Her First Car was My First Car


Growing up Rose and I toggled between being each other’s top competitors and biggest fans. I remember epic arguments over whose turn it was to take out the trash or which one of us had ownership rights over specific articles of clothing. We are only a year apart in age. During school? If ANYONE said anything about us? We would instantly make sure that whoever this person was? That knew in no uncertain terms that speaking unfavorably about our sister was unacceptable. I’m happy to report we aren’t competitors but cheerleaders for one another. 
Rose and I had many overlapping years in high school being so close in age—I wish I had a photograph to share with you! My parents bought us a car.  
My Mom is so cool. This was the conundrum:
In order to save enough money to buy a car?
You needed a job.
Getting to and from your job requires transportation.
My Mom’s solution was FABULOUS. She spent $700 hard earned dollars on a 1978 Ford Granada. This was our first car. Oh, what color was it you ask? Yellow. Not just any yellow, but banana yellow.
I would be lying if I told you that this car was the “coolest.”  And I wouldn’t be doing you a full service if I didn’t mention the times the three of us: Me, Rose and Tiffany would go to school. The morning would begin twenty minutes before we would leave. We would RACE out the door 2 or 3 or 4 times and back again because we would forget something—make-up, homework, lunch, or all of the above! We would always TRY to leave our home on time to arrive at school before the final bell rang.
Tiffany, me and Rose
When we finally made the 15 minute drive to town we would drop Tiffany off. The elementary school kids would be waiting on the steps for the door to open so they could go inside. They would all sing together as if they were a little choir: Step into the boat! The BANNANA BOAT!! LOOK IT’S THE BANANA MOBILE!!! THE BANANA BOAT IS HERE!!!” and so on.
Tiffany’s head went STRAIGHT down and Rose and I slouched in the front seats as we drove away. Secretly loving being noticed.
Everyone in town knew we were Julie’s girls and we were close by if the ‘Banana Boat’ was nearby. After the car passed to another’s hands? We realized how special it was to share this car with one another. We never shared a car again. That’s what happen when you grow up.  
Can I tell you a little bit about Rose? Today is a special day for her. My older sister is someone who is fiercely loyal. She does not give up on people. Her love for cats and animals happened when she was quite young. As little children we created a crayon drafted agreement that stated in clear squiggles, if my kitty (Momma-Spots—yes I named her) were to have kittens? Rose would have first rights to any and all black colored ones.  And she did. Rose always had black cats. She has a black cat now: Beaker.
Rose is a talented photographer. Avid natural park visitor. She still writes letters to friends from high school which is now over ten years past. She is faithful. Hardworking. Hilarious. Playful. And has no idea how strong she is. 
Rosie? Today is your birthday. I’m praying for you to have a year of blessings and joy as you come to know yourself and your strength more. You inspire me. I love you. Happiest birthday beautiful sister and friend!

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