Day 679: Sisters

Today, November 10, is my only sister’s birthday.

Happy Birthday to my excellent, five-year-older sister, Ellen!

This is the first song I can remember encountering — when Ellen and I were both kids — about sisters.

(“Sisters” from the movie White Christmas found here on YouTube)

A lot of those lyrics may not apply, but the love and protective fierceness do.  If you mess with me, lord help you! You will have to answer to my sister, Ellen.

Here’s a song I know Ellen would appreciate. It’s from Wicked, a musical she introduced to me and to my son Aaron.

(“For Good” from Wicked found here on YouTube)

Ellen is more of an extrovert than I am, and her style is to involve the people she loves in the things that she loves. So Aaron and I have both seen Wicked with Ellen and my wonderful sister-in-law, Linda. (We’ve also seen Les Miserables with them, but I’m not immediately aware of a song from that score that would apply, are you?)

I’ve seen a lot of things with — and thanks to — Ellen.

Yesterday, when I was on my Sunday walk, I saw many things that reminded me of her, including these:


We both grew up in the same nest, on the North Shore of Boston, in a house that was on a


… the local term for a cul de sac,or a street that has no outlet.


My older sister has always looked out for me.

IMG_1881Ellen appreciates beauty in nature and is an excellent photographer.


No matter where she’s lived, there’s always a place for me to sit and relax and just be, with her.


I’m not scared, when my sister is around.


Ellen has always understood and left room for my love for cats (even though she is very different from me). One way we are not different is this: we both love to Swing Dance (so I’m glad there’s an Area for Swing in that photo, above). (We both love puns, too.)


Ellen has a big heart. She doesn’t express her feelings the way I do, but her love always shows through.

IMG_1925 IMG_1926

Whenever I saw natural beauty yesterday, I thought of Ellen.

Ellen is great at connecting with people, in her work and everywhere.


No matter how confused I get,

IMG_1937 IMG_1941

… not knowing which direction to turn, Ellen helps guide me.

Even when I’ve looked like this:


… Ellen has stayed at my side, always …


… when I’ve needed her.

When we were growing up, and I made it to …


… five years after Ellen, the teachers there wondered if I would be as wonderful as she was. We were very different and — I hope —  appreciated for our own strengths.

More natural beauty, from yesterday:

IMG_1957 IMG_1960 IMG_1961 IMG_1966 IMG_1971 IMG_1973


…which all reminded me of Ellen, especially since she has always wanted to live near water.


That image reminded me of the losses we’ve shared together (including both of our late parents).

Let’s face it, everything reminded me of Ellen, yesterday. That’s what happens when you share so much with an incredible sister like her. Here are some photos of gifts I might give her:


IMG_2008 IMG_2011

…. that I know she would appreciate.


I’ve always looked up to Ellen. And here’s the last photo I took, yesterday, thinking of her:


Now I’m going to look for one more picture, from ONE OF THE TWO RED SOX WORLD SERIES GAMES WE’VE ATTENDED TOGETHER AT FENWAY PARK (excuse me for shouting, but Ellen would understand).

Actually, it’s taking me a while to find that image from October 2013. Here’s something I found in my WordPress Media Library, in the meantime:


I found the photo I was looking for!Slide3 (2)That television screen-capture — from the 2013 Word Series game Ellen and I attended — first appeared in this post,* just about a year ago.  I see several familiar faces there, including one I love very much.

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

And many, many thanks to everybody reading today.

* Actually, that photo didn’t appear in that post. It appeared here. But I’m glad I linked to that report about the World Series game I shared, with my sister, Ellen.

Categories: Nostalgia, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

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50 thoughts on “Day 679: Sisters

  1. yeoldefoole

    whoo hoo! hurrah for Ellen! she’s really lucky to have such a great sister!!!

  2. What an absolutely marvelous post!! Love the photos- all of them, and all the words that went along with them. What a wonderful relationship. 😀

  3. Wonderful photos and memories Ann! Ellen is a very special sister … and lucky to have you as her sister too!

  4. OMG I LOVE the Hanes sisters!!!! Best holiday movie ever!! 🙂 🙂

    Happy birthday to Ellen!

    Big love,


  5. Isn’t it wonderful to have a sister you love a lot? I don’t know what I would do without mine.
    Thanks for the warm and wonderful post.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your sister! And I love White Christmas, I watch it every year while wrapping presents!

  7. My sister Patti and I used to sing this as well!!! (Rather tongue-in-cheek, I might add.) judy

  8. Happy birthday to Ellen 🙂 .
    This post is full of sisterly love, both of you are lucky to have each other 🙂 .

  9. I have a brother and I always envied my friends with a sister. How lovely to have that very special relationship and this is a meaningful tribute to the quality of the friendship you share. Good musical selections, too. I’ve seen Wicked and Les Mis multiple times and I think both scores, although of course entirely different, are centered around the value of strong relationships and loyalty. Sounds to me like you and Ellen have something very precious. 🙂

  10. A great set of photos. I really like that settee taking a walk, the collapsed pumping and all the berries and leaves. I enjou=yed the sisters clip very much too.

  11. What a wonderful relationship you have with your sister! It’s heart-warming to read about it, even though I don’t have a sister. Happy birthday, Ellen!

  12. I love the photo of the sofa. I wouldn’t mind sitting on that for a bit…

  13. Great song about sisters 🙂

  14. Happy birthday, Ellen. You and Ann are lucky to have each other. Such obvious love!

    Now, my friend Ann, I am surprised to be the first to venture this guess. Your dear sister Ellen is the woman in center frame, clappinng, with you wearing a red hat at her left side.

  15. Awesome post! It really made me smile! My daughters (24 & 26) have sang the “Sisters” song since they were little. Every holiday season they perform it for me, usually while we giggle and bake Christmas cookies!
    Happy b-day to your sis! 🙂

    • What an awesome image, of your two daughters singing, while you all giggle and bake cookies! Thanks so much for this visit today.

  16. This is a wonderful, sweet and loving tribute. I know she will cherish it.

    I’m blessed with four sisters and one brother, my oldest sister is also five years older than I am. She’s my favorite, SHE’S everyone’s favorite in our family of six siblings. She led us through the fires of our parent’s alcoholism, made sure we each had a lunch on schooldays and clean clothes to wear. We love her as dearly as you love your sweet sister.

    We have been blessed, beyond measure. 🙂 Happy birthday to your sis, and thank you for displaying your outpouring love for her. Life is good!

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