Today is the first day of five, five, whole days off. In a row. From all of my jobs. Tomorrow I leave for Vancouver where for the next four days where I do not have to think about work, but rather have a summer vacation like most people. And best of all, with my sister.
I will pick her up tonight from the airport, she lives in Alberta, where she is studying to be a nurse. Ive made a lemon tart (I turned her onto them, my favorite, cannot-pass-it-up dessert) to celebrate her belated birthday, and have vaccuumed out my car so she would not be disgusted during to road trip portion of our trip--my car is quickly dirtied from farm shoes, stowing my bike in the backseat, and the meals eaten between jobs. I could tell you all about this sister of mine, how much I admire her go-with-the-flow relaxed nature, her ability to put people at ease and make them feel cared for and loved, how when you tell her something she really listens, and understands, how everyday she is growing more mature and lovely. But what I should really tell you, is that we are nearly complete opposites.
Jeanine and I are so different. She is glamourous, loves to shop and be around people, sleeps in, and is an incredible dancer. I am the hippy bookworm, who (obviously) loves to cook and write, being around trees and quiet, loves the morning, and cant move with any rythym to save my life. Sure we like alot of the same things, but usually for entirely different reasons. It has taken us a long time to understand eachother, even longer to respect what we know of one another, instead of ignoring or trying to change it. But (along with my ma) she is my best friend, and sisters trips such as this one have always been our best opportunities to grow closer.
Growing up together--once we got along that is--we used to take mini roadtrips just to have sister time. Once we drove to a nearby city just to buy tacky jewellery and have our pictures taken in one of those five-minute photo booths. She helped me apartment hunt in Lethbridge, a trip where we decided she should always be at the wheel, as my road rage and ability to get lost causes quite a bit of tension. The last bit of time we had was when her, my ma, Ernie, and Jeanineès boyfriend Sean came here for Easter. I was lucky enough to be given a day off from Willi to spend with my family, and Jeanine, Sean and I went for pizza at Bordellos (a must go for all visitors to Kelowna) where I learned the art of a woodfire oven and jeanine and Sean learned what a pizza should really look and taste like, then to a hockey game where we got nice and rowdy.
Sean joined the two of us too, when I bought Jeanine a ticket for her last birthday to come bring me home from Halifax. That was not a good sisters trip, we were at odds, and since it was not just the two us, we could not work it out. As difficult as it was, and as much strain as the unsaid put on our relationship, it was definately the trip that we learned the most about eachother, both good and bad and how to be honest about that. And it taught us that we need that time together, albeit more often, to keep that strong.
So here we go again. This time it is just the two of us, and on the opposite coast of the country. This time will be much more relaxed, we are certainly more at ease with eachother and our differences. So much so that we have dubbed one day of the trip as a ÈJeanine DayÈ and one as mine. Weèll do the big shopping in Kitsilano on her day, hit the beach and hopefully try our skills at windsurfing--her, the little athlete she is, will probably be a natural, me on the other hand, lets just say I feel like a pro just holding the board. Day two will peruse Granville Island Market, and hook up with my great uncle clark (a true hippy who i have grown especially close with since moving to the Okanagan), and go for dinner, or better yet, cook market findings. Which brings me to food.
Here is where we are really not that different. Although Jeanine cant even stand the smell of fish, and I will eat anything out of the water and her idea of fastfood is Wendys, mine is a coffee shop stop--though we both agree that when desperate, and this is something we learned while hunting for dinner before going to a ballet together in Calgary, if we cant choose a restaurant, choose a coffee shop, then at least we can count on lattes and cookies--we like many of the same things. Or at least, there is not alot either of us doesnt like. And if there is one thing that has changed alot with Jeanine it is her willingness to try new things (she used to order a burger when we went for Chinese). She will taste anything I make for her (though I avoid cooking things I know she wont like, such as mushrooms and onions, or anything seafoody besides canned tuna), and when we go out for something--this is adorable--sheèll choose something, then ask me if I think she will like it. Numerous times for different items. She knows that now only do I know, but I share her tastes, and trusts that she will enjoy it. Jeanine loves food, she is just not a foodie, so it is really fun for me to cook for her and go out with her...maybe I can get her to try real tuna.
So tonight begins five days of sister time: lots of chatting, laughing, awkward (on my part) dancing, and eating. More when I get back.