“Sisters,” March 7, 2023

This column is from 2017.

There she was, my best friend in the great state of Nevada, the kindred soul that I call my “oasis in the desert,” beaming up at me from a photo she posted on Facebook with two women she’s known even longer than she’s known me.

Linda might not say she likes them better than she likes me. But I can’t blame her if she does. They’re her sisters. Blood kin. They’ve known each other forever. They grew up together. Skinned their knees on the same rocks. Dried their backsides on the same towels. Buried their faces in the same pillows. And fought, laughed and loved each other in everything and nothing.

They know each other’s stories and played major roles in most of them. And three years ago, when they lost the mother they adored, they held each other close, dried each other’s tears and promised to get together again soon. It’s hard to forge a stronger bond than that.

I know the feeling. I have a sister, too. Mine lives in South Carolina. Linda’s live in Kansas. It’s a long way from Vegas to South Carolina or Kansas. We don’t get to see our sisters as often as we wish we could.

Maybe that’s why Linda and I have become so close. We live a few miles apart. When one of us calls the other to say, “Wanna meet for lunch?” the answer is usually, “I’m on my way!”

Our husbands are friends, too, so when the four of us get together, they don’t seem to mind that Linda and I talk nonstop and ignore them.

But our friendship is far more than just one of convenience. Spending time together helps to fill the void that comes from missing our blood sisters. It also allows us to tell our stories.

Ten years ago, when my husband’s job took us from the coast of Northern California to the desert outside Las Vegas, we left behind, not only our grown children (my three and his two) but a wealth of friends we’d known and loved for years.

Good friends can never be replaced. If you move far away from them, you stay in touch as best you can. And when you get together, you pick up where you left off. But at the same time, if you’re lucky, you make new friends to share your new life.

More than lucky, I was blessed to be befriended by Linda. We met through our husbands who worked together. From the start, we felt a connection, as if we knew things about each other we had no way of knowing.

Turns out, we have lots in common. We grew up in small towns in families that struggled to make ends meet, but always had “enough.” Our values are remarkably similar. We care about the same things. And though we can’t prove it, we like to brag that we’re the only two women in the Las Vegas Valley who ever used a real outhouse.

Mostly, we like to laugh. And we love to tell stories _ stories about growing up, raising our children, becoming who we are.

In the past 10 years, we’ve spent hours every few weeks or so telling each other our stories. And we still have more to tell.

Sharing stories can turn strangers into friends. It can also turn friends into sisters.

Linda and I aren’t sisters by birth. We’re sisters by choice. I have one birth sister and a whole family of chosen ones.

I hope you do, too. You can never have too many sisters.

The photo Linda posted is a keeper: Three women of a certain age with the same smiles, same eyes, same history and same joy at being together.

In their faces are the same little girls they once were, and will forever be, holding onto each other, come what may _ and having too much fun.

I wish you could see them.

And I really wish I could’ve been in that photo with them.

(Sharon Randall is the author of “The World and Then Some.” She can be reached at P.O. Box 922, Carmel Valley CA 93924 or www.sharonrandall.com.)


  1. Vanessa Kennedy says

    YOU seem like a best friend. Your column is so refreshing to read. Thank you Sharon Randall for being you.

    • Karen Babb says

      Hi Vanessa, Did you happen to attend NW High School?

      • Karen Babb says

        I totally agree with your comment to Sharon about seeming like a best friend. I couldn’t love her more, if she was my sister! In fact, I think I will just adopt her! Lots better than getting her from Sears and Robuck Catalog! You’ll understand that remark, if the ever post my comment to this page!! Hope they do!!!!!

  2. Soooo relieved and delighted to find this column posted today !!! I hope you know how many of us look forward to reading anything you write or wrote years ago. We don’t care; we need your weekly refreshing boosts! Thank you. Thank you!

  3. Shirley J Atwood says

    This sure made me smile! I can so relate! I have several of those non-blood related sisters; heart sisters.

