Page Thirteen: Sisters

My sister lives in Texas. I live in Kansas. She has a marriage and kids and, like, a life that centers around much more than just herself. And I have, like, a cat that is understanding when I forget to feed her sometimes. What I’m saying is that our lives are different and it is a super-rare occurrence when Sarah and I can really chill out together.

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When I think about my most favorite times in college, they seem to always coincide with the year that Sarah was there. I am constantly catching myself (I’ll say, probably once a week), “when we were in college, Sarah invented peanut butter ice cream and it became a campus-wide phenomenon.” Or, “when Sarah was in college, we didn’t go home for Christmas break because we had jobs and the dorms were completely empty and spooky and it was awesome.”

Our last summer together, we got matching tattoos on a whim. I mean, how many times did you cringe when you read that sentence? “We got matching tattoos on a whim.” *shudder*

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And even at the time, I wasn’t in love with the design but I didn’t totally hate it. And Sarah was buying and her impulsive spirit can rub off. So we did it. And as I was getting my tattoo, I was telling myself, “we are marked as each other’s.” I think there was a part of me that knew that we were going to go through some really rough times and that I was going to need to/ want to look back on this unerasable mark as this thing that meant we were never really all that far from each other. I know, I know it sounds so cliche and probably really dumb but it’s sincere. But it is terribly comforting to have this ever present, physical reminder that we’re together and we’re connected and there’s no leaving. When I miss her, I rub that spot on my ankle. It’s her, you know? And we have gone through some really rough spots. But she’s always with me–trapped in this point in time where we were so young and happy and listened to this album on repeat all summer long.

Sarah, her husband, and her son were driving up to my town when she texted me and asked if I had any plans for Saturday night and if we could have Sister Time.  Of course, I jumped on this opportunity. Because, realistically, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. I’m really happy that she came up with it. She left her husband and son over at our brothers’ house and she came over and we chilled like it was eight years ago, again.

When I told my boyfriend, he said, “So you’re going to sit around in your pajamas and paint your nails and eat ice cream and watch Clueless and talk about boys?” Yes. Except that a great thing about Sarah is that she’s the only person in the world with whom I can watch obscure, indie-films. And instead of painting our nails, we bleached out a few chunks of my hair (I told you, her impulsiveness is contagious), and instead of ice cream, we ate ice cream with strawberry rhubarb syrup.

Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup–for sisters

1 1/2 lbs fresh rhubarb, ends trimmed and chopped into 2″ pieces
1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
zest and juice of one lemon
1 T. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. water
2 T. honey
3/4 c. sugar
4 oz Triple Sec (or not, your call)

Combine everything in a tightly covered pot. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
Blend in batches or with an immersion blender.
Simmer until reduced to desired consistency. Let cool.
Use on ice cream or pancakes. Or mix with tonic water and make a strawberry soda. Add gin and, well, obviously you can just do whatever you want with this stuff.
Keep in a tightly sealed jar, in the fridge, for a week or so.

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