Happy birthday, Jan! Even though it's just a half-decade mark, it is still memorable and important to all of us.
And I always take note that what my sister experiences, will happen to me in a few years. :D She is the trailblazer!
Jan and Sylvia among the blossoms
Jan and I grew up on our family farm together, attending the same elementary school that several generations have now attended.
We rode our bikes to school with the two neighbor boys, John and Tom, who have always been like brothers to us. Jan is the oldest of the four of us, and I am the youngest, so they all had to look after me, the tag-a-long!
We grew up picking peaches, prunes and walnuts, and learning how to drive on the tractors, then we graduated to the pick-ups. We worked on crews with our cousins, throwing out lug boxes for the pickers, accompanied by our faithful dog, Joe.
Our childhood consisted of summers filled with fun, playing cards, eating watermelon, climbing trees and swimming in the river. The school years passed oh-so-quickly! We had weekly piano lessons and school band to practice for: Jan played the clarinet.
All ready for church on Sunday
Jan went to a private girls school for her high school years. She played the organ in the church for services, further developing those musical skills.
During that time she met the young man who was to become her husband. They married and raised their two sons, Jim and Chris, on the farm as well.
Jan became involved in many community activities over the years. She was a private piano teacher, a member of the local school board, president of the Middle Mountain Foundation, a member of the county planning commission, and active in Junior Women and Toastmistress, just to name a few!
When I married, Jan was my matron of honor, and when my children came along she became known as "Auntie Jan." She used to invite both of my children separately at different times to spend the night with her family, cooking special meals and doing fun activities.
Syl and Jan under the Blue Oak with Jan's dog, Freckles
Jan and I had a lot of fun over the years planning get togethers for family and friends. We organized hot dog roasts on the sandbar, camping trips to the ocean and the mountains, daddy's fishing trips with all the men in the family, and our annual trek into the Sutter Buttes at Easter time.
What fun we had! Now Jan's days are filled with caring for her granddaughter, Elizabeth, and occasionally Lizzie's baby cousins.
Recently Jan has taken up playing Bridge again, which she dearly loves. Life should be all about continuing to do what we have always enjoyed, while adding new and interesting activities as well!
Best wishes, my sister, for a year filled with good health and happiness.