(Grandpa Raymond, Brother and dad in Montana late 70’s)
I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster a large part of today…started going through pictures last night for my brother’s big surprise 50th birthday party tomorrow. Yes, I said it….50. Doesn’t seem possible that the oldest of us is hitting such a mega milestone. We’re entering a new era, we’re getting old and it kinda sucks the big one!
Oh, my brother and I have had our ups and downs over the years, him being the oldest and me being the youngest. He’s always been mom’s favorite, I’ve always been dad’s…sister would be our aunt’s favorite, okay, she wouldn’t find that as funny as I do, but you know….fact is that sister was born a town girl, she couldn’t wait to get off the farm and the rest of us are have farm blood running through our veins.
When we were little mom said Brother hauled me around everywhere, that was before my memory begins. As far back as I can remember he was doing his thing, we were all the type to do our own thing, we seldom played together. When we did it was usually outside in the tree houses that Brother built. Brother liked outside, farming with dad when mom would let him (allergies and asthma kept him inside until pry high school) and with his calves and building things.
cousin picture back in the 70’s, me, Brother and Sister in the back row
Although we weren’t close when we were little I obviously thought we was pretty cool. When I could join band in the 5th grade I chose the trumpet because that’s what he played, didn’t even take Sister playing the sax into consideration. When it was time for college I chose the same college and studied agriculture as he did. Of course I never told anyone that, who does things like that? Gosh, I remember bawling throughout his high school graduation because that meant he was leaving.
No worries, he’s never left, he’s always been in the area…as a 6th grader I obviously didn’t realize that was an option.
When Brother started his cow/calf herd he started with a Santa Gertrudis bull. To this day I think they are among the most beautiful cattle breed. As a little kid he had a Brahman, to this day I think they are the most beautiful animal and swear someday I will own one!
Brother and his youngest LuLu
We had our issues as I got older. I recall one summer we spent fixing the cattle yards fences, lots of yelling and bellering. It was not a good experience, it was then that I learned we could not work together. I recall a time or two it got ugly and dad gave me the okay to never have to work with him unless someone else was with us.
But over the years we’ve gotten close in a not obvious to most people kind of way. We aren’t a huggy family, we don’t say we love each other, we don’t show emotions around one another, we have little ways that let one another know that we care.
He was the one to call when our Oma passed, he was the to call when our Uncle Gene recently passed, he’s the one that takes the helm during situations like that. Instead of calling to tell our Great Uncle Bob about his nephew passing, Brother made the two hour round trip to personally tell him. He said he would be the one to deliver the bad news. When I was in high school and a family friend who was a few years older than me had killed himself, Brother helped the family get things in order, took donation cans to area business’ to help the family pay for the funeral expenses.
me, Dad, Mom, Brother and Sister
Makes sense then that when it came to my starting to date the guy he brought home as our hired man, Brother tried telling mom what my curfew should be. Makes sense then that when Brother dated a girl I didn’t like and then married, I was none to happy. Makes sense then that I wasn’t happy when she decided she couldn’t be married to a farmer that worked around the clock during haying and harvest season and during calving season. We may be a little over protective of one another, we just don’t make it known to one another.
It’s funny, since he and his ex divorced years ago, every time he’s started dating someone he’s gotten serious about he’s made sure to tell me in an off hand way. He doesn’t do it to Sister, just me. He won’t say that he’s dating someone, he’ll say, oh so and so and I went to supper the other night. It’s subtle, but he’s letting me know. It’s kinda funny in a kinda sweet way.
the twins, Brother and LuLu
Seems impossible that we are now entering a new era, one we’ve always seen our parents in with their siblings. Our parents have entered into the phase of how we always viewed our grandparents. If we could just make time stand still.
Happy 50th Birthday Big Brother and here’s to another 50!