Tuesday, March 7, is my big (and older) brother's birthday. Joe is 7 years older than me so that should make him about 32 - right? These pictures are of course of Joe - (except I'm the little girl). The house is a picture of the house in Ridgley that he was born in - but it had been torn down the last time we went to the family reunion. I love the rare visits we get from Joe & Sandi and they always make for fun memories but I have a few memories of Joe that helped make me what I am today. I'm sure I must have been a real nuisance for an older brother - but except for the time I gave him and Nancy the mumps - I really don't remember him ever getting angry with me.
However, I do remember all the teasing he could dish out. When I was very young he was the one that was always trying to sit on my friend Roy (he was imaginary - but still!) or else he'd lock him outside and not let him in. I have a vivid memory of Joe laughing at me while I'm trying to open the back door he's holding closed. As I got older I can remember him walking in the door and just saying things like, "you look like you've been hit with the ugly stick." One of his favorite ways to antagonize me was to grab the phone when he knew I was waiting for a call and say, "City Morgue. You stab 'em - we slab 'em." Of course my caller would just hang up. I also remember a time when Jimmy and I were dying easter eggs and somehow when we weren't paying attention, Joe managed to write goofy things in white crayon on the eggs which showed up only after they were colored.
But for all his teasing, I always knew he really loved me. It's kinds like that old saying, "It's ok for me to tease her cause she's my sister, but you better not mess with her." I remember Joe was the one that scooped me up off the sidewalk when I split my head open and he was the one that chased those big mean birds out of my room. I have always known he's there for me even if it was only in thought. So what contribution has Joe made to my personality? He's given me the gift of how to laugh at myself and not take myself or anybody else too seriously . Tease me all you want -you might be able to make me blush but you will have a tough time making me mad -I've been trained by the best.
Joe, you're a wonderful big brother and I love you very much and I hope you have a FANTASTIC HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!