Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Big Sister (who's 5'4")

Today, we get to hear from My Big Sister (who's 5'4''). She was foolish, eager, silly, brave (add your adjective here) enough to take questions...

The interview panel has their questions ready...

First question...

What do you really think of bloggers - are we obsessed or just oddly passionate about our writings?

basil is both obsessed and oddly passionate about his blogging. Some bloggers amuse me, some stir my emotions, some scare me witless, some need to be put somewhere far away from the rest of humanity. The bloggers I have actually met are some of the nicest folks in the world. So... I guess I have to say that I think bloggers are passionate about their writings.

Did you and basil get along while you were growing up?

basil and I got along with each other better than we did with our sisters. Well, we used to make fun of each each other know...all that childhood stuff. We were an unruly bunch, the four of us, and we fussed and fought with abandon. We'd kick and hit and slap and punch and bite and poke and pull hair and such. We'd get whippings and start all over again. Have you ever read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever?" We were just about as mean as the Herdmans. Oh, we knew how to behave. We just chose not to.

One afternoon when basil and I were in the field next to our house, after a round of exuberant name-calling, I knocked him down and ran over him with my bicycle. Once he realized who was boss, we got along just fine.

What was the one thing your Little Brother did to you that got you pissed off at him the most?

ONE thing? You want me to just name ONE thing? Hmmmm...I already told you about the name-calling.

I guess the thing that basil still does that aggravates me is NOT answering questions. He loves to give me a piece of information so that I have to keep asking and rephrasing to get an answer. He is the king of nebulous gobbeldygookish answers. (That's what I call it anyway.) He won't give you a straight answer to most any question you ask, and you have to figure out what words to use to get the answer you are looking for. He's a private person, so he has that right, but he's my brother, so I think he ought to just answer my questions.

What was the one thing your Little Brother did to you that endeared you to him the most?

Mama made tea by putting tea leaves in a little metal tea ball and placing it in the water to steep. Inevitably, some tea leaves would escape from the little holes in the tea ball, so the tea pitcher always had some dregs in the bottom, and we had to toss out the last half inch of tea.

One evening when I was clearing the kitchen table, basil and I were fussing up a storm. He said, "I hate you," and I responsed likewise. (We said that ALL the time.) I picked up the pitcher and opened the back door to toss out the tea left in the pitcher. Concrete blocks were serving as temporary back door steps, and as I stepped on the back steps, my foot turned on a block, I lost my balance, and I took a tumble. I went one way and the pitcher went the other. basil raced out the back door, bent over me, asked me (with panic in his voice) if I was ok, and helped me up. He was genuinely concerned about me...and he had JUST told me he hated me. Well, right then I knew he didn't hate me after all, but he actually loved me. For the first time, I realized he didn't really hate me, and I really didn't hate him. I have liked him ever since.

What was the worst thing your brother ever did to you as a child? :)

He tore the heads off my Barbie dolls.

What's the most Redneck / White Trash thing you've ever done?

Well, about 20 years ago, the Chief and I took the truck to the drive-in and sat in the back in lawn chairs.

What is your favourite book?

I Love You Forever is probably my favourite book. (I do love that spelling!) I would like to say the Bible is my favorite, but I don't read it daily, and if it were my favorite, I would, wouldn't I? When I was little I LOVED tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson; I loved Little House on the Prarie series (but my favourite was On the Banks of Plum Creek), the Nancy Drew books, biographies of almost anyone, Jane Eyre, Heidi, Tom Sawyer, and Little Women. When I taught 8th grade, my favorite books to teach were Across Five Aprils, The Lottery Rose and Jacob Have I Loved. These days, I love to read novels by Nicholas Sparks.

What scares you ... other than spiders?

I am scared of most anything that causes bodily chainsaws, or my husband's driving.

I think the thing that scares me the most is imagination or music. Let me explain. I don't watch scary movies...and I am not talking about the chop-up-body-parts movie. I'm talking about the type of scary movie that makes your imagination run rampant and you jump at a slamming door or a limb scratching on a window. Music heightens the suspense. Watch a "scary movie" with the sound muted. It isn't nearly as scary, is it?

I don't read scary books in the dark, either. So, whenever I am immersed in a situation in which my imagination is conjuring up all sorts of boogeymen (and especially if music is intensifying it,) I get scared.

Could you share any really good stories you have about Basil growing up that he hasn't shared?

