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This week we're talking about brothers and sisters and I have a batch of them.There are nine of us.Yep, that's more than the Waltons. There are five boys and four girls. The oldest was basically out of the house (in college) before the youngest was born. My relationship with each of them is different.
I was in the middle of the batch until my youngest sister was born when I was 16. Being in the middle had both its advantages and disadvantages. Since I was fourth in line, my parents were already "broken in" and had a good idea of what they were doing. Plus, since I had older siblings, I had built-in connections at school and outside activities. Things that I might not have been allowed to do by myself were okayed as long as I was tagging along with one of my big brothers or my older sister.
The disadvantages were the hand-me-downs—I didn't get much in the way of new clothing. Oh, I had plenty of clothes, but they were mostly things my older sister wore first. (I found a way to get around that—I eventually grew taller than her so her stuff didn't fit me!) And although I don't ever remember being the youngest—the next sister in line is only two years younger than me—i do remember the "big kids" getting to do things I wasn't allowed to.
I absolutely adored my two big brothers and wanted to do everything they did. When they went fishing, I wanted to go too. When they went to build a fort in the woods near the house, I tagged along. When they got older and went deer hunting with our father, I got a little bit jealous. I don't know that I would have been able to kill a deer, but darn it, I wanted to go along. But I was a girl, and it wasn't ever suggested.
My oldest brother was responsible for expanding my musical interests. When I was a pre-teen, he already had a job and was buying records. He'd play them in his room, and I could hear them even through the closed door as I walked by. Sometimes I'd even stop and listen, My musical tastes ended going in a different direction than his, but I still credit him for opening my eyes to new artists.
I also stood in awe of my big sister who is borderline genius. I was basically an introvert (and still am in many ways) and never understood how she made friends so easily. Thankfully, she allowed me to hang out with her "group" on many occasions and even if I didn't feel like I was totally a part of it they never made me feel unwelcome. We were only a year apart in school, and I felt that I was competing with her. She almost always won except when I did things she didn't do. (I was better at embroidery and climbing trees.)
I haven't talked about the younger half of the family much. I can only hope I made some impact on the next four kids in line. The youngest—well, I was out of the house by the time she turned three. She's only a few years older than my daughter! We've connected as adults although we live far apart. Modern technology can be a wonderful thing.
The WIllow Branch:
A healer must mend a fractured kingdom and bring two enemy races together before a greater enemy destroys them both.
Fate took Prince Maryn by surprise, leaving Celdrya to tear itself apart. A century later an army amasses against the warring remains of the kingdom as prophesy sends a half-elven healer on a journey to find the nameless True King. Padraig lacks the power to put the True King on the throne, yet compelled by forces greater than himself, Padraig contends with dark mages, Celtic goddesses, human factions and the ancient animosities of two peoples while seeking a myth. With all that distraction, a man might meet the True King and not recognize him.
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