Living with My Sister … Again!

Living with My Sister … Again!

Phyllis Lifestyle 24 Comments

In one of my last blogs, I told you the story of our packing and getting things ready for storage. Thank you for the many comments regarding your experiences with packing! But what I didn’t tell you is that our house is not ready, and Neal and I moved in with my sister, Janice, and her husband.

When she offered to let us to move into their house during this interim period, we accepted and were welcomed with open arms. We moved in to our place on the second floor. It wasn’t long before I flashed back to our childhood. I have not lived with this person (the baby of the family) since 1978. We shared a room and had matching twin beds. She had her side of the room, and I had mine. But we had one dresser—which worked out fine, except for the top drawer. This drawer posed a problem because we each had the same number of drawers except for this one. So I took a marker pen and drew a line down the middle of it, creating borders for us both. Janice still has that dresser and reminds me of it occasionally.

On the day of the final load to the storage facility, our friends and family came to rescue us by taking our personal things over to my sister’s house so we could vacate promptly. That is where I lost control of my stuff. Janice had set aside a sitting room as the holding room until we could move our stuff upstairs to our new quarters. Anything that was not going to storage is at Janice’s.

Being an overprotective mother and grandmother, I could not possibly let my children’s kindergarten artwork go to storage (they are 35 now) nor could I ever think of my grandchildren’s notes and pictures going there either. So they are somewhere in the sitting room … with me.

The first night we were there, Neal and I decided to go down to the refrigerator in the garage and grab one of the diet Cokes we brought with us. We got to the door and realized the alarm was on. We had no idea how to get out of there without setting it off. Since the others had already turned in for the night, we returned upstairs with water in hand to our place. Janice told us the procedure the following day. Check!

The first week, I wore the same shoes every day as I had no idea where the others were packed. This past weekend, we decided to sift through the holding room and really find out what we brought. It was very interesting. I did find some of my shoes, but not the ones I thought I had. And I am still not sure why I brought three empty boxes.

A couple of nights ago, Neal decided he would go down and look for something he needed. So as not to disturb the early-to-bed couple, he used his flashlight. I watched with humor as he made his way down the steps and into the sitting room (storage), which is next to their bedroom. All I could think of was how he totally resembled a burglar! And I truly hoped he didn’t wake them up or, worse, scare them. I had visions of the police being called or his getting attacked by the master of the home defending his castle! 

Have you ever had to move in with your sibling?

Comments 24

  1. This is my favorite blog that you have written, it just stopped too abruptly. I wanted MORE. I see a book in all of this experience.

  2. Delightful tale. Perhaps less delughtful to experience at times.?
    What a blessing to have a loving sister and her husband who is able to invite you into their home.
    What memories made! What tales will be told at family gatherings through the years to come…

  3. A few years ago my sis came to stay with my husband and I. We both had medical problems and I can’ begin to tell you what a help and comfort she was. During the good times she and I shopped, explored all our old “haunts” and just enjoyed each other . Sharron is 7 yrs younger than us so to bob, she is just his younger(crazy) sis. We really got closer during that stay and I hope I never have to repay her. Love her

  4. Yes! When I transferred to Clemson from the College of Charleston, which was home, I had to move in with my sister, 9 years my senior, Hubbie, and daughter starting 1st grade. There was no room on campus until January semester. I was “the crazy aunt in the attic” sleeping on a mattress on the floor and trying to avoid the rest of the stuff in the attic by going no further than my mattress! One weekend I went home to Charleston and when I returned my brother-in-law could not wait for me to go upstairs. When I did, I found a cleaned attic, a rug with a real bed, headboard and footboard for my mattress dressed beautifully with bedside table, couch and even a desk and chair! That was the day I truly fell in love with my brother-in-law because he had been the one behind the transformation! He has been the family patriarch since our father’s death in 1987, but that day was when he began his transition for me.

    It was a great semester full of sweet memories, especially when my sweet niece had gotten off the bus after her first day of school in tears because she hadn’t learned to read that day! Of course, that semester I was taking Children’s Literature for my Early Childhood degree, so I came home with stacks of children’s books which we absorbed every night together! She tells me to this day, in her 40’s, that I’m the reason she became a voracious reader and author! While that’s sweet, I know it’s just in the genes!

    The next semester when I got so sick, I didn’t go to the campus clinic, my incredible sister came and got me and nursed me as if I was the child she had rocked as a baby. Needless to say, I adore my sister, her Hubbie, and niece!