You'll think you read this in the Reader's Digest jokes section, but this is a true basil story from 40+ years ago:

We used to pick up an elderly couple on the way to church every Sunday and then take them home afterwards. One Sunday basil was chatting with the old gentleman who was impressed with basil's wit and knowledge. He asked, "Son, where did you get all your smarts?"
basil responded, "I must have gotten them from my dad..." (Daddy clasped the steering wheel a bit tighter, sat up straighter, and smiled...until basil finished the sentence.) "Mama's still got all of hers."

basil used to stutter and stammer when he was a toddler. I had a pink princess telephone that basil used to talk into. He loved to pretend to call our grandfather, and basil would say,"Hewwa, hewwa, hewwa, hewoh, Pa-a-a-pa." It was just precious!

Were you nervous at all about Basil dragging you to meet a couple of bloggers in 'Vegas (Side note: I had the pleasure of meeting Basil's big sister last summer when we were in Las Vegas for different reasons).

I was not nervous at all; in fact, I was excited about meeting y'all and was looking forward to it! But the anticipation paled in comparison to the actual event! It was delightful!

You mentioned a while back that you weren't a big fan of profanity. Given Basil's fondness of practical jokes and needling has he ever driven you to the use of less than "lady-like" language?

Oh, my word, yes! I am ashamed to say that with all the busy-ness going last weekend, basil was the recipient of a few choice words. Sometimes my vocabulary and my patience shrink when basil's around.

If there's one thing about the past that you could bring to the present day what would it be?

I'd love for kids to have innocent childhoods again... the worst thing teachers would have to put up with would be spitballs. Kids would have to worry about getting "cooties" instead of HIV. Kids could roam the town or neighborhood and everybody would look after them, and Moms and Dads wouldn't worry if kids were out of their sight for more than a couple of minutes.

What is your favorite childhood memory.

My favorite childhood memory is watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in February 1964 at Grandma and Papa's house. I had a small bottle of Coca~Cola and a pack of cheese crackers to munch on. And Grandma and Papa let me sit close to the tv to watch and listen. It was heaven!

Why'd you decide to become a teacher?

A computer program decided I should be a teacher. I wanted to become a pharmacist until I found out that in one course I had to work with cadavers. I then decided I wanted to go to seminary, but I had to have a college degree, so I went to my advisor and asked what I could take to get out of school in the least amount of time. He plugged all my coursework into the computer and all the courses I'd taken would count if I majored in junior-high education. So I did. I figured I could teach a few years, save a bit of money, and then go on to seminary. (I wanted to work with youth, but I wanted to major in theology.) I started teaching and just never got around to doing anything else. I have enjoyed being a teacher after all.

Is the Mean Sister really the meanest one? Tell the truth, it's Basil that's meanest, isn't it?

Hee, hee! You know him well! Seriously, any of us could be called the meanest just depends on which day you catch us!

Thanks for doing this, Sis. We appreciate it.

This has been fun! Thanks, y'all!

Next weekend, we have interviews scheduled with Genuine and C'est Moi (C'est Moi..C'est The Anti-Right). Should be interesting.


  1. Thank you to those of you who asked questions of me!
    basil, I thought you might edit some of my answers, but you didn't! I am delighted to have participated...thanks for asking me.

  2. I agree with basils's sister about wishing kids still had as innocent a childhood as we did. And they sound like a typical family. I had 3 older sisters and used to make the phone ring and then sit down and listen to them run through the house, fighting over who would answer the phone! Worked everytime! Those times were over far too soon!

  3. I love the story about you watching Ed Sullivan. That simple joy of sitting close to the TV and having a Coca-Cola shows how much times have changed. Kids today will throw a fit if they don't have the new iPod but we were content to get little things like that.

    Great interview.

  4. Sunday Funnies...

    image courtesy of faithmouse
    Bright and Early blog gives us a laugh and a follow up story about a bear and a boyscout.
    Dr. Sanity has the carnival of sanity
    Dan Riehl says the Kidz are all white!
    Potfry shows us a clear picture of how to know when y...

  5. Dang it, sorry I missed getting in some questions.

  6. The Mean Sister (who is 5'6")July 28, 2006 at 4:25 PM

    Hey big sister (who is 5'4"),

    I enjoyed reading the questions and answers. I thought you might tell about our plan to capture and injure anyone who dared to enter the house when Mama and Daddy were gone. I think little sister (who is 6') can still scream loud enough, and I know where the frying pan is...just hope you and basil remember your jobs :)

  7. Dear Linda, I love most everything about today, but I do miss the innocence of yesterday. Thanks for your comment.

    Dear SeanS, I enjoyed reading your interview, too! I still try to find time to marvel at the simple things in life. (Basil may say that's due to my simple brain.) Because of this, however, I am almost never, ever bored. Thanks for the comment.

    Dear Stop, (My, that sounds strange...) Thank you for the link to the interview!

    Dear Alabama, I'll answer questions if you want. :)

    Dear Mean,
    Thanks! I enjoyed answering the questions. However, I think YOU should tell the intruder story!!

    Big Sis


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