Recent Splats according to Miz Yank

On International Lefthanders Day, a love note to my Southpaw sisters

[Day 13 in a month of daily blogging with my pal and partner in crime, Philippa Hughes.]

Today is International Lefthanders Day, which I have chosen to celebrate by writing about two of my favorite lefties: my sisters Suzi and Lynne. (By the way, yesterday was National Middle Child Day, which I didn’t hear about until last night. Figures. We middle kids are used to delayed recognition.)

Yesterday’s post about Mom mentioned in passing that Suzi is one of those annoying firstborns who does nearly everything perfectly. On reading it, Suzi thought I overstated her abilities, but for once, I wasn’t exaggerating. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this cake she made.

Suzi cake pic

Do you have any idea what it was like to grow up behind the likes of someone who produces that? On a regular basis? To make matters worse, Suzi is so blasted nice you end up liking her in spite of yourself. On top of that, as I’ve seen time and again over the course of my life, and particularly when I was trying to figure out how to exit a dangerous marriage in 2011, Suzi knows what it means to be a big sister.

My sister Lynne also had a perfectionistic side. When we were kids, it manifested in a form of extreme neatness. She claimed it as a virtue, but I would’ve called “OCD” if only I’d heard of the term back then. Lynne kept her clothes in perfect order in the closet and her dresser, and she always knew if Suzi or I breached the perimeter of either location, even if we never took anything. (I suspect Lynne dusted for prints.)

I, on the other hand, did not keep my clothes, or any other tangible items, in perfect order at any time, anywhere. This might not have mattered had Lynne and I not shared a room for over a decade. In terms of rigidity and orderliness, Lynne’s side of the room resembled Germany, whereas mine look like Rome at rush hour. This and our very sibling-ness made us natural enemies. Like Snoopy and the Red Baron, fighting was our default –we did it well, often, and comically –but on those rare occasions when we got along, the two of us were tight. Lynne went to college in 1987, and she was sentenced to live in a triple. Right about then our bond began to increase, perhaps because I started to look pretty good, as roommates go. Not only have the two of us grown closer since, but Lynne actually invited me to live with her in 2011 while I was getting divorced. Clearly she’s no slouch in the big sister department, either.

I view the closeness my sisters and I enjoy as a daily gift, and Suzi and Lynne rank high on my list of preferred company. Time together can be hard to come by, now that we have jobs, husbands, kids and podcasts, so we usually treasure it when it happens.

The last time the three of us spent a stretch of time together was in February, right after my father’s cousin, Chuckie, passed away. Dad and his cousins were tight, so my sisters and I knew Dad would take this loss particularly hard, and we wanted to be there for him. Being there for him, in this case, meant driving to West Pittston, PA, a mid-week trip of 250 miles for me and Lynne and 350 for Suzi. We called each other to coordinate, and that’s when the typical Yankosky logistical circus began.

My parents, who are retired and had the time to spend the night in West Pittston, figured they would drive up by themselves. Suzi and I, who could take the day off but couldn’t spend the night, thought we could meet near my office and drive up and back in the same day together. Lynne said she might or might not be able to get away, but if she could, she didn’t know exactly when, and it would only be for the day, so maybe she would just drive up and back in the same day all by herself. When my parents got wind of Lynne’s plan, they offered to change their plans and do something even crazier in what they saw as an effort to get Lynne out of her own way.

Right about then, just as I was ready to take that gift of daily closeness and drop-kick it into a dumpster, Suzi hit everyone over the head with the big billy club o’ sanity. She convinced Mom and Dad to go up on their own and spent the night, and she and I came up with a plan for Lynne to join us as we drove up and back on the same day.

The three of us did not relish the idea of a 10-hour drive interrupted only by a funereal pit stop, yet against all odds, we had an absolute blast in the car together. We talked, we laughed, we sang, and without even thinking about it, we reveled in each other’s company. The three of us had not had an opportunity to spend time like that in many, many years. I’d have preferred to have spent it on a beach rather than trapped inside Lynne’s Mazda, but hey, you take it where you can get it. And it did all three of us a world of good.

So happy Lefthanders Day, you two. For a couple of Southpaws, you’re all right.





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