My beloved sister Pam came to visit this past weekend. I haven’t seen her since this summer, when she visited while I was pregnant with Genevieve. It was so, so good to see her.
Pam is 11 years older than me, though she seriously never seems to age. It’s amazing. She is the Palfy sister who just gets better and better looking. It’s a little unfair. Plus she has the tiniest waist I’ve ever seen (you’ll see later in a running photo I have of her).
I love Pam with all my heart. I feel like she totally raised me. She used to drive me around with her all the time when I was a kid — I remember going to visit her boyfriend John with her — now her husband — and we would drive down this road I thought was creepy in our hometown — Ford Road. It had a one-lane bridge on it after a hairpin turn. I always felt like it was an adventure when she would take me down that road.
She always gave me the best little sister presents — a Grease album (times three, since I kept breaking it taking it to show and tell and dropping the record out on the ground). An Annie doll. A stuffed Pluto I slept with for years. A Mon Chi-Chi — do these exist anymore, and is that how you even spell it? Must Google. And books. Oh, the books. The Laura Ingalls Wilder series. Maggie Adams, Dancer, series (she gave me these for my birthday one year, and created a whole treasure hunt for me to find them). The Noel Streatfeild books, which I adored. (“Thursday’s Child” and “Skating Shoes” were my favorites.) And, of course, I read all her crappy V.C. Andrews books she left laying around.
She took my best friend Laurie and I to see “Urban Cowboy” at the drive-in. I still love that movie. I don’t care how lame it is. “Hurry, mama, my thighs are sweatin’!” It was a double feature with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
She also bought me “Urban Chipmunk,” to play on my Pooh record player.
But it isn’t just the things she bought me. She took me everywhere with her. She read to me nonstop — and taught me how to read when I was a pre-schooler. She spent time with me. She listened to me. All through school, high school, college. Now. She’s my best friend.
We read the same books (she got me sucked into the whole “Hunger Games” series). We love the same recipes (anything to do with soup or slow-cookers). We both put our pajamas on immediately after work and don’t generally give a shit what we look like. When she comes to visit, we spend as much time as possible cooking. This time was no exception.
We made a ton of food. And Philip pulled out all the stops and made his awesome homemade croissants. Here is a photo of how great they are.
It was so good to see her. We ran every day she was here, and she met up with my girlfriends to run, too. It’s so funny — they said they feel like they know her already, and I know she feels like she knows them, too. Just like I feel like I know her friends Maria and Dee, from how much she talks about them. I love to run with Pam. We ran the Hyannis Half-Marathon together a few years ago, when I was pregnant with Jack. It’s still one of my favorite memories (and my favorite race T-shirt) just because I spent the whole time with her. We ran the Vermont Marathon the same year (along with our sister Kim) and then we ran Des Moines the same year.
Pam in Vermont:
Me in Vermont:
We also played backgammon, drank wine, read stories with Jack, made the baby laugh her goofy, deep baby laugh, cleaned peanut butter off everything, got no sleep, went to Target and the grocery store (livin’ it up, yo!), watched some television and talked and talked and talked. She and I can talk for hours, I think, and then still have something to say on email the next day.
Thanks, Pam. For being an awesome big sister. For practically raising me. For being such a good aunt to Jack and Genevieve. For getting up at 5 a.m. on your vacation to go running with me. For putting Jack down for his nap — and changing his diaper. For laughing with Philip. For cleaning my kitchen about eleventy billion times — seriously. Oh my god, I almost forgot: Thank you for doing ALL our laundry. And we had a lot.
It’s so funny. When Kim came, she helped me figure out how to get out of the house with two kids — and survive. When Pam came, she helped me figure out how to stay in the house — and survive.
I couldn’t ask for better sisters. Or friends. Thanks, Pammy. I love you so much.