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Rowdy and Ruckus

Today is my sister's birthday. She is my only sister, and I wouldn't trade her in for anything in the world. Here's a little story about when we were much younger and not even looking ahead to realize we could be this ancient. Though, I bet my sis can still belt them out!

Rowdy and Ruckus

My sister and I were hanging around by ourselves. This was when the family lived in the house at Ft. Niagara beach.  It was a sunny Saturday, and we were under strict instructions to get that room cleaned up once and for all, or else! Or else, what? Probably nothing, really. Just more annoyed Mom. Oh, how we put her out sometimes. But we knew we needed to get the job done. It would have been a drudge, had anyone stayed home with us to look over our shoulder, but thankfully, we had been deserted by the rest of the family. With the dust roiling up in the air as we as we shoveled our piles of junk into the middle of the floor, we threw open the windows and doors so we could breathe.

WKBW, our favorite radio station blared on full volume. We had to shout over it to hear one another. Aretha Franklin belted out: R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME! as we accompanied her at the top of our lungs. There was something a little evil in our glee, knowing we must be bugging the heck out of our neighbors. Once the radio began replaying the re-plays of the re-plays, we shut it off and kept on singing as we separated the dirty clothes from the clean ones, carefully refolding the one’s Mom had just piled on our beds a few days before. Funny, how everything always landed on the floor, with everything else. Well, we couldn’t help it we were teenage girls, or rather, my sister was the teenage girl. I was the newly divorced mother of two, who wished she were a teenager again. Being with my sister automatically made me a teenager in my heart. She was full of energy and enthusiasm that I had thought deserted me, until I was around her.

We got a good rendition of “Amen” going, while traipsing around, clapping our hands and swinging our bodies as though we were in a hot revival meeting. (I had never been to one before, but now, I know that is what we were doing). Sorting out all the papers and trash was the easiest part. Anything that looked like schoolwork got trashed by wadding it up and giving a quick overhand heave-ho into the wastebasket. It didn’t take long to have it overflowing. We both would have been great on a girl’s basketball team!

In the midst of our enthusiasm, we got carried away by the Four Tops, as we hauled the dirty clothes into the laundry room to wash. No longer isolated to our room, we decided to surprise Mom and clean up the whole house. So, we began cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. Then, singing louder over the vacuum with Diana Ross and The Supremes, we cleaned and straightened up the living room. Our voices getting hoarse, we changed to the Polish radio station that Mom’s friend, Annie listened to. The rollicking polka music of the sixties OOM-PAH-PAHed as we grabbed each other and polkaed around the house until we grew dizzy, tripped over furniture and landed on the floor, laughing; still completely aware of how rowdy we were being and how it must be really annoying the hell out of old Mrs. Steffan next door.

What would she put into her spy report this week?

Aretha Franklin

Sidney Poiter

Polka Dancing


  1. Sounds like you had great fun. Oh the energy and exuberance of youth ... and that wonderful, mischievous sense of fun. How lovely to have such happy memories.I have one sister too ~ but she never did have much sense of fun, and hasn't now.
    I seem to have lost my youthful exuberance of late, although I constantly try to retrieve it. It's just that sometimes life gets in the way of having fun.


  2. Believe me, I haven't had a fun spirit for quite a while. Health problems always seem to be a drain. It's amazing the difference when I have a completely healthy day. I feel human again. My sister has always had that sunshine in her soul that I wish I had. It's contagious. Wish she lived next door!


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