I had lunch with my sister yesterday. We met after my work day, and we spent nearly three hours in conversation. We came from the same bolt of cloth, but the garments we’ve become are quite different.

I went from St Olaf College into teaching; my sister went from St Olaf to the University of Chicago with the man she would marry. I spent thirty years as a teacher; she taught for a short time, became a successful potter, a CPA, and in retirement she is a talented quilter. When I retired from teaching, I found a part time position as an office administrator in a small church where I still work.

Our vocations/avocations were dissimilar. She is a world traveler having lived for a time in Finland, in Wyoming, in Washington, D.C., and in Minnesota. She has recently visited many lands with her husband who is part of a Congress to Campus group educating foreign students on the complexities of American politics.

I am a reluctant traveler, more comfortable reading about interesting places than visiting them. When we had children and grandchildren in Ireland, we visited them twice. We have been twice to Costa Rica, spending much time in a familiar location. We had one week in the Dominican Republic. After each adventure I was happy to be at home. Early in our marriage we traveled across this country with a tent and summertime to wander. Getting back to school each fall was satisfying for me. I loved teaching, and I was home.

As we grow older, I appreciate my siblings at a comfortable distance. When we are together, we reminisce. No two memories are alike, but that is the way of it for most families. I am grateful for our small town childhood. Our parents were talented, much-admired role models for us. Are we like them? In small ways I suppose we are. As relatives go, mine are above average.