a Broadway musical, to opera at the university and many other activities. Those were our halcyon days as sisters.

Then came a time in my career when I was traveling almost constantly and she was teaching school. It was during this time when she met the man who would become her husband. I was maid of honor at her wedding and while I was very happy for her, I was sad for me. I felt at the time that was losing a sister not gaining a brother. I felt the distance between us keenly. It was the emotional distance not a physical one and while it was necessary, it wasn't pleasant.

They moved to Colorado for a few years. I went to visit when I could and we kept in touch via the telephone and email. My beautiful niece was added to the equation six years ago. I loved seeing my sister become a mother. When my niece was three, they moved back to our state. It is a six hour drive from our house to their house but closer than Colorado.

Then two wonderful things happened: instant messaging and my own marriage. My sister works on a computer doing medical transcription and I work on a computer doing case management. We both have instant messaging so while we work, we can also talk to each other. This has allowed us to have a relationship more like it was when we lived with each other. We can "talk" to each other every day. Also, I got married in April and my situation and hers have become more similar. We can talk to each other not only as sisters but as wives.

A few days ago, while she was out running, my sister was knocked down and mauled by a dog (Rottweiler/Boxer mix, thanks for asking). She was bitten rather badly, bruised up and shaken up. Fortunately, all's well that ends well but it gave us all a big scare. We have all gone down the "what if" road of this situation and haven't liked what we have seen at the end of it. My dad said it was a sobering reminder of why it is so important to pray for each other. None of us had any idea that this was going to happen but Providence knew and protected her.

I am so thankful for my sister. Now if I could just have a few minutes alone with the owner of that dog, I would feel better.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Workin' for a Livin'

My past professions have included:

A proof operator at a savings and loan
Doing salad prep for a caterer
Waiting tables at a Bonaza in Des Moines, Iowa
Working in the check department at a savings and loan
Waiting tables at a Golden Corral
Working at a Dairy Queen where I was eventually the assistant manager
Girl Friday at a two man law firm on the peninsula
Receptionist, process specialist, customer specialist and finally, account executive at a large corporation
Case manager and facilities manager for an appellate court

I have also been paid to:

do my uncle's laundry
do housework for a lady
be on a jury
sing at a funeral

I had my first "real" job at 15 years of age and I have been gainfully employed almost constantly since that time. To date, I have never been "laid off" or fired from any job I've had.

I can't wait to retire in 25 years or so!