Don’t Look

I had just finished rinsing the shampoo out of my hair when my cell phone rang. I grabbed a towel. Who was calling?

My sister.

“Cover your eyes,” I said, draping myself with the towel. Water ran down my face.

She hung up.

Story_squareShould I call her back? Should I dry myself off first?

The phone rang again. It was my sister again. Oh, good, she’d accidentally hung up.

As I pushed the accept button, I noticed that she had used FaceTime this time.

Facetime is a video phone call.

Well, it was my sister and she only had to see my dripping hair.

“Why are you FaceTiming me?”  I have a knack for insightful questions.

“I wanted you to see my new tooth.” She’d just gotten an implant and so she stretched her mouth to reveal the bright tooth.

And then she started giggling. “Where are you?”

She tried to be polite. She really did. But her tale about the trip to the dentist and her report on her plans for her day were interrupted by snorts and chuckles.

When the techies worked on the chips and circuits that would allow us to combine phone calls with video, I think they had images of salesmen using charts to illustrate quarterly earnings. Or giggling babies reaching out to touch their grandmother who lived across the country. Or a soldier connecting with his wife and kids from a foreign country.

And I’ll bet all those things happen.

But I wonder if their vision ever included new teeth and dripping hair.


Sweet scents

Grandma would watch the toddlers and our husbands wanted to watch the cars at the race track. So my sister and I decided on one of those free-spirit moments we’re good at.

In our little town, that meant a trip to Walmart.

Story_squareAs we wandered past the fragrance aisle, Sis decided we ought to try out some new scents.

Sample bottles littered the shelves but the fragrance doesn’t smell the same on the spray tip as it does on one’s skin. So we began, spraying a scent on a wrist. Then trying a different fragrance on the other wrist.

When there are over 30 bottles available to try, you run out of body places after awhile.

We had scent on the inside of each arm, with new spots of fragrance from wrist to shoulder. We spritzed the tip of each finger and thought about trying ankles and knees.

Even for us, that was too weird.

So, not finding a scent that really wowed us, we moved on.

Far from the fragrance aisle, I picked up a scent that I liked.

“Smell this one.” I thrust my forearm under her nose and she took a deep draw.

“I do, too,” she said. “I guess it took time to blossom. Let’s go get it.”

We headed back.

Sample bottles of fragrance do not smell the same in the bottle as on the skin.

We sniffed spray tips and spritzed fragrances in the air. But sample bottles of fragrance don’t smell the same in the bottle as on the skin. We couldn’t find our special scent.

We left the fragrance aisle smelling like the flower truck had collided with a fruit stand.

Smart women would have kept a chart of fragrance and location on the arm so it would have been simple to connect the sample fragrance with the label.

I called us free spirits. I never said we were smart.

The Bike Glide

Story_squareThe hill outside our house seemed at least a half mile long running at a 45 degree angle: a perfect road to give my 6-year-old sister a bike ride with a special glide at the end.

Bikes for our family were always lean and mean. Dad picked them up at farm sales and I, being the oldest, always got the latest find. My old bike then passed down to my brother and so on.

My favorite bike was a stripped-down black boys bike with no fenders, one speed, and coaster brakes.

Perfect for what I needed. I would set my little sister on the cross bar of the bike and off we’d go. No helmets, no seat belts, no sense here.

Little sister needed a little training before we took on the big hill. She had a way of panicking and twisting the steering. Couldn’t have that but a stern threats seemed to work well enough.

So once we practiced a bit, we were ready. I would power the bike down the hill and, because we were riding on a dirt road, the next step worked perfectly.

As we got to the bottom of the hill, with the greenery on either side a blur of color, I would stomp on the brake and twist the

The rear wheel of the bike would slid around the front and, gravel spraying as the bike shifted, we were facing uphill. And away we’d go up the hill just so we could do it again.

For the record, we both survived.

And, for the record, I’d never let our grandsons pull a stunt like that.

The Sherwood twins

Story_squareIt’s taken an amazing amount of time for me to realize that my sister is my twin.

There are eight years and two brothers between us – which explains why this took me so long to figure out.

I overlooked the more obvious: we’re the same height and our eyes are the same color.

And the fact that we both like to be unique and unusual could be explained away for a time.

The most glaring piece of evidence to this point had been our frustrating tendency to order the same food at a restaurant.

We do not like this.

We want something unusual so, when we both study the menu and come up with the same selection, we glare at the other. This even happens when each tries to avoid what we’re sure the other will order.

But the final straw came last week when a text message alert blew on my cell phone.

Among my choices for a text message alert sound is one entitled Sherwood, which is supposed to sound like a horn blown in the forest.

You know, Robin Hood and all that.

It’s not the most obvious of choices for texts, which was why I chose it.

But when I checked my phone, I didn’t have a text message. I was busy so just stowed the phone and went on.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my sister was with me.horn

We were both busy.

And then Sherwood announced that I had a text message again. I checked and I did have one this time.

My sister narrowed her eyes. “That was your text message tone?”


“The same one I picked?”

Well, that explained the earlier Sherwood tone I had heard and ignored. It was on her phone.

I stared at her and it finally came together. We were twins.

How else could you explain this?