My brother, Kelly, has not been the topic of any of my blog posts, and it is time I changed that. My brother was born when I was five (as my mom likes to joke, the only child that was planned). My parents were overjoyed to have a boy, and he was the sweetest, shyest little toddler you can imagine. It must have been a relief after five years of me-let's just say I was not quiet or shy.
We got along famously until he was too old for me to control anymore, I wish I could find the black and white picture of us dressed up in cast-off costumes, he looked really good as a girl when he was three-hat, purse, and all. I think I made that photo into his 40th birthday card.
We were typical brother and sister growing up: drawing the imaginary line in the back seat of the car, that our bodies could not cross over upon fear of death, or a really hard pinch. We would share french fries on those rare occasions when we got to eat out at Sandy's Drive In, and fight over the perfect pizza slice at Dave's. He would chase me around the yard, threatening to throw leeches at me if he caught me. We rode our bikes all summer long, and picked weeds (it seemed daily) in our dad's huge garden. We helped Dad butcher deer each fall, and pick ducks, and rode along when he went partridge hunting, to be spotters.
We played balloon ball in the dark hallway, and fought over who had to go in the basement to get the potatoes for dinner, as we were both pretty sure a monster lived under the stairs, and it would grab our ankles through the open wood stairway as we raced up them. We camped out in the back yard in the summertime, and knew that at some point our dad would come out and scare us silly. And he did, every time, even though we knew it was coming.
We played in the woods behind our house, building forts, and digging for buried treasure. Nymore Beach was a favorite spot for swimming, our aunt would pick us up for a day of fun and sand with our cousins. We would come home and lay on a blanket in the back yard, drowsy from the sun, and tired from all of the swimming, until mom called us in for dinner.
Both of our birthdays are in May, only 5 days apart, and we usually had a joint party with all of the relatives. I was usually put out about that, but did get to have my very own party when I was six, complete with friends, and party hats, and my very own cake. I have to find those pictures. I am guessing Kelly probably napped through the whole thing!
In keeping with the Hanson tradition, my brother has his own business, building homes in and around Bemidji. He does fabulous work, I only wish I could hire him to build one for us! He built his own home, that he shares with his sweet wife Angie, and their two adorable kids, Kaleb and Savanna. They are such outstanding young people, they both play hockey and golf, and are exceptional athletes. Kaleb got his driver's license this spring, and will have his first paying job this summer. If only he lived down here, so we could have hired him for ACES!
Kelly has built a really nice life for himself, and now he is going to help my sister build her new life. They have never been very close, but even less so while my sister was married. Kelly was not fond of her husband, so the relationship was strained. But now that Heather is on her own, they have been spending far more time together, and I am just thrilled that he will play such a large role in moving her on to her new life. He will be breaking ground on her new house soon, and I can't wait to see the progress.
These are shots from our last trip to Bemidji-Kelly and my dad had spent the day fishing, and were cleaning the fish out on the deck. I loved watching them, and realized how many times they had done this activity together through the years. My mind brought me back to when Kelly was so little, he could barely reach the top of the table, and how he played with the fish still in the bucket, ready to be cleaned.
I am so proud of the man he has become, and wish I could spend more time with him.