Let’s see. My mother taught me to always write a thank-you note, even in crayon. She said to only use two squares of toilet paper for #1 and a maximum of five for #2. Never try to serve her breakfast in bed, even on Mothers’ Day.

Many years ago my brother was writing his holiday thank you notes and he had our mother place the destination, return address and stamp and mailed it to her sister, our dear Aunt. He didn’t place a note in it. The envelope was empty. She tells the story years later. He was, is, a rebel.

Dad taught me to believe in myself, that I could be anything I wanted to be, how to lick an ice cream cone (I’m the eldest) and drink through a straw. All good things. And he got really mad at me for using Brillo to take the tar off the paint on his bright red Buick coupe, the first new car he ever had.

Oh, Mom said never to call anyone after 9:00 pm. There’s a time difference between me and my brother and I called him tonight at 9:02 his time and immediately apologized and asked if it’s too late. He asked, “too late for what?” I told him that’s what Mom taught me and he replied, “me, too.”

If each of us four “kids” wrote a story about our childhood memories they’d be very different. We kind of had two families, and I missed the growing-up phase of the two younger siblings because I was away at college. My brother and I remain closest. Closest age sibling and I used to hide him in the basement and not seek. Mean, I know, but on a 14 hour car trip he’d sit in the back of our station wagon and drum on the suitcases. Yes, that was before seat belt laws. And he’d get up and play his trumpet in the hallway at six in the morning. All to avoid practice as we all yelled “SHUT UP!!!” Ah, memories. Dee


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