There were seven of us siblings stretched out over 17 years: the 3 oldest (two brothers and a sister) sort of clustered at the very beginning; a brother and sister in the middle; and then, 7 years later, my brother and I, two years apart.
We were in Sidney or Williston on a big shopping trip (one of those that happened only a couple of times a year) with Dad and Mom. For some reason, we had been turned loose on our own. I think the four of us were eating lunch at a cafe and the folks left to do some other shopping. We were left to finish our lunch and were to walk the couple of blocks to meet them at the car a little later.
So, being the good kids that we were, we set off walking down the street to the place we were to meet. We were probably about 12 and 14, or 13 and 15, and I remember thinking how fun it was. I liked my big brother so to be “on our own” like this, walking down the street, was a good thing in my world.
Now I always sort of thought of us as the “Freddie and Flossie” of the Bobbsey Twins, and the older two (those two in the middle of the family) as “Nan and Bob” so I was Flossie to his Freddie. I don’t know that I ever actually told him that. Freddie and Flossie were pretty sugary and chummy, and we probably weren’t quite so much. He was always very nice to me, but I think I knew even then that there were limits to how we would function as siblings.
After we had walked along together for about a block or so that day, I discovered one of those seldom seen limits. He very quietly and nicely asked me if I could please walk a little way behind him so people wouldn’t think I was his girlfriend.
He had a point so I did as he asked.
We were in a town where many of the people who saw us would have no way of knowing that I was his sister.