Tag Archives: sisters

We’ve been through a lot

As sisters that is.
There’s the “Who’s turn to have the doll” trauma.
Let’s not forget the Era of the Bangs.
Which apparently ushered in the Perms.
Then there were our fashion trends –

Not even sure what was going on here.
Our upholstery phase?

Yes, as sisters we’ve been through a lot! Bad hair cuts and questionable fashion choices aside, we’ve shared joys and disappointments, tears and laughter (oh, so much laughter), losses and gains. I do not for a moment take for granted the precious bond I have with my sisters and I thank God for them every day.

Today we celebrate Elna’s birthday,  so – Happy Birthday to a treasure of a sister and the dearest of friends. You are one of the kindest, bravest, most resilient people in my world and I am blessed to call you both a sister by birth, and a true sister in Christ.

We even do the “no heat in the morning, bring coffee” situations together!

Happy Birthday, Elna! Hugs coming your way next month!

An Even Dozen

Here are a dozen things I learned during our Sisters’ Winter Getaway –
1. Don’t be afraid to think ‘outside of the box’ when it comes to planning a Sisters’ Getaway. When we realized that our Winter Getaway was going to be in New England instead of Florida, we began searching the traditional vacation rental websites – VRBO and AirBNB. While we weren’t too particular about location, it did need to be within driving distance from Hanover, NH (for some doctor appointments already scheduled) and it also had to be handicap accessible. Oh, and fit our budget! Nothing was really thrilling us, and we had even begun to check out different hotel/motel/suites options. Good for the handicap part, not so great for the ambiance. In my searches, down at the bottom of the page was a link to Alton Bay Christian Conference Center in the Lake Winnipesaukee area. Hmmmm. Wonder what they might have to offer. There in the Facilities tab was a little sub section called Cottages for Rent. And under that heading was one cottage.
While there was only the one exterior photo, the description sounded great, and there was, after all, a “D” on the exterior. (The owners probably thought it stood for their family names, but we were pretty sure it stood for Dwinell!). Joie contacted them to get some additional details,  signed the contract  post haste, and we were good to go. I cannot express how perfect this little cottage was for us. Everything, from the view of the lake through the pine trees to the grab bars in the bathroom, was like God had picked it out for us! (And I do believe He did!)
Cottage love
2. Jigsaw Puzzles. There is no such thing as Puzzle Police. We enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles when we’re together– the conversation can continue and it’s a nice cooperative effort. Our first puzzle was a beautiful Vermont scene, but as we got further into it we realized we just weren’t that interested in all those fuzzy fall colored trees. When our rate of “piece finding” slowed to roughly 1 every hour, we decided to pack it up without completing it. (I’m happy to report our consciences were not seared and we were still able to sleep at night.) We like puzzles with lots of interesting things to find. Once we walked away from those evil trees, we enjoyed two other puzzles.
Also – ALL puzzles work better when there is chocolate involved!

3. It’s perfectly OK to have avocado toast for a late breakfast every day. It’s quite delightful actually! (We upgraded to some artisan bread after a couple of days – and that added a whole new level of deliciousness!)
4. Eating two meals a day works just fine on vacation. Especially when Joie has brought all the fixin’s for homemade soup and rice pudding. And is ready to do the bulk of the cooking. (We’ve actually worked out a pretty good division of labor. Joie’s the main cook, Elna is the main dishwasher, and I’m the driver (and avocado toast maker).)
5. While I drink my coffee black 51 weeks of the year, when I’m with my sisters it’s coffee with whipping cream (none of that whimpy half and half for us!) all the way. We may or may not have gone through 7 pints of that liquid goodness during our time together (full disclosure – the rice pudding did use some too!).
6. All three of us are enthralled with watching birds at the feeder.
Chickadees, tufted titmouses (tufted titmice?), nuthatches, a couple different types of woodpeckers, a pair of house finches, a lady cardinal, juncos, and (we think) a redpoll.
7. The squirrels were pretty fun to watch too!
We got pretty innovative when it came to shooing them away, but I’d like to report that attempting to throw snowballs at them was less than effective. Though that could’ve been my terrible aim.
8. Meeting up with family is the BEST!!! We had a lovely lunch with Vermont family down in Keene and we’re so glad we could make the connection!
9. Experiencing a Nor’Eastr during our time called for a little adjustment (changing doctor appointments to video calls), but all in all it was just a beautiful added dimension to our vacation.

(Catch the snow INSIDE the bird feeder!)
Especially when our neighbor did such a stellar job of keeping us shoveled out!
10. Lake Winnipesaukee is beautiful! On a crystal clear (and bitter cold) day we took a drive around the lake.
All those huts are ice fishermen. Brrrrrrrrr
Lake Winnipesaukee
Weir Beach – not so many fishermen here!

