Thirteen years after being told she would never have more children, Mama had twins. Never, ever tell Mama she couldn’t do something.
My brother, Jim and I where the first boy/girl twins born at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Those were the days before ultra-sounds and we were a huge surprise to Mama and ol’ Doc. We were also premature and had to spend time in an incubator before going home. Daddy had to sell all the cows to get us out of hock.
Parents of twins know we can be quite a handful. What one doesn’t think of, the other will and when we’re both of the same page, Katy bar the door! Growing up, Jim and I had our adventures that gave Mama grey hairs for sure. Jim sucked the fish out of its bowl with the vacuum cleaner, cut a chuck out of his ankle with a razor blade while I would sneak into the neighbor’s pasture to catch and ride the horses. In second grade we both hiked home from school knowing we could walk the three miles quicker than the bus could take us. Mama almost had a stroke over that one.
People often ask me if Jim and I look alike or if we have a magic bond and can sense what the other is doing. Nope. Not really. First of all, Jim’s a boy. While I do wear my hair short and was quite the tomboy, I am a girl. Sometimes we do know what the other one is thinking but for the most part, we’re clueless.
I tend to be more dramatic while Jim is laid-back. That isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t times when Jim lets his hair down, runs with the wolves, and howls at the moon. Fourth of July being one of those times.
On the Fourth of July, Jim and his wife host a huge get-together at their place. I don’t recall how this came to be, but it’s tradition now and expected. Jim lives outside the city limits so just about anything goes. His oldest son loves “to blow things up.” He went to school or training to get certified to shoot the big fireworks. Let me tell you, Brian’s fireworks are bigger and better than any public show around.
While Jim is grilling, he sips Wildturkey and Seven Up. But after his grill master duties are finished, the sips morph into gulps. By the time it’s dark and the fireworks begin, Jim is lit. And funnier than hell! Witty and quick. Those of you who know me, have seen me get so tickled I’m rolling or kicking the bed in laughter. That’s nothing compared to Jim. He’s laughing so hard I’m surprised he hasn’t hurt himself. Of course this gets me started and everyone around us catches the laughing fever as well.
The color of the fireworks are beautiful against the black sky. We ooh and ahh at the colors and yell their names out. My friend, Rochelle yells out “Tinkerbell” when the pinks explode. The prettiest of these colored explosives are the purple ones. In his state of Wildturkey euphoria, Jim yelled out, “Burple” instead of purple. Then he got ticked and started to hee-haw. All of us cracked up. Laughing like hyenas in his back yard. Burple became the word of the day, week, and year. We all shout out Burple now.
Fourth of July at Jim’s place is heaven on earth. Tons of great food, drink and laughs. For a brief moment in time, all is well with the world.
Burple is the color of laughter and good times with a splash of Wildturkey added in.