That old sister

“We’ve got to do something about that old sister.”

It would be several years before the Gaithers sang about it, but we Free Methodists did call each other Brother and Sister ’round there.

Brother Crandell, Sister Daggett, Brother Vorheis, Sister Goldsmith. I never knew the first names of those in my parents’ or grandparents’ generation.

Which old sister was causing trouble in the flock? My tender ears had heard talk about disharmony in the body, but “to do something about” held a sinister feel.

I listened up and learned instead that our house had been built without plumbing. Even as a five-year-old I could see the bathroom had been added onto the back porch recently. Well, from the rust on the shower stall, not all that recently.

The house had no well. Instead, rainwater fell from the roof into a cistern under that back porch. The cover boards were getting spongy, and Dad was concerned someone could fall in. So he was telling Mom, “We’ve got to do something about that old cistern.”

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