11. Waking up with no heat one morning was a bit of a surprise, but huddling together near the little gas stove while we waited for the service guy wasn’t a bad way to spend the morning.
The furnace was up and warming by 9:30, and the homeowner was very thankful that we were there when it happened. It could’ve been quite disastrous had it happened while the cottage was unoccupied.

12. Spending time with these two women, whom I am so blessed to call both sisters and sisters in Christ, is precious beyond words. We are so thankful for husbands who understand that our hearts need these times, and for a gracious Heavenly Father who orchestrated this year’s Winter Getaway right down to the sesame seeds for our avocado toast garnish.

Saying farewell is always hard
but husbands and real life call us back. Until next time, dear sisters, we’ll keep on Zooming! Real hugs are better, but just seeing your faces each week does my heart good!

Sister Care

Orlando airport
If you’ve been hanging around here for long you know I have a very special relationship with my sisters. The older we get, the more precious is the time we can all be together. Last year we did a winter getaway in Pompano Beach at a lovely condo, loaned to us by a friend. The sisters came to me and it was great! This year, given the COVID situation and general health concerns, we’re all gathering at the other end of the sister line in New England. So here I sit, in the Orlando Airport,
Orlando airport
waiting for my flight to Baltimore. Once in Baltimore, I join Joie on the next flight to Manchester NH, where Elna will pick us up and the 2021 Sisters’ Winter Getaway will officially begin!
Instead of a condo we’ll be in this sweet cottage on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH.

One of my SOWER friends asked just what we’ll be doing. The answer is simple-loving each other. There will be games and puzzles, naps and sleeping in, laughter and tears, scripture and prayers.
Sister Care
It’s a good thing!

Fair warning- while I won’t exactly be “out of pocket” for the next week, I will be delightfully distracted. So if it’s pretty quiet around here, I trust you’ll understand!


2020 has been hard. There is no doubt about that. But there have been some bright spots. One of them for me has been a renewed urgency to stay connected with my family.  Especially with my sisters. We’ve always been close, but since the early days of this pandemic we’ve been doing almost weekly Zoom calls.  And it’s been a.maz.ing.  Wednesday at 2 is our designated time (though we can be flexible of course!), and today was especially sweet (it being the Birthday Week and all!). I thought it would be fun to try to do a screen shot of our visit – and let me tell you, it’s harder than you think to get us all looking mostly in the right direction while smiling.  It took several tries – but I think I finally got a good one. Well, good-ish anyway. ( I actually think I was the biggest problem…..)

Screenshot 2020-11-11 15.27.49 elnascreenshot
Screenshot 2020-11-11 15.27.39 Screenshot 2020-11-11 15.28.01

And finally –
Screenshot 2020-11-11 15.27.31

We certainly cannot claim to be the techno-sisters, but we sure do love our weekly Zoom dates!  It’s downright Zoomalicious!


Mondays are for (sweet) memories

Instead of looking back into the archives for a Memories post, it only seemed fitting to look back to just this past weekend where there was a lot of walking down memory lane! There is something very special about spending time with someone who shares your growing-up memories, and this past weekend was no exception!
We started the weekend by going through lots of old family pictures
…and giggling at the stylin’ folks we were!
(Please note our pet squirrel, Pierre, on my oldest sister’s arm. One of those favorite family memories!)
Little girls in their PJ’s –
And except for the degraded photo problem, this is a pretty sweet family photo – circa 1962 +/-.
We could’ve spent hours going through them, but there were other items on the agenda!
When we were downsizing into our RV, Joie took ownership of this folding screen that we’d had in our living room. And before we had it, it had been in my grandmother’s bedroom. We’d learned that my grandmother had done the crewel work and my grandfather had built the frame, so even though it was in pretty bad shape (though not as bad as the picture shows!) it was still precious to us. Joie was delighted when one of her granddaughters discovered this family treasure and asked if there was some way it could be redone so she could use it in her apartment. The two of them began hatching a plan, and then this weekend Joie and I took the plunge and actually cut into the almost 100 year old fabric.
While I can’t reveal all of details of the plan (oh, that we had all those details!), I can certainly share some of the beautiful crewel work that we’re trying to preserve –

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

I’d have loved to have stayed longer to help with the actual construction, but that was not to be this time. I’ll be sure to share the finished product once it’s completed and been gifted!
Of course, no sisters weekend would’ve been complete without a little bit of time with ALL the sisters, so we made sure to have a nice long video call with Elna. Besides, she was a huge help with identifying folks in all those old photos!

It was such a lovely weekend – it brought back so many wonderful memories and we made some new ones to boot! The older we get the more we value, no – treasure, each and every moment we get to be together. And the fact we had ice cream for lunch one day didn’t hurt one little bit!

Thanks for coming along as I walked down my memory lane…..