The second oldest had nothing to prove. She was strong, determined, aggressive, very intelligent, and most of all very caring towards her family and friends. Born on Christmas Day, thus the choice in her name, she had always been destined for greatness.
But there were times when she was, well I wouldn’t say selfish, but maybe thought of herself first.
She’s the one who taught me how to mow the grass on a riding lawn mower. She would sit behind me and let me steer until I screwed up and then without a word would turn the steering wheel until we were at the place I missed so I could fix it.
I sometimes imagined she was reading a book while I was mowing since she seemed to be always reading. “Turn the light off!” I would yelp in a half asleep stupor. We shared a room upstairs and it was well into the early morning hours that she would finish a book on the second day of beginning it. I wished she would read it out loud sometimes so I could at least the enjoy the novel with her.
Mowing turned into driving the tractor and many hot, dusty, boring days were spent in an un-air conditioned cab. Talk radio was sometimes the only distraction available. On a field near a highway where lake goers would travel to the local Reservoir, we saw numerous trucks pulling boats and campers, sometimes one right after another. Our only reaction was a wave, of the one-finger kind. Chrissy taught me that as well. We tag teamed that field in no time–only six hours or so–and would eventually earn our turn at the lake when the rest of the fields were finished. After we cleaned up the inch thick dust from our faces, which filtered into the cab from the open windows, we would be able to actually earn a tan instead of letting the dirt color us brown.
As a great basketball player, Chrissy was featured in a fairly large newspaper as the “Dynamic Duo” along with a classmate. We were ranked in state (her a senior, I as a lowly freshman who got to suit up for varsity with the designation to foul at the end of the game when the need presented itself.) On one Thursday night, however, her priorities were to be with her boyfriend. After a home junior high game, they went cruising Main Street while I lingered with my friends at the junction of Main and Old Highway 40.
Hours passed. The last of my friends had to go home for the town curfew. I had no idea what that meant since I had lived out in the country my whole life. I soon found out, though, when I was the only one in the parking lot, sitting by our old, brown Ford Zephyr, when the town’s cop pulled up. He asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was waiting for my sister so we could go home. I couldn’t fathom why he was asking me, as if it was illegal for a 14-year-old to be out past 11 p.m. on a school night. But Friday was game day, and I knew we were going to be late for our dad’s curfew. That would be an even bigger deal than the cop’s warnings.
Even to this day, I don’t know where she was that night, but I do know where she wasn’t. Our cattle, grazing on summer follow, had pushed through the electric fence and had meandered a long way from where they should have been. My dad was furious, letting our little stunt prove that curfews were put in place for good reason, and if we would have been home, the cows would have known better since they would be caught too soon to warrant their little stroll into the neighbor’s pasture.
The next morning, we had to stay home from school to fix the failed electric fence. Mom called the school and the coach knew immediately. As school and team rules applied, if we missed half a day of school, we had to forgo starting that night; me the JV game and her the varsity.
Wait, wait, wait. I was where I should have been, on schedule to be home at a decent time. She was the one who made us late. Didn’t matter. Even the excuse “the cows were out” was a moot point to the coach and the school.
After the first quarter was over for both games, we got to go in. Also, both teams were victorious that night, and I think we learned our lesson: when a boyfriend is involved, never trust your sister to get you home on time.
Chrissy went on to play college basketball with her p.i.c., the other half of the Dynamic Duo. They went to nationals a few times, and then she earned her masters in mathematics at another university. Finally, after quitting a very successful job in Dallas, she came home, married a farmer (not the aforementioned boyfriend), and had a beautiful baby boy.
But before she married him, we had to show her one last good time. Bachelorette party. Beginning and ending at my house, Chrissy doesn’t remember a whole lot in between.
Yep, revenge is a dish best served cold.