My sister, Lucy, on the left and Laura Lee (me), on the right
We actually have snow in the weather forecast! Snow! The very element for which most teachers this time of year pray, because in the South, no matter how deep the snow falls, we get a Snowday! That brings me to the subject at hand.
My little sister, Lucy, who is three years younger than I.
Lucy was very small when she was young and then outright skinny as she grew….. so much so, that my Dad, who has always been a big tease, called her Fat Lucy. Every time it snowed my brothers and I wrote “Fat Lucy” on the rear window of our Dad’s ‘48 Chevy.
My Dad’s version of the Leg Lamp
My little sis and I have been close for most of our lives. Well, there were the days back when I was in first grade and came home to discover that Lucy had trashed our bedroom. All my dolls had been played with and their hair looked worse than Don King’s.
That didn’t go over well with me and to my everlasting shame, I do admit to pulling Lucy’s hair in revenge. We both loved our dolls and were each very possessive of them. When Lucy got a Tiny Tears doll I had to have one too.
Lucy has always been a sneezer.
One day after my brother’s baseball game we discovered that Lucy’s Tiny Tears doll had gone missing. If there had been an Amber Alert for dolls we would have reported Tiny missing. We searched high and low for that doll but it was gone.
Lucy and I shared a tiny bedroom which was in actuality a converted porch with windows all around except for the back door. We were nervous about that door all the days we shared that bedroom and both of us made sure it was locked at night. It did make it convenient for us (and our brothers) to sneak outside at night when we were older.
One bright moonlit night when I was sixteen and Lucy was thirteen we had an experience or a dream…. we really weren’t sure what it was. We awakened to see all of our departed cats running up and down on the tops of trees playing alongside our living kitties.
There were our darling, long lost cats….. Frisky, the gray and white cat, Buddy the kitten who died young, and Mittens, the cat who was killed on Christmas Day. Both of us watched out the window from our bunkbeds as the cats played with each other on top of the “mound,” a high place in the backyard where we had buried many of our cats and dogs.
Lucy and I pinched each other to make sure we were both awake and debated whether we should wake our parents. We decided not to do it, to simply share the moment. At some point we went to sleep, the next morning immediately remembering our visitation. We told our brothers and parents and of course, they found the account hard to believe. I remember we stayed awake as long as we could every night for weeks to catch the cats playing but we never saw them again.
Lucy (also called Goosey) and I loved to play with each other and our brothers but sometimes I sided with my brother. We were closer in age and had fun playing cowboys and Indians. Mainly cowboys. Lucy loved boots. We got a new pair of boots every year from our maternal grandfather, but with good reason because before we had our horse, Scout, we had a donkey named Tarzan.
About the time we got Scout, Lucy and I discovered that we could sing and harmonize very well together. We started to sing in public and won some competitions. One memorable competition took place in Witcherville, Arkansas where we won first place. The prize included some steak dinners and a years supply of dogfood. We didn’t have a dog at the time, and didn’t like steak so never did pick up our winnings. The song we sang that night was Navy Blue.
I learned to play the guitar and we started to sing some Beatles, Skeeter Davis, Sonny and Cher and songs by Johnny Cash. It was hard sometimes to get Lucy to practice. We had a bathroom with perfect acoustics but I frequently had to chase her down because she was always outside on her bicycle.
The Fletcher Sisters
In the summer we saddled up Scout and took off down the road. We had some friends who also had horses and we would all meet at the grounds of the local junior college and try to outdo each other with the tricks we tried to perform on our horses.
We rode Scout in the local Rodeo Parade for several years.
Scout had markings that looked like the map of the United States.
One day after Lucy and I were grown up our mother discovered some of our missing dolls. They were found in a trunk in a closet at our grandmother’s house. We speculated that we probably left our dolls there because we (along with our cousins) would frequently spend the night with our grandparents on Saturday nights. We knew our grandmother loved dolls but don’t think she meant to keep them. Lucy and I think she just put the dolls in the trunk and forgot about them. Still, the Tiny Tears doll wasn’t found among the dolls.
Lucy was my maid of honor when I married. My husband’s father, C.C. was his best man.
Lucy and I (and our brothers) didn’t grow up in a wealthy home but we did have a rich childhood. We were fortunate to be able to grow up in a picket fence era in which we could go outside and play without fear, grow close to each other and God, create art and memories, and finally, make mistakes but have help and encouragement from loving parents in the correction of them.
Welcome Anchoress Readers.