Thankful Season: The Rebel With A Cause

November 21, 2018

For the past forty-three years of our friendship and family kinship, I have been deeply thankful for my sister-in-law Cathy. She is, for all intents and purposes, my sister from another mother. Although we briefly met when we were perhaps eight at a function where she was related to the hosts on one side of that family, and I on the other, we became fast and immediate friends from the day we met again some fourteen years later. She had met the Gardener’s brother and they were an item. I told the Gardener as we walked to our car that evening, that his brother would marry her. He did. This year they celebrated their 40thwedding anniversary. 

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

In this season of being thankful I am so very thankful for my sister. We are as alike and as different as any sisters may be. We share a great love of antiques, old things and that whole hunt thing. We love historical reading, and all things Michigan. We support each other when we excel and when we fail. And we deeply love the family into which we married; the family of which we are each proud to call ours. 

Like so many of our generation music has been a constant in our lives. And like sisters, we do not always agree on what to play. Although we did not know each other then, each of us, like most of the teenaged girls in the country, were huge Beatles fans in our high school days. Cathy attended Vestaburg High, where she played a drum in the marching band. I was here at MHS where I played the car radio.

That is where our musical tastes pretty much parted ways. We each listen to the favorite music of the other but have been only truly in total agreement on the Beatles, and maybe Phil Collins, in all the years since. Although her musical tastes have certainly expanded through the years, Cathy remains a dedicated Stone’s fan and a faithful rocker. Most recently she is saddened by the passing of Tom Petty. As they say, music is the story of our lives.

As sister in laws we have spent countless hours with the family into which we married and have long been a part. We dearly love these folks who so lovingly welcomed each of us as daughters. We stand with them in joy and sorrow. We have cooked a room full of food for countless family gatherings, and washed the same in dirty dishes. We have watched our children grow, infants to adults, and will always mourn those gone.  We marvel and wonder at where the time has gone.

We fully support each other in the things we take to champion, and the things at which each of us excel; and we hold each other up in times of need.  

I cannot speak of my sister without mentioning her long and tenacious boycott of a certain old, large, and still accumulating brands, food corporation. We’ll call them Mac and Cheese for their popular boxed ‘dinner’. My friend has long disapproved of the third world business practices of this company as well as those of a certain water bottler we all know too well. She began her boycott of both years ago, before it was popular and long ago chose not to purchase any foods produced by either. As Mac and Cheese has grown, so has her shopping challenge.  She will tell you that she still misses certain well known brand names, but prefers the less well known alternatives. She is a superb cook.
11-23-18 PINES Thanksgiving car
We will soon gather four our family Christmas. We will all enjoy her fabulous holiday fudge and cookies and not give a thought to the extra care she took to make them without the use of Mac and Cheese. 


This week we are again dancing for joy at our house over the arrival of another great-grandson, Wyatt Nickolas Oakley McLain on November 17. He slid right in there amid all of our November birthdays; right between his Grandma Carrie and his Great Grandpa, the Gardener. And he will have his own deer season arrival story to tell one day. We cannot wait to meet him.

We are equally joyous to have his 38 days older cousin, Jaxson Carl, visiting our Thanksgiving table this week. Life is good.
Happy Thanksgiving week from the Pines.

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