Sisters Who ARE Sisters

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.”

— Barbara Alpert

Oh my, yes.

Meet the Barnette sisters —


This is Carol and Mary.  They live together in a house on Lindy Lake.  I’ve spent some hours and days with them on their dock, watching the water and the sun and drinking coffee.  We used to shoot the breeze and watch the dogs play in the yard.  The view from their dock looks like this:


Mary is Carol’s older sister and they are Tallahassee Lassies from the great state of Florida. They migrated to New York to pursue careers as professional musicians.

I met Mary about 13 years ago when she invited me along for an afternoon of food and chatting at her home in New Jersey. There was never one moment of awkwardness when I first met her. She is by nature, warm and caring, and we hit it off just like old friends.

Mary is one of those super talented people who can make just about anything and do just about anything. She taught herself how to make stained glass windows and — ohhhh lordy — her windows would make your jaw drop. She is a true artist who sees possibility in everything. She might pick up a piece of rock on the beach and say, “This is shaped like a little fish. I think I’ll put it into a mosaic for the garden…” and about a week later there will be a beautiful mosaic table in the garden featuring the little rock shaped like a fish.

Mary is also a sculptress and a potter.  She can do plumbing and wiring, too, and her garden is delightful.  She is dreamy and full of good ideas.  That’s our Mary. And we love her to bits.


When Carol began feeling poorly with an