Bye, bye, Philly (or, gushing about sister love)

Leaving is hard, isn’t it?

I stayed in the Philly suburbs for seven weeks, soaking up the sister love. It was a good time, a nice time, a funny and endearing and sweet time. Because really, what is more special than a sister?

My sister doesn’t like to be on social media (and neither does my son–they are both very wise people) so I’ll respect that and post only one photo of her, from  a couple of years ago when she was up in Alaska and wearing a bike helmet and sunglasses, which pretty much keeps her incognito.


I’m not much of a to-do person. And neither am I very social. I prefer quiet times, and quiet activities, walks and runs and simple things. Probably, I’m very boring. My sister understands this (she’s much more social than I am), and so we spent a good part of our time on wonderful walks, long walks through backstreets and parks and wooded trails, and each Sunday we ran the Schuylkill River Trail.

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We did other things, of course. We went to the ballet, the Philly Art Museum and the New Jersey shore. We walked across the bridge to Manayunk to watch the Mummers Mardi Gras parade, and twice we spent late afternoons at the zoo.

From the International Pop exhibit at the Philly Art Museum
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Fell in love with this rhino at the Philly Zoo.

Yet it’s the walks and the runs that I treasure most, moving beside my sister for mile after mile, our legs in rhythm, our arms swinging together. Talking sometimes, quiet others. The weather changing from snowstorm to rain to heat to cool spring days. Flowers beginning to bloom, the cherry blossoms starting to sprout. I thought I’d hate living so close to a large city but I learned that there is beauty in the most surprising of places.

Cool bridge on the Fairmount Park trail
Long beach walk at Ocean City, Jersey shore.
Snowy walk along Wissahickon Creek right after the January “blizzard.”

In a few hours I’ll be back in Alaska (I’m at the Seattle airport now), back to my regular life, cloudy days and lavender-shaded twilight, moose in the yard and boots on my feet, seeing mountains instead of tall buildings when I run. It’s my true self, being near the mountains. And yet, part of my heart remains back in the Philly suburbs, sitting on the couch and laughing with my sister, her cat giving me the bald-eyed stare from the other side of the room.

View right before sunset while running on the Schuylkill River Trail with my sister.

7 thoughts on “Bye, bye, Philly (or, gushing about sister love)

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I just spent a week with my sister- the first time we’ve really taken time together in 30 years. I am only sorry we didn’t do it more often. Sisters understand- there is a short cut in the good and the bad. It’s all so special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Katherine! Sisters are special. Sometimes I think I’m so close to my sister because we shared a room growing up and that our breaths and dreams entwined during the night, forming a tight and almost instinctual bond. Hope that doesn’t sound sappy but I’m kind of in a sappy mood. Cheers and hugs.


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