Tag Archives: sisters

All Her Bags Are Packed

All her bags are packed,

She’s ready to go.

I want to tell my sister “no”

I can’t stand the thought of

saying goodbye.


She’s leaving the place

where she was born

Arizona is waitin’

it’s blowin’ its horn

Already we’re so lonesome

we could cry.


My sister is moving to Arizona, and my first intention with today’s post was to completely re-write Leaving On A Jet Plane but that was too cheesy even for me.  And ya’ll know I can handle a lot of cheese.

Instead, I just decided to be frank with you.  Well, to be “Sue” actually.  Not “Frank”. HA!  See, I’m so sad, all the Belgian is leaking out of me.  You know – making stupid jokes.  That obviously have to be explained.  Because nobody else gets them, probably not even other Belgians.  Except my family, and I guess that’s the point.

We get each other.  We share ancient history, DNA, good times, and bad jokes.  My sister is moving and my heart is broken.

I understand families move all the time.  Sisters, brothers, parents, children – all move miles away from each other.  Hell, we wouldn’t even be here if Arnold VerStagen hadn’t traveled from Holland to settle in Little Chute, Wisconsin way back in 1850.  It took him two months, mostly by boat.  Now that’s a long damn drive.

And I know she wouldn’t be moving if it wasn’t right for her.  She’s not willy-nilly, my sister.  But I just need to be selfish for one paragraph.

I don’t want her to go.  She taught me how to sway my babies and how to spend oodles of money on beads.  She brought me to Bjorklunden where I found a piece of my heart I didn’t know was missing, and she believed in me when I told her I sat and talked with Jesus on a rock on the beach.  And it is entirely her fault that I have two high maintenance yorkie-poos that poop on my carpet.  And she’s my sister.  And my friend.  And I love her.  And I’m going to miss her like crazy.

There.  My selfishness is done.  Follow your heart, and go with all my blessings and love, Celeste.  Do yoga in the sun and dance with Myra in the kitchen and drink coffee with Hugh on the deck.  Call often and send us pictures of bare toasty toes while we shovel snow.  Expect a busload of frost-bitten family members soon after.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26



PS. Arizona – just a heads up – we’re sending you one of our greatest jewels.  You best take care of her.

She’s leavin’

on a jet plane

Don’t know when she’ll

be back again

But probably Christmas….


Matching blue sweaters.  Coincidence or weird sister thing?  You decide.

Matching blue sweaters. Coincidence or weird sister thing? You decide.


The Jesus Rock - Shores of Lake Michigan near Bjorklunden

The Jesus Rock – Shores of Lake Michigan near Bjorklunden

PPSS:  As blue as my heart is, this is also my contribution to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:  Blue

“You Paid How Much For A Pedometer?”

Hi. My name is Sue. And I’m a FitBit Addict.

We recently had a family get together at my parents. We had relatives from my mom’s side in town, and we all gathered to chew the fat and catch up on everyone’s lives. During the course of the evening, I happened to fall into a conversation with my brother in law about his FitBit.

Seems everyone in my sister’s family has one, and they compete against each other each week to see who gets the most steps in. With a glint in his eye, my brother in law methodically sowed his seeds of temptation with stories of my sister walking around the driveway before bed trying to get a few more steps in to be top dog for the day. I knew he was setting me up,- I could feel the “MUST BEAT MY SIBLING” genetic factor flaring up. He sealed the deal by showing me how it synced with my phone and how you can send messages to your friends who also own FitBits.  It even has a “taunt” feature. A little family competition AND techie geekness? Take my money now.

A FitBit, for those of you not in the know, is basically a glorified pedometer. It counts steps, distance, activity minutes, and calories. You can also set up your account to have specific step and weight loss goals, and you can manually enter the amount of water you drank, extra exercise that wouldn’t be counted with the FitBit, and what you ate that day. They make fancier ones that also monitor your sleep, but I wasn’t interested in spending an extra $40 to find out what I already knew: Menopause = shitty sleep.

FitBit Zip

FitBit Zip

So now, I’m a FitBit addict. I wake up in the morning and put it on and don’t take it off until I wake up off the couch and go to bed. My dogs are exhausted from all the extra walks and I willingly accompany Dave to Menards (the local mens mall) and no longer break into tears as we troop endlessly down aisles and aisles of plywood, bolts, power tools, hoses, light fixtures, and paint. I find excuses to check on my irises down by the water and I feed the birds about 20 times a day – all those blackbirds are now too fat to fly south. I even like grocery shopping now. Okay that’s a big fat lie. But at least I get extra steps in.



I recently coerced invited one of my other sisters into hiking Potawatomi State Park with me, under the guise of “Oh, I want to hike the Ice Age Trail – it’s about 3 miles and sounds really cool. Wanna go with me?” and then proceeded to drag her down every available hitch I could find. 7 miles later, we were back to our cars, and I’m pretty sure she was ready to kill me. Good thing all the cliffs were at the beginning of the trail.

She should have thrown me off the top of the tower when she had the chance.

She should have thrown me off the top of the tower when she had the chance.

I worried about hitting my step goal during the work week because I have a desk job. Turns out a trip to the lunch room adds about 100 steps and a trip to the bathroom about 100, so if I drink 5 extra glasses of water a day, I can add over a 1000 steps just going pee. Plus having CRS disease (Can’t Remember Shit) due to menopause adds about 5000 steps a day with all the backtracking I have to do. You know, the times I walk into a room to get something, forget what it was, leave, remember again, and then walk back. Beat that you young whipper snappers.

Right now I’m about 2000 steps away from my goal. It’s 10:30 at night. So if you happen to see a woman flailing her arms at mosquitoes while walking briskly along the side of the road in the dead of night with two pairs of glowing eyes at her feet, please don’t run her over. She’s not crazy. Well, that’s the second big fat lie of the night. She IS crazy. But that’s no excuse to run her over, right? RIGHT?

See ya next week, provided none of you run me over.


PS. On a side note to this whole thing – while writing this, I got up to put the dogs out and stood there walking in place for 5 minutes while they piddled, only to turn around and see my FitBit sitting on my desk. Rat bastard!