Today’s my big brother’s 35th birthday.  If you have a sibling you know how special the bond is.  No matter how old you get, no matter how different you may be…at the end of the day this is the person who has shared life from your perspective.  You were once little together looking up at your parents and the world around you and wondering what life would be like when you’re all grownz up.

As Clara Ortega put it “To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.”

So, to honor my big bro, Chris, here are 35 random memories that he may or may not remember.  All full of love and thankfulness that I was born as his sister and got to spend the formative years of my life with him by my side, looking out for me and driving me crazy at the same time.  Oh the beauty of family!!! 

Chris–here’s a trip down memory lane—and a few reminders of the impact you’ve had in my life.  ; )

  1. Doing the math: sitting around and using a calculator to figure out how old we were going to be when the year 2000 rolled around.  It really did seem like something futuristic and beyond our understanding as we sat on the floor adding up that I would be 24 and you would be 26!
  2. Use your platform: one night, not long after Kurt Cobain died, we ended up talking about life and how to live it well.  I’ll never forget you mentioning that Kurt had wasted his platform.  He had the whole world listening and he took that voice away.  You looked at me and said “If you have a platform you use it to do good no matter what.  You use that platform to make a positive impact.”  Those words have stayed in my mind through the years and I’ve put them into action thanks to you.
  3. ’65 Mustang: that car was a blessing and a curse.  So many great memories of driving around and having fun with friends…but towards the end me riding in the back and holding rope to keep the muffler off the ground while straddling the back seat to avoid my feet going through the exposed hole in the bottom of the car wasn’t so glorious.  You told me I’d laugh about it someday and here I am laughing.
  4. The Big Blue Bubble: road trips to Florida in that camper/bus were always an adventure! It was SO ugly yet unforgettable.
  5. Alter Egos: we lived in a time with no video games.  We used our imagination which was sometimes…a little scary.  We created these alter egos.  There was a good girl/bad girl and a good guy/bad guy and sometimes when we were playing with friends you’d think you were playing with your friends and the good girl but all of sudden I’m morph into bad girl and start causing trouble.  And vice versa with your guy character.  I’m wondering now if that had something to do with the legalistic church we went to that created a fear of “bad” in us and we were rebelling by creating these alter egos.  Ok that or we were just fun.
  6. Rocky and Bullwinkle: just typing that reminds me of us having breakfast on weekday mornings and watching Rocky & Bullwinkle before going to school.  Fractured Fairytales made the day!
  7. Rolling on Shannon Game:  you must have loved how naïve your little sister was.  I still love that you convinced me that the coolest game ever was the one in which you would tell me to lie still on the floor next to a bed.  You’d get on the bed and roll off and land on top of me.  I’d laugh and you’d tell me to stay still and you’d roll and land on me again.
  8. Shrubbery Beating: who cares if it was slightly breaking the law? It was fun and pointless.
  9. Road trip to Georgia: when I was in college we went on a road trip to pick up some of my things from my apartment in Toccoa.  On the way home we went through Atlanta where the brakes went out on my car, then once we got back on the road we faced one of the worst traffic jams in Atlanta history on one of the hottest days the city had ever seen.  And we were in my Honda Accord that had no AC.  Miserable circumstances turned into incredible memories.
  10. Loogie’s Landing:  dude, we have video proof that we thought it would be cool to do a Wayne’s World parody series.  Just wanted to remind you that those still exist
  11. Barbie: never knew where Barbie would be when I went to play.  Sometimes she and Ken were safe and sound.  Sometimes there was a ransom note taped to her house that mentioned she had been kidnapped by Cobra’s team and I could find her in the basement.  Sometimes she still had all of her limbs and others she may have been burned or had her hair cut off by Cobra’s folks.
  12. GI Joe: you’d convince me to play GI Joe and once we started playing you would reveal to me that I only was Cobra again.  You promised that someday I’d get to be GI Joe and I’m still patiently waiting.
  13. Potato guns and backyard fires: Scott with a can of WD-40 and a match =our mom’s favorite dogwood tree on fire.  We had to keep him away from anything flammable at our house after that
  14. Civil Air Patrol: dude, did we really join Civil Air Patrol and run laps in combat boots on the tarmac?  What on earth were we thinking?
  15. Magnolia Tree:  remember MaMa Moore’s house in the summer?  It was always hotter in that house than it was outside!  I remember we’d go outside and play under this big magnolia tree that gave us shade a fun place to play until we went back to our home with AC.
  16. Fork in the Road: remember that scene in the muppet movie where Kermit & Fozzie come to a fork in the road?  I remember watching that scene over and over again and giggling so much.  It’s the lamest thing ever yet it’s tied into watching the muppets with you so I still love that lame scene to this day.