  5. I have never had to move in with a sibling. However, two of my sisters have temporarily lived with my late husband and me. My middle sister sold her house before she had a new place to move to. She was single and worked full time in another town, so we didn’t actually see much of her, but enjoyed what time we did spend with her for the couple months she was here. A few years later my youngest sister and her husband decided to move from Louisiana back to Missouri. She also worked in another town, but she was here more in the evening. About five months later, their home in Louisiana sold, and we inherited her husband and their Corgi also. After they eventually found a house to rent in the other town, we missed my sister so much. We used to get teary and say we wish she would come back…we would even take her husband just to get her back!! (Just kidding, we liked him too!)

  6. As an only child, I love ❤️ the family dynamic and it’s so wonderful you have a sister to help!

    Family is soooo important to me. Both my children have lovely spouses, and I cherish my four grandchildren!! On my wall is the verse, our children are the rainbow of our life and our grandchildren are the pot of gold.

    Enjoy your “special” time together, and as always thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Oh my, I do not relish the thought of ever having to move again! The older I get, the more I accumulate.
    I’m in the process of cleaning out closets and ridding myself of clothes which I no longer wear or need, and it is so difficult! (Yes, and those are things I no longer need or wear, so imagine!)
    One thing I remembered hearing a while back that I have started to keep in mind as I do this, is this helpful little hint: rather than deciding what you want to toss, or donate, pull out and KEEP only what you love and looks good on you, then the REST can be donated!

  8. Oh Phyllis, your story is like reading a Fannie Flagg book!! Keep telling us all of the adventures to come , I’m sure there will be many. I am reading a very funny book by Fannie Flagg now called The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, if you haven’t read it please do, you’ll be laughing your socks off. Enjoy your stay with your sister and create lots of lasting memories!!

  9. Well, it sounds as if your family is more welcoming than mine was! When I retired my mother told me I’d be welcome to return to live on the farm with her where I grew up. After spending thousands of borrowed dollars to move my belongings back to this rural area, it soon became apparent she had had second thoughts. While I was mulling over my limited options, I shuttled back and forth between the farm and my sister’s for two months. The morning after the first night I spent with my sister she said, “You know you can’t stay here forever!” This rejection led to my living for two years in a one-room uninsulated cabin in the Rocky Mountains with no running water and an outside privy! It had been built by my father in 1939 and surviving there, thank goodness with electricity although I cooked on a wood range, was one of the most interesting and beautiful experiences in my life. I’m now settled in a lovely one-bedroom senior housing apartment in Boulder, Colorado, and absolutely love my home…and I can also go to the cabin whenever I like. Life may not seem as if it’s going in the right direction, but things do seem to have a way of working out.

  10. When my husband of 50 years passed away, later I sold our beautiful 3,000 square feet retirement home in Colorado, and moved in with my daughter and son-in-law in the Phoenix valley of Arizona. I had to let go of most of my “stuff” and reduce my belongings to what would fit into my new “mother-in-law suite.” But after nine years, what a comfort it is to know that I no longer have to take care of and worry about the “stuff” but I also have the wonderful love, friendship, peace and protection of living with my daughter and son-in-law who is a local pastor. What blessings!

  11. This is too cute and so hilarious!!!! Phyllis, I feel like I have kown you forever through all your publications and now through this wonderful blog! You are a sister of my heart, Diet Coke and all! You and Neal and your entire gang can move in with us anytime!!!

  12. I found your story funny and interesting since I’m also moving this year and building a new home in another state. I’ll be in the same situation as you once I sell my current home, which most likely will happen before my new house is ready. It’s so nice to have support in your family as you did with your own sister!

  13. I had to smile when I read about the line in the drawer. It reminded me of the car trip across the U.S. we took with our children . There were many discussions about lines drawn in the backseat and it escalated to an imaginary line in the rearview mirror!

  14. An adventure! How blessed you are to have a sister with the love and the room for you and Neal. I smiled at the “top drawer” memory, while I am an only child, my girls shared a room the first few years we moved back to the states after living in Europe. At one time there was a taped line down the middle of their floor. It posed some problems, as one sister had complete ownership of the half with the door, the other “owned” the closet. But they worked it out.

  15. What an adventure. That’s great that your sister had room and is nearby. I haven’t moved in with my siblings but, living across the ocean, any trips back to see them involve staying with them for a few weeks. It’s a great chance to reconnect, especially in those unplanned moments, like over morning coffee or while ignoring what’s on TV as we unwind before going to bed.

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