May 21st…“WHAT WISDOM AND LIFE LESSONS DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR BIG SISTER BOTH ON THE FARM AND LATER IN LIFE?”
Even while my infant lungs were drawing their first gasping breaths of life, our big sister, Rosemary Arlone Noorlun, was already a seasoned veteran of 8 years of experience on this here earth AND a knowledgeable Second Grader at Kiester Consolidated School, in Kiester, Minnesota.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that big sister loved me to pieces and was like a little mother to me in many ways. For instance, when I reached school age and had to be transported from farm to school on that big yellow bus, it was Rosie who stood up and got everyone’s attention that first day of school. She let it be known to everyone on that bus that if ANYbody messed with HER little brother and made him cry, they’d have to answer to HER!!
Our elder sibling sometimes became the adjudicator of issues between myself and younger sister, Candice. Those life lessons could get downright painful with Rosemary wielding her power of being our immediate elder.
For instance, there was the Winter day when I took a mean advantage over my little sister and was pummeling Candi with snowballs to the point of her beginning to cry. With the stealth of a lioness, Rosemary had come upon this scene of injustice from behind me, so I wasn’t aware she had witnessed my cruelty. With my attention focused on the “target” of my little victim, I didn’t notice that big sister is now quickly creating and loading an entire arm length of snowballs with which to mete out the justice I so richly deserved. With her “Gatling Gun” of snowballs in the “gun web belt” of her arm, elder sister engaged her blitzkrieg flank attack. Without warning, she’s now “machine-gunning” snowballs at me with lightning rapidity. I can still feel the icy impact of each snow “bullet” as that frozen white stuff is rammed up my nostrils and my Winter cap is “shot off” my head!!! All during her attack, I can hear her yelling at me, “THERE HOW DOES THAT FEEL? IS IT FUN NOW? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT???” Of course, now little sister AND this mean widdo kid are both bawling our heads off and a major lesson was learned about being more compassionate to smaller siblings who aren’t as quick or as strong as you are.
There’s the proverbial saying, “Time Flies!”, and that sure was the case in 1964 when our darling sister celebrated completion of her High School years there in our sweet hometown. It wasn’t long after that, that sister married and our Lord blessed her with a beautiful family and a full life of activities and friends to love.
To help support her growing family over the years, our grand sister worked for a number of banking institutions as a teller/clerk. I was soon to learn another life lesson from that precious sibling while we sat and enjoyed some refreshments one day. What she shared next with me, I found, has had a beautiful parallel in my spiritual life, as well. I asked her, “Rosie, how do you, as bank tellers, know when someone attempts to use counterfeit currency at your bank?” Her answer was quick and confident. “That’s easy”, she said, “In the banking business, we are taught from the very beginning to only study authentic currency (the REAL dollar bill, for instance)!” “The bank never lets us see a counterfeit bill, if they can help it!” “By always focusing, memorizing and KNOWING what a REAL dollar bill looks like, then any fake dollar bill easily “jumps out” with a “red flag” to us if it comes across the counter in a transaction.” That was so simple, yet so powerful!
Our dear sister Rosemary’s wisdom on that topic has often spilled over into my musings on the spiritual journey or walk that each of us, as Christians, travel each and every day. So many in this world are vying for our attention, time, devotion and following. Some of those sources of attractants are benign or even of a good nature, yet if I devote my time to the study of the one Book of books………the REAL and AUTHENTIC Word of God; I will then know, automatically, when any counterfeit person, item or subject arises. How will I know? Because that “red flag” will pop up saying, “This does not match God’s Holy Truth from His 66 love letters (the Bible) that He penned just for us, as His children.
Our precious sister bid a “good night earth and good morning Glory” in July of 1989, yet I am daily grateful to the Lord for the big sister of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!! ><>