What happens when your sister moves to Florida? You wait nearly two years, and then visit!

My sister and I have more differences than similarities.

She’s blonde, I’m… reddish-brownish-brassy-need-to-get-my-hair-colored. She’s bubbly, I’m snarky. She’s can’t stand silence, I enjoy observing and noticing before beginning a conversation. She likes ABC Family dramas and the Bachelor, and I’m married so I get to watch basketball and football all day every day even when “it’s just background noise.” If we’re going to have background noise, let’s choose something more along the lines of HGTV, k thanks dear.

I think this glimpse into our childhood explains it best… she would sing and dance for anyone and everyone, while I was playing by myself in the corner. But we always got along– whether it was in gaudy dance costumes or when she needed a book report written…. wait a minute…

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Regardless of our differences physically and behaviorally… we handle situations similarly. When we’ve disappointed someone (or have just imagined that we did), we dwell on it. When we’re upset about something, we need to talk about it. When we are given a task, we put all of our effort into it. We don’t half-ass things that are important to us. We don’t even half-ass even unimportant things like gift tags or homemade flyers– though she draws everything by hand in her fancy Kelly writing and I prefer to use downloaded fonts and clipart or stock photos. My handwriting isn’t nearly as nice. Which reminds me, we also hold a pen incorrectly. Jolene dropped the ball on that one 🙂 Kidding.

I just returned from a long weekend with my sister in Florida. I can’t believe she lives there. I know every day isn’t an island dream. Overpriced green peppers, cranky tourists, cockroaches in your cereal box, windows that don’t open. But she’s living out a dream of her own.  She spends her days working at the Dolphin Research Center. She gets to see these majestic creatures growing and learning and teaching humans a thing or two… EVERY DAY! I know she doesn’t get to “play dolphin trainer” like most people might imagine. It’s not her job. She doesn’t get to jump into the lagoon with the dolphins any time she wants. Heck, apart from paying for an encounter, she is awarded a swim once a year and from what I understand, for special occasions. But one thing she does get to do is educate visitors on training, history, research, and biology. It costs $25 to visit the Dolphin Research Center– for good reason, they are a research facility– and I would hope those who choose to pay that fee are interested in supporting marine mammal research and care. She gets to talk with these people and answer their questions– people who are invested in the cause. Who would have ever thought a Nebraska girl would end up doing this. I know it’s not a long-term career– you can only scrounge by on the island for so long. And there are plenty of homeowners there who are hardly “scrounging by”– they’re the ones who live in the gated communities. But it’s an experience I hope she never forgets. And I know she’s living out her 7-year-old dream of dedicating some of her life to the dolphins. I suppose it’s a better choice than living out her dream of meeting the number 11. That one is too difficult to explain, so I’ll just leave it at that. Not all elementary school girls who only wear horse t-shirts become equestrians. Hell, as much as I loved dogs growing up– and now, I couldn’t go through with the veterinarian thing. Too much science, ya know? But our dolphin girl is making her contribution.

 

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I suppose I hope we all make a contribution, however small or large it is, to the thing we are most passionate about.

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