This past March, my three siblings and I got together for a weeklong visit. When planning it, we tentatively referred to it as a “SibSab”—aka Sibling Sabbatical—a time when just the four of us get together to enjoy each other’s company while reminiscing about memories we each had growing up and enjoying some fun adventures like we did last year in the photo above. But technically it was not a SibSab in the true sense of the word and so I have called it a pseudo-SibSab.
For this get together, we did not all travel to some distant location like we often do, but rather assembled at my home in Memphis, TN. While we did have some time for just the four of us during the week, we spent each evening with my wife.
My two sisters drove over from their homes in northwest Arkansas and arrived on Sunday night to kick off our visit. Then the next day, after I had performed some of my “granddaddy duties,” we picked up our brother at the airport. Typically, when just my brother and I get together for what we refer to as our BroGo (Brothers Going on a trip together), visiting craft breweries features large in our time together. Since his flight had landed well after lunch time, our sisters indulged the two of us by agreeing to head over to a local craft brewery that also had a kitchen.
Unfortunately, once there, we discovered their kitchen was closed on Monday but that did not stop us from enjoying some liquid nutrition instead. We then headed over to another craft brewery to take in a sample of their tasty craft.
Each morning, we started off the day sitting together around the kitchen table enjoying endless coffee, having lively discussions, and playing some of the digital games we all play together. We are all early risers and so these coffee klatches often lasted from around 6 AM until 9 or so when we got ready for our planned activities for the day.
Our mother loved to cook and enjoyed eating even more, so having grown up with this exposure, eating meals together often comprises a well-planned out activity for us. Although not advanced planning each meal like our mom would have done, we still had several delicious meals over the week. After savoring some delicious take-out Italian food on Monday night, we ate lunch the next day at one of the best Mexican restaurants in Memphis. It was such a good and filling lunch; we hardly wanted any dinner that night.
Wednesday night, I grilled out my famous fillet mignon steaks, purchased from a Memphis meat market that I have been frequenting for over 40 years while my sister made double-baked potatoes. Then Friday night, our last night together, I grilled out salmon, sautéed fresh green beans, and some more of my sister’s double baked potatoes.
But beyond just enjoying each other’s company over a good meal, we had a somewhat relaxed agenda. One day we went to a local museum filled with Memphis history and on another day went to a new restaurant/bakery in town that served homemade kolache, a wonderful Czech pastry that our mother used to make for us (sorry forgot to take a photo before we devoured them). And of course, we had to take in some delicious Memphis barbeque at a local landmark.
But many other days, we just sat around and talked usually while my brother and I enjoyed some select craft beers.
We spent a lot of time just reminiscing about memories we had growing up. Since both our parents have been gone for more than 20 years, we are trying to capture many of these stories so our kids and grandkids will have them. Sadly, during the week, we often came up with a question or a puzzle that only our parents could address and so those will remain mysteries for all of us.
Since we were staying at my house, my sister and I had a chance to show off the doll house we are building together for her grandkids. Although not finished yet, I taped together the remaining floors and walls so they could get a sense of what the finished house would look like. Here is my sister who is co-building it with me looking in on the finished first floor room with just a few of its future furnishings in place.
In our last SibSab, we discussed having more than a single SibSab each year since our older sister, the last of us four who has not yet retired, is on the verge of joining the ranks of being retired. And to that end, we planned two more gatherings this year, another biking adventure where our sisters live and another at our favorite place in all the world.
Those of you that know us well enough will know where that is. For others, it may be a mystery but here is a hint. Until next time…