Published August 12, 2018 by rochellewisoff


My brother Jeff was six when I came along and a sibling didn’t fit into his plans. As far as he was concerned I didn’t exist. He went to great lengths to let our parents know of his displeasure by not coming home from school on time.  

One night he was three hours late. Mom was frantic. A crowd of police and neighbors met Jeff when he finally decided to show up. An officer sat him in the squad car to lecture him about the consequences of such behavior and how it worried his parents. After the officer finished, Jeff asked for the time. When the officer told him, my sensitive brother replied, “I missed Howdy Doody.”

Fast forward a year or two to the present. Jeff and his wife Debbie have retired to Wilmington NC where they enjoy living 15 minutes from the beach. Due to geographic distance, we don’t see each other often, save an occasional Skype session or Facebook post.

I decided it was time to pay the Wilmington Wisoffs a visit. The first week of August seemed the perfect time since my husband would be going to Sturgis for the annual bike rally.

Although my connecting flight from Charlotte to Wilmington was delayed and I didn’t arrive at ILM until after midnight, Jeff, Debbie and I sat and talked until after 3:00 AM. After a short night’s sleep, we had leisurely morning, drinking coffee and chatting some more. This was pretty much the pattern for the week—lots of coffee and conversation.

The first day—Wednesday—Jeff and Debbie showed me around the area which included a walk on the beach.

Thursday it was time to suit up and ‘swim’ at Kure Beach. However the waves were particularly forceful. While I didn’t spend a lot of time in the water, I did snap a few shots of wine glasses on the beach as models for future paintings.

After dumping at least a pound of sand in the shower, we settled in for a cozy evening of conversation and a wonderful salmon dinner. Or was that Wednesday night’s dinner?

Friday night we went to downtown Wilmington for a wonderful seafood dinner at Elijah’s Restaurant and a free concert in front of the courthouse with AC/DC tribute band Shoot to Thrill. Not my favorite kind of music but I was with two of my favorite people.

Every day I enjoyed my furry fixes from my three canine nieces, Pip, Lacee and Jackie. Pip, in particular, is a lover. I call her Pip-Plop since all you have to do is make eye contact and she falls on her side for a tummy rub. Jeff says I’m just another pair of hands to her, but I’m sure there was some bonding. You’re buying this, right?

Saturday we visited Airlie Gardens to see the Gnome Invasion. However rain put a damper on things so it wasn’t a lengthy visit, albeit an interesting one. Even under gray skies, the scenery was gorgeous.

Sunday night we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music I honestly wasn’t familiar with. Where have I been the past 30 years, right? In any event, she and her backup musicians were fantastic as was her warm up singer, Emily Barker from Australia. Both of these ladies can entertain.

On Monday the shops were closed so it was the perfect time to see if the ocean had calmed any at Kure Beach. I’m happy to say it had, but not calm enough to swim laps. The waves are more geared to surfers but it was still fun to attempt a breast stroke or two.

Tuesday, my last day in Wilmington, we went back downtown to shop. There are quite a few art, clothing and curio shops. Jeff and Debbie showered me with a lot of early birthday presents.

Alas, the week went too fast. I had a very early Wednesday morning-before-sunrise flight, leaving little time for much coffee or conversation.

More than anything I will cherish the memory of this vacation. No one can reminisce about shared parents the way a sibling can. I hope I apologized for taking advantage of my status as “Daddy’s little girl” to find many ways to get him in trouble. What can I say? I was a brat. So the best moment of the week came when my big brother, my hero said, “I’m sorry it’s taken 60 years for me to really appreciate my little sister.”





21 comments on “SIBLING REVELRY

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. Can’t blame Jeffrey and Debbie for retiring in such a wonderful spot.
    Better 60 years than never… And now you have even more incentive to return more often…

    Lotsa love and great photos!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I can always count on you for a comment on my non-flash blogs. ❤

      I love seeing Jeff and Debbie content. They and their pups are a happy family. This visit was a most significant one for me, and I think for my brother as well. You're right, it's better late than never.

      Thank you, my friend. Your comments make me smile. 😀

      Shalom and hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Karen,

      I never knew that! But then, there’s a lot I don’t know. 😉 I hope your brother figures it out before it’s too late. Thanks for coming by. It means a lot. ❤


      Your Cousin, Rochelle


  • Dear blog mom,

    You look like troublemakers together, are you?
    It puts a smile to my face reading how much you have enjoyed yourself.

    Much love,
    blog daughter Cae ❤

    PS. fur babies give the best cuddles 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Un cuento muy maravilloso.
    Thank you for sharing you vacation with us. Distance with family and friends
    does create a lack of bonding. The familiar of day to day living doesn’t
    get shared. There’s that small space that needs filling. Visiting helps but it’s
    far from living down the street.
    It’s wonderful to have been able to catch-up. Time passes quickly. We blink
    and can’t believe we missed saying what we needed to say. Treaure what you
    have and know that you have a gift in him.
    Abrazos y Carino,
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      Due to the six year difference between us and a few other family dynamics, Jeff and I have never been what you’d call close. I’ve been to visit him before and we had good times, but there was something so special about this one. And as you say, things were said on this visit that never have been before.
      I got a text from my brother yesterday with a little video from the beach saying they missed me. Thant’s NEVER happened before. Left me with tears of joy.
      Gracias para leyendo me cuento. Me hace contenta.

      Shalom y cariño,

      Rochelle (o como mi maestro español me llamó: Raquella)


  • I found you! – Kept getting that annoying brush-off from Google saying sorry can’t find this page…your holiday sounds fun, and the sort of week that should be repeated regularly…
    and you wrote about it beautifully… love Valerie


    • Dearest Valerie,

      My friend, I’m so pleased you found me. The internet can be like navigating shark infested waters sometimes, can’t it? As for my holiday…best ever with my brother and I suspect will be repeated. Thank you for reading and leaving such kind words.

      Shalom and hugs to you and himself,



    • Dear Indira,

      This was the most significant time I’ve ever had with my brother. He’s my one and only sibling and the time we spent laughing and reminiscing was amazingly wonderful. I will cherish this visit…and Jeff…forever.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, that is also something I cherish.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Jeff and I haven’t always gotten along. As children we fought like heathens. Later our relationship was mutual tolerance. This last visit was one of love, mutual memories and healing.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such a nice comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • This is lovely! Thank you for sending me to this link to read more, and I’m so glad you had this week together and that it was such an excellently re-bonding and re-visiting and reconnecting week (and yeah, I do believe even the most belly-plop-pup gets the vibes of people they’s surrender themselves for a belly rub before submitting … and that auntie ones get special treatment … so there’s that!).
    Glad for you, and for your brother.
    60 year later, perhaps, but time ain’t linear. So … it perhaps heals backwards, too, somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      I go along with alll of that. 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting. It was definitely one of the most significant weeks for both of our lives. The difference in our relationship since then is tangible. I’m looking forward to going back for another visit this year. 😀

      Shalom and hugs,


      Liked by 1 person

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