Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do the Happy Dance!!!

 By The Missionary Sister

Most of you probably know Catherine in the context of her speaking about her missions work. She showed up at your church, very poised, very calm, with everything under control. Her PowerPoint was pristine and her speech was well-rehearsed; she answered questions with great clarity and was completely composed the entire time.

That makes me laugh.

Not because that isn’t her, but because that’s only one side of her, and if you didn’t know the other side—the side that is hilarious, spontaneous, and side-splittingly funny—you’d be missing out on a whole lot. Just in case it’s hard for you to imagine Catherine making up nonsense stream-of-consciousness stories for hours while we stacked wood, or she and I flailing around the room doing our classic Happy Dance for minutes on end, I’ve collected some pictures of she and I throughout the past 20 years that show the side of her that is, well, downright silly.

Even as a little girl, Catherine showed serious fearlessness. Here, she was probably preparing to protect herself from The Bird...

...and her ability to defend herself never really went away (even if it was just against bubbles). No wonder I have an interest in martial arts. I had to defend myself against this girl!

She's always great for invisible adventures. And invisible baseball. Because, you know, reality is overrated.

We had a great many exploring adventures together. Woods -- beaches -- fairgrounds -- houses, it was all fair game for Intrepid Explorers.

Poor girl. One of the great travails of being my sister is she had to keep me in line. Family portraits were always cause for ridiculous faces.

Even when we grew up, we still couldn't do a normal family portrait. It just wasn't in our genes.
Not everything was flowers and happiness. Here, we prove we can indeed (pretend) to not get along. We definitely did our share of staring contests. 

Here's a nice little series that shows generally the progression of pictures in our family. First, they are cute and cuddly.
Then, one of us starts to lose it. (We won't comment on who began losing it first, here.)

And pretty soon we're pretending to fall backwards off our bench into the great chasm behind us while shrieking in fake terrified horror. I still remember the tourists across the aisle laughing at us. Go ahead and laugh. We were having fun.
It was on this missions trip to Mexico that Catherine found out she was only worth two cows because, well, she wasn't the best at tortilla making. Poor girl.

We would sometimes break into spontaneous acting. I really don't know what started this Christmas coronation, but I don't think either of us really cared.
Catherine really, really loved presents when she was little. As you can tell.

Actually, she loved them so much that I had to learn how to defend myself. Maybe that explains why my first words as a toddler were, "Mine," "No," and "Let go."

Back to crazy family-ness. Catherine was the artistic director of our annual Easter-egg mural on the floor of my grandparents' house. Look at how proud we all are.

Catherine made a really great hippie lip sync-er in a '50's spoof on Cinderella. You should've seen her dancing around the stage. That was my favorite play of all time.
And I think this might just sum up our relationship: Catherine as great friend and spontaneous playmate who is always there to save you when you fall off a cliff.