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Antics in the Family

Chapter Two


Dennie went through life with a heightened sense of entitlement. 


Being a twin and a middle child (born 20 minutes after her sister Dale) produced in her a middle child personality.


She certainly appeared to be suffering

from the stereo-typical “Middle Child Syndrome”,

feeling resentful, neglected and envious when there was

little reason to feel so.


Driving is Child's Play


My sister, Dennie was a very bad driver.


They gave her a license even though she drove the wrong way down a One Way street while taking her test.


She used to let her cats have free reign in her car, while driving 50 miles down a busy highway. It didn’t seem to bother her that they were lying down across her line of vision on the dashboard.

Once she missed a snow plow by inches, backing out of my driveway and didn’t even see it.


The plow was stopped for a long time in front of our house. I’m sure it was so the driver could peel his fingers off the steering wheel and start breathing normally again. Have you seen how massive snow plows are?

One time she grabbed my steering wheel while I was driving because “she thought” a squirrel looked as if it might make a dash across the road in front of us.


I am her older sister by four years and as such I have always thought of her as scatter-brained, clumsy and disconnected with the real world.


In truth she was an intellectual, a perpetual student with more degrees than most people have email addresses, but with limited people and driving skills.


I have never allowed her in the front seat of my car again. Dennie and a car are a scary combination...

Anyway, the year her son Kyle turned nine, my daughter Siobhan and I were taking him out Christmas shopping.


Forgetting he was there, he overheard his cousin and I discuss “Dennie’s” poor driving habits. We thought he was playing a video game and not paying attention to us until he said, “Aunt Leslie, you’re not talking about my mom, are you?”

Without missing a beat, I responded, “No, of course we aren’t. Von and I are talking about UNCLE Denny.”


(Uncle Denny is my other daughter’s husband.)

However, now curious about how he saw his mother’s driving, I asked him, “Your Mom doesn’t bend down to pick up papers off the floor while she’s driving on the highway, does she?”


I once passed her while her car appeared to be driverless, barreling down a two-lane country highway in mid-winter, hence the question. She told me later she’d been picking something up off the floor.

Anyway, he thought for a few minutes and then replied, in all innocence, “Nope, but she plays Connect Four with me.”

Kyle is now an adult and drives himself around. Maybe now I can stop holding my breath? Naw…


Snow Removal Truck
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