I was an only child for nearly nine years—most definitely spoiled by my mother, and the apple of my daddy’s eye. My two best friends had younger brothers, and the block we lived on was packed with young children. So being a single didn’t set well with me. I’d go out in the evenings and play Hop Scotch or Hide and Seek or Mother May I with the neighbor kids until after dusk when mothers would call from front porches and everyone ran home in pairs or threesomes, or even four.
But on April 4th, 1954, I became a big sister—finally! I was full of excitement as I stood on the lawn of the hospital looking up three floors to the window where mother held up a tiny pink bundle for me to see. That same afternoon I knocked on every door along both sides of Elm Street announcing her arrival. Peggy Lewis Poole. On more than one occasion I was corrected, “You mean Louise; Peggy Louise.” To which I replied, “No. Peggy Lewis named after my dad. LEWIS.” I spelled it out for them.
The next day when my parents brought her home, they also pulled from the trunk of the car, a turquoise blue and white two-wheel Schwinn bike. I’d waited eight and a half years for a baby sister, but suddenly all I could see was that shiny new bicycle.
This year she turned sixty, and I decided I’d better make it up to her. We told people we were going to Paris which we did—Paris, Las Vegas! We sat in side-walk cafes and bistros. I ate gelato and crepes and drank wine. We lay by the pool under the Eiffel Tower, and went to shows and casinos. And shopped, of course. I’m glad I didn’t wait till she turned 65. I don’t think I’ll be able to go in another five years!
The five and a half hour drive is a killer, and we arrived right at check-in: 4:00 P.M., tired and wrinkled and ready for a nap we never got. We stayed up past ten o’clock and got up at our usual 7:00. We walked and walked and by the time I drove home Friday evening, I was exhausted, on sensory over-load, and ready for a vacation!
Vegas is definitely not for older people. The traffic is horrific, the resorts are as large as small cities, the pace is frantic and the noise never stops. Our hotel room was approximately twenty miles from the self-park; and about thirty miles to the nearest hotel. It took hours to walk across the street, up the escalator, down the escalator and around to the front of the Bellagio that first night. We were dead on our feet by the time we returned to our room and turned out the lights with the colors of the new High Roller ferris wheel shining through the slit in the draperies.
Its four days post-trip, and I need a nap again today. Will I ever recover? I think next year, a simple card or dinner out will suffice. But we can always say we did Paris! We’ll never tell how hopelessly boring we really were—after all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?