  4. Katie Musgrave says

    Aaah nice piece about sisters. I can relate with “sisters” since child hood & “sisters” from the many places I have lived and visited. I consider you, Sharon, as one of my many “sisters” knowing you as I do thru your many articles you have shared yourself. Prayer partners are my sisters in Christ. Love you all.

  5. CHope Hall says

    I am an only so never had the fun of a sister. When I married at 17, my husband had 5 brothers & 2 sisters. The older sister & my husband were 2 who got into mischief together as kids. She & I became the best of friends & she became the sister I never had. She was the glue that kept the family together. We talked on the phone often & for a long time. She was diagnosed with cancer & died shortly after. I miss her terribly & often when the phone rings I expect to hear her voice. She was a blessing to me & I am thankful she didn’t have to suffer long with cancer. Knowing she is home with God makes it easier. I loved her & am thankful to have known her.

  6. I remember reading this story. As all ways I love every thing you write. I still want to try your bake in the oven pancakes. Are they called some kind of babies I think. Hope you are enjoying your time taking it easy……and loving your babies. 💗.

    • I love the memories this conjures up.. I had the pleasure of growing up with 4 sisters. They have all passed on to heaven and I’m the last survivor. However, I too have a friend named Linda who has been like a sister for 67 years. Since we were in the 6th grade. Such precious memories 💖

    • Karen Babb says

      I am also an only. I always feared that my parents found me to be a disappointment and didn’t want to take the chance of having another like me. I sincerely wanted a sister. I would wait ever year for the Christmas Sears and Robuck Catalog to be mailed out. I would look through it cover to cover and circle any cute little girl I’d like to have for a sister. Then I’d give it to my Mama to order for me. She never told me that you couldn’t get a little sister like that. So, I waited every year to see if Santa brought me one. Every Christmas morning….nope, no sister. In Third grade, there she was, Donna. A cute little strawberry blonde. She was shy. I was not. I could help her with that! The thing was, she helped me with so much more! Donna had 6 1àbrothers! Incredible!! I loved going home with her after school for the weekend. It was better than Disney Land!
      She lived on a farm with 2 parents 6 brothers, several dogs, chickens, cows, pigs and one big old grey horse, his name was Shadow. I was in love with EVERYTHING!
      We became fast friends! She spent the night with me at my house. Boring to me, peaceful to her. I think we both wanted what the other had. I know Donna would want to switch back before I would! When I was at Donna’s we played in her barn,oh joy! The hay loft was magical. It could be anywhere we could imagine it was. After we tired of the hayloft, we watched her Mama milk the cows. There were only five, but they gave a lot of milk, or so i thought! Then Wanda took the milk in and strain the flies and whatever wasn’t supposed to be in the milk out. Next she put the milk into a pasturizing machine. Then into glass bottles with lids and into the refrigerator to cool. Time for breakfast! We always wanted pancakes. Her Mama made wonderful, light, fluffy pancakes, not out of a pancake box. From scratch! Wonder of wonders, she made her own syrup. They boiled water and sugar and added a tsp of Maple flavoring, syrup! Who This was a whole new world for me! We also had bacon or pork chops with our pancakes. The boys always wanted to name the bacon or chops after what good pig donated it to our breakfast. I preferred to think of it as donated! The city girl in me i guess. Their Mama wouldn’t let them name them when I was there. Probably a good decision. When we got a little older we would saddle up Shadow and ride over to a neighbor who had a handsome quarter horse named Joe Boy. Dean would saddle up that horse and hand me the reins. Now think of this, a lonely little city girl who only wanted to order a sister from a catalog, now has a great sister with 6 brothers and a farm with so many other wonderful for things. She tossed the catalog into the trash and decided she did a pretty good job finding a sister. She won’t waste her time asking her Mama for one again! She later found a few more sisters, but non were as good as Donna. She is still my sister. We are both 70 now and but still talk. and send cards. We talk now of our children and grandchildren. Wanda is a widow now and lives in an Assistant Living home. I bet she dreams about milking cows, and chasing after 6 boys and her sweet Donna who made me a part of this big , loud, loving family. I’m love my sister and will always be thankful for her. There’s none betting! Q1in

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