Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Quilt for My "Twin"

My younger brother Adam recently turned 27.  Man, are we getting up there or what?  I remember my fifth grade teacher Mr. Gruen being 27 years old; I thought he was ancient.

So, to celebrate 27 years with my younger twin brother, I made him a quilt.

Adam has turned into quite the artist, and he started that process when we were younger.  He would paint his bedroom in these crazy designs.  One of the more memorable ones was when he painted it neon green with a giant orange sun on the wall.  The colors I picked out for the front of his quilt reminded me of that room.  

The back of the quilt is pretty basic, but the panel of animal fabric in the middle is significant.  That fabric was taken from a curtain that hung in his room when he was really little, and my grandma happened to hold onto it for all these years.  She graciously let me take it so I could put it into Adam's quilt.  

Even though Adam and I are 14 months apart, we are twins.  Or, at least, that's what we used to tell people in elementary school.  After the last bell would ring, Adam and I would walk out together to my parents' silver Chevy Celebrity.  We had no shame in announcing to other kids along the way, "Hey, we're twins."  I'm not 100% sure we even knew who they were...we just wanted to let them know.  

Or, if someone would call the house, Adam and I would hand the receiver back and forth to each other (unbeknownst to the caller), because we also had twin voices.  I don't think we could've felt much cooler than when we did that.  High five!

I've heard it said that real twins have some strange unspoken connections, like when they finish each other's sentences.  I think Adam and I have similar connections, with an emphasis on the "strange".  We found joy in the same things, but things that were probably enjoyed ONLY by us.  For example, for fun, Adam and I would have "feet shows".  You would lay on the ground on your stomach, and shield your eyes in such a way that all you can see is the floor and a few inches above it.  The other person would dance across the floor in their sock feet.  Somehow, it made for great comedy and resulted in hours of entertainment for my brother and me.

Today, even though we live half a country apart, our twin connection is still strong.  A couple weeks ago, Adam knew that I was the only person who would laugh my head off at a picture of him wearing 15 pairs of socks at once.  So he sent it just to me.  And I did laugh my head off.

Happy birthday to my "twin".  Here's to many more years of sock-related humor!!!  Bologna socks.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Camp Ree-Ree

I never went to camp when I was growing up.  But I began liking the idea of camp ever since the first time I saw The Parent Trap (the 1961 Disney version).  How cool would it be to stay in a cabin with your friends, going swimming and canoeing, marching in formation while whistling, having food fights, and even finding your long lost twin sister?!

Credit: Walt Disney
While I don't have a long lost twin sister, I do have a sister almost two decades my junior.  I remember her arrival fondly...I was on my senior trip to Disney World, and got a phone call from my dad as I stood outside Cinderella's Castle with my friend Kristy.  "You have a little sister!  She just got here!"  And then a bird relieved itself on Kristy's head.  It was memorable on two counts.

So doesn't it make perfect sense that now, after all these years, I should host my own camp with my very own sister?  I may or may not have had visions of myself wearing knee-high socks and sporting a whistle around my neck.   Just like the camp director in Parent Trap!  But, no....I played it cool.

"Camp Ree-Ree" was a hit!  We did almost everything this city has to offer a pair of generation-gapped sisters.  Six Flags, Grant's Farm, the zoo, The Muny, Ted Drew's...the works!  We also watched a lot of Harry Potter and she introduced me to Billy the Exterminator...


Yeah, he's a bit of a strange bird.  But he doesn't kill his catches, which is nice.  Unless they are giant alligators.

It was great having Little Sis here.  She is much cooler than I ever was at ten years old.  She even skateboards!  At one point, she was skateboarding in the living room and I asked if she wanted some music on.  She said she'd like to listen to some heavy metal.  I said, "I have some of that."  Her response: "But you're quiet...And you go to the library.  Why do you have heavy metal music?"  I think I definitely racked up some cool points there.  Good thing I purchased that Big Hair cd in high school...

Cooking Tacos
Child labor with Bil (Bil = "Brother In Law")
Skateboarding in the middle of the street
Petting sting rays at the zoo
We even made matching camp shirts!

My only regret is that Little Sis and I did not do this routine together: 

So, was Camp Ree-Ree a 2012 edition of The Parent Trap?  No.  It was better.  Move over, Hayley Mills!