Today is Barbara’s birthday. She is the oldest of us kids. Barbara was the scholarly one. She always got good grades and wanted to go to college for a good education. She did not want to be a teacher or a nurse, which was common for women in that day. She has always been one to buck the system and not do the expected.
Barb and I shared a room together which automatically made us bump heads. Barb was not ever a morning person. In our house, Dad had a system for getting us up and going and it started with Barb. He would call us to get up, turn on the hall light, when you got up and hit the bathroom, you turned out the light, and he would go on to the next kid. When Barb would not get up, which was often, it would mess up his system and start a lot of yelling. I remember lying in bed saying “he’s coming – GET UP”.
In the morning when Barb was getting ready for school or work, she had a spray for everything. By the time she got done with her deodorant, body spray, perfume and hair spray I was gagging from all the fumes. She was a girly girl and very particular about her appearance. She did not share her things. I used to sneak her shoes out of the house and wear them to school and then sneak them back when I got home. She also kept her make up in a little ceramic bowl and it was a challenge to sneak using it to see if she could tell. I got away with it a lot but if she caught me, it was not good.
Right before I started 8th grade, Barb and I took the city bus to downtown Orlando. Taking the city bus was a big deal as I had never been on one and going downtown was a real treat. Barb was tasked with taking me school shopping. She always had good taste in clothes so this was a fun adventure. We went to JC Penney’s, Sears, Lerner’s, and of course Woolworth’s. It was a fun day and she helped me pick out outfits that I loved. I still remember them after all these years. It is probably the fondest memory I have of us together.
Barb is a very good cook and loves making her specialty, Chicken Kiev. I don’t like it because it has spinach in it but everyone else says it is very good. She didn’t like cooking the day to day meals as much as the special meals, which were her strength. There is nothing traditional about her.
Sewing, and various craft projects have always been part of her life. She used to make wedding dresses when she lived up north. She definitely got the sewing talent from Mom. Not something I ever inherited.
Barb went back to school in her 40s and got her BA and then her Masters. I have marveled at her tenacity to follow her dreams.
So today is her day. Barb, I hope your birthday is great. I love you bunches!