A Note from the Magpie:
You are about to be treated to the Mindful Magpie’s very first guest post, penned by none other than Ellen, my marvelously talented sister. Those who have not met her on this blog might like to visit this previous post and this one , oh, and also this one to familiarize themselves with her coolness, or just jump right in! I’ll get out of the way now before she accuses me of being bossy.
I was rocking out to the radio as I pulled up to the little ticket dispenser at the Greensboro International Airport. Yes, you guessed it! I was on my way to visit my sister in Memphis, my hometown. The dispenser buzzed and stuck out its tongue at me. Still impressing all who might be listening with my vocal talent, I blithely yanked on the tongue to dislodge the long term parking ticket from its jaws. Let the games begin! I pulled forward into the lot without rolling up my window, so when I placed the little ticket on my dashboard as I always do, I saw it flutter gracefully out of my line of sight. No bother. I would place the little runaway in its proper spot before moving onto the terminal. Luck, I thought, was surely with me today. No sooner than I had whipped Zula, my little VW Jetta, into a strategic parking spot than the shuttle magically appeared right behind me. I’ll find that pesky parking ticket on the way home, I told myself. Meanwhile, adventure awaited me in the form of my daughter’s purple roll-on suitcase and the shuttle with its patiently purring engine. With no regrets, I nimbly hopped onto the shuttle and into my wild rumpus.
On my last night in Memphis with my sister I penned a list of activities which had filled our all-too-short time together. Yes, the list was longish (As my sister has pointed out previously, I am methodical). Yes, I really did engage in all the activities happily and willingly (As my sister has pointed out previously, I am motivated). Yes, we had used our time wisely (As my sister has pointed out previously, I am organized). Yes, yes, yes; a thousand times yes! This list, which has been displayed in my sister’s earlier post, is simply a litany of activities. It can in no way encompass what we did together in Memphis. What I achieved was the goal of spending as much time with my sister as humanly possible in the short amount of time we had together. Mini-goals included, but were not limited to, laughing uproariously and in a most unladylike manner (sorry, Mother!) on any and all pretexts; discussing issues large and small in no particular order or chronological sequence; eating some foods which either aren’t available at home or which no one else at my house likes but me-or both; and reading and discussing what we’ve read.
Here’s where ineffability comes into play. The time I spend with Mary Beth is akin to how a sunflower tracks the sun as it moves through the sky. It is how Monarch butterflies journey down to Mexico and back each year. It is how the Earth orbits the sun, and the Moon orbits the Earth in its turn. They do it because they must. And I spend time with my sister because I must. Words will not suffice to make my meaning clear, but I will try (As my sister has pointed out previously, I am determined). I have had Mary Beth in my life as long as I can remember. We share the same sense of humor and the same love of reading and other intellectual pursuits. I rarely have to explain myself to her, and I never have to pretend to act or feel any certain way to gain her approval. I extend her this same leeway. Told ya words wouldn’t really get the job done. (As my sister has pointed out previously, I am task-oriented).
Responsibility touched down on my shoulders the minute I re-entered that long term parking lot after getting off the plane from Memphis via Atlanta. Remember that little parking ticket which had fluttered down off the dashboard in the breeze from my open car window? Turns out it is awfully hard to leave the long term parking lot without it. Having never misplaced one before, I was unaware of this fact. I dumped the purple roll-on in the back seat and commenced to search for the little ticket. I looked high and low, but that little ticket just did not want to be found. No bother. I proceeded to the exit gate. There I learned for the first time what hubbub could ensue when the little ticket went AWOL. No, the man could not just take my word for how long Zula had been parked in the lot. No, I did not have my boarding pass from the outbound trip. No, I did not have my itinerary (but you can be sure I will next time! As my sister has pointed out previously, I am a quick learner). Nothing for it but to trudge back to the terminal in the hopes that the desk employees could find some non-incriminating information for me. That bumpy landing in Greensboro had played havoc with other flights, so I had a long wait for my turn at the desk. Papers clutched firmly in my hand, I approached the exit booth for a second time. The fat raindrops dimpling Zula’s black hood convinced the little man that, as I had averred from the beginning, I did not park inside the deck but rather in the vast parking lot surrounding the exclusive parking deck.
When I was a young adult, Mary Beth tried upon many an occasion to share her worldly wisdom with me, often in an unsolicited manner. Unappreciative, I demanded that she quit telling me what to do. Mainly she has complied with this request. I explained to my friends that Mary Beth could call me in the middle of the night, to tell me to do something, and I would do it. Following her lead had been ingrained behavior, even if I did protest every now and then. Some things never change. If Mary Beth said, “Come on, Ellen. We’re going to hell,” I would get my knitting, my book, and my big girl drink and jump into the car. After all, if that’s where Mary Beth is headed, then I want to go there too.* Uh, we did get round trip tickets, right?
*Disclaimer: The author of the post is in no way implying that her sister is going to hell in a hand basket or in any other type of conveyance. Nor should any reader of this post so infer.