Thursday 13: My baby sister marks a quarter of a century

Turning 25 is weird enough as it is. When your baby sister turns 25, there are no words. I potty-trained this kid! How on earth is she so olllld now? It still blows my mind that the woman who leads the brilliant Brooklyn-based band North Highlands is the same girl I used to battle with… over who got the front seat, over what radio station to listen to, over what to eat, over where to go, over who got to [insert anything/everything]. I remember when we shared a room, dividing up sides with masking tape on the floor. She got the closet, but I got the door! ūüėČ

In honor of Brenda Lynn’s 25th birthday, here are 13 things I love about her…

1. Sweetness.¬†She’s got a tender, thoughtful heart.

Easter in the 80s. I’m going to guess we’re six and three here but Marm will need to weigh in. We fought a LOT at home, but in public, we were the perfect angels, right mom?
B writes the very best cards. She sent the most thoughtful “first Christmas” card to me and T this year.

¬†2. Toughness. Anyone who moves to San Francisco at 18 and then New York City at 20 is tough. I’m so proud of my sis for navigating big cities, finding her niche and safely negotiating life in the concrete jungle.

Me and B at Fairy Tale Town.

3. Tour guide skills. First The City and now The Big Apple, B makes a marvelous tour guide. My favorite memories are the hole-in-the-wall restaurants she finds like Momma’s soul food and the back-alley BBQ place in Brooklyn.

B, Marm and T at Central Park
B and Marm on Mother’s Day in Central Park

4. Sthmarts. One of the factoids you’ll read about B in her rock star biography is that she graduated from the Steinhardt School of Music at NYU. She’s a very smart songstress.


B and Ric after graduation ceremony one at Radio City Music Hall.

5. Fun-loving. Family birthday parties are a tame variety, but if rumors serve, B enjoys a good shindig. More than just parties, B is fun to be around.

20th birthday celebration

6. Family oriented. Although we don’t get to see her as much as we like, what with her holing up across the country, B loves her fam. (And we love her, too!)

B and Marm Thanksgiving, 2007.

7. Hilarity. A big ol’ goofball, B is hilarious whether posing for pictures, joking around or keeping a dinner party entertained on Skype. She could really host her own show.

Siblings at Christmas circa 2004

8. Traditions. It’s probably genetic, but the girl likes traditions. Like in our visit to Monterey a few years ago, we had to go to our traditional destinations… Cannery Row, Big Sur, the tidepools. More than just tourist traps, the spots hold historical significance. I love how she makes random places “our” places.

Trying not to fall in the Ocean, August 2006.
B sporting the biggest glasses in the world on the way to Big Sur.

9. Second-biggest laugh in the world. Marm still takes the cake for the biggest laugh ever, but B is a close second. I have so many memories of laughing until I cried with my sis because her laugh is completely contagious. You can’t help not laughing around this girl!

B, Marm and me with Lady Liberty.

10. Best sister ever. Although I nicknamed her a devil in childhood and MIGHT have convinced her she was adopted for a couple years, B is a wonderful sister.

B was an excellent Maid of Honor and together with sis Emily, arranged so many wonderful things for me at the wedding. For instance the two of them went to the bridal suite early and surprised me with decorations and delicious treats.

11. Creativity. Not only does she sing and play guitar/piano/tambourine/flute/sax, she writes her own music. Since “White Square Napkin” many moons ago, I’ve been impressed by her ability to develop touching and creative lyrics.

I fought tears at two major points at the wedding: When T read his vows and during B’s original song!

12. Passion. For as long as I can remember, B has been a passionate person. When she was small, passion manifested in mercurial moods. The girl could throw a tantrum, let me tell you. As an adult, that passion is exemplified in everything she does. Case in point, she moved to NYC and¬†pursues her musical dreams with intensity… practicing, recording, performing to adoring fans and rave reviews. How freaking cool is that?

Photo from North Highlands.


Photo from North Highlands.

13. She’s a good friend. Not just to her bandmates and the hundreds of folks across the country who call her friend, but to me, too.

Photo from North Highlands.

Happy birthday Brenda Lynn!!


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