  17. S.W.A.T.: Always knew it was a Friday night and we could stay up late because Momma would let us stay up late enough to watch that show S.W.A.T.  Some weekends we’d actually camp out in the basement to watch it.  Seen that show lately?  Watched an episode in Hulu a few weeks ago and let me tell ya…it does not stand the test of time!
  18. Sarcastic vs. Being an Ass: life lessons come in unexpected ways.  When I was going through my bitter “take everything out on my family phase” I was cuttingly sarcastic.  Never thinking of anyone but me.  One day you had enough and let me have it and you said “There’s a difference between  being sarcastic and being an ass.  Learn it Shannon.”
  19. Refrigerator Boxes: it’s amazing how awesome the simplest things can be when you’re a kid.  Remember daddy bringing home those big refrigerator boxes and making them into forts?  They didn’t last that long but they were always fun
  20. Rocky IV Incident:  pretty sure it was the Rocky IV movie that you watched the night before this happened.  I remember hearing screaming from your room in the middle of the night.  Sounded like you were fighting off someone.  Guess daddy though the same thing because he ran to protect you and fight off your “attacker” and in his sleepy state punched a hole in the wall in the hallway.
  21. Scars:  I have so many scars from my attempts to keep up with you and your friends.  Chasing after you and your buddies always led to my shedding some blood.  I remember you mentioning years ago that you felt bad about that…but I have to say that each of those scars is a sweet memory to me.  They’re reminders of being a kid and having no fear. So thanks for being so much faster and sometimes trying to ditch me
  22. Atari: pretty sure that thing came from a garage sale…but it sure did give us hours of fun and blisters.
  23. His name was Biff:  a family trip out west.  14 states, 13 major cities and countless amounts of annoying moments and fights.  Yet there was that song we made up.  “His name was Biff, Biff, Biff, he jumped off the cliff, cliff, cliff.”  I think it’s clear that we’ve always been a bit on the dark side of things.
  24. When Wasps Attack: pretty sure I had a built in magnet for wasps.  Remember when we were playing on Bennett Drive and I was attacked by SO many of those evil things that I couldn’t even walk to get home to see Momma?  I’ll never forget that you helped me home and made sure I was ok.  I always knew you had my back…no matter what.
  25. Abominable Snowman: anytime I come across the Rudolph Christmas special I’m immediately freaked out because it scares me to this day.  At the same time I think of you and how much you loved that thing…especially the “Bumble” and it makes me smile.
  26. Sleepwalking:  I loved waking up in the mornings when you were going through your sleepwalking phase.  I would jump out of bed and run to ask momma what you did the night before.  One of my favs was when you set the “table” on the stairs leading down to the basement.
  27. Christmas Eve campouts: we didn’t have many traditions but one I loved was when we’d camp out by the fireplace on the floor of momma & daddy’s room on Christmas Eve.  The Alabama Christmas album playing as we tried to calm down enough to fall asleep.
  28. Wonder Twins:  at a certain point in my childhood you convinced me that we were really the wonder twins.  I thought we had powers and could transform. Thanks for making me believe…adulthood bashes that wonder right out of ya.
  29. The Supremes:  any road trip with the family was always full of oldies music.  You never ceased to perk up when a Supremes song came on.  You always knew all the words and did little car dances along to the songs.  Greatly amusing when I was a kid and still amusing all these years later!
  30. “We Are The World”: remember how excited we were when Momma picked us up from school and she had bought the “we are the world” record?  We listened to it over and over and over and over that afternoon and loved it everytime.
  31. White Water Rafting: road trip with Uncle Ralph & Geromy, listening to hits from the 70s and 80s.  Playing poker by campfire.  White water rafting.  Miss him but so thankful for those memories together.
  32. Tennis Obsession:  I’m pretty sure that we (along with a few friends) were convinced that we were the next tennis super stars.  Remember being inspired by Andre Agassi and shopping for his line of tennis clothes.  Wow, who knew he was doing meth at the time?
  33. An Apology for Punching Your Friend: when I was in 3rd grade I lost it and got sick of your friend making fun of me.  I’m sure momma remembers the moment well.  She showed up to school to see me (all dressed up in one of my favorite dresses) hitting your friend.  You stood there laughing but I’ve always wondered how embarrassing that had to be.  So…sorry dude.
  34. Monty Python Humor: I love that sometimes when you watch that movie with someone they laugh at all the same parts.  And other times people would look at you and wonder why on earth you’d be laughing at something so stupid.  Thanks for giving me the gift of the unexpected in the land of humor
  35. The Rainbow Connection: dude, this stands the test of time.  : )  I remember being amazed that you learned how to play this on the piano.  I stood in awe of you for that.  Maybe I was easily amused but still love this song because it reminds me of my big bro.  Here’s a reminder for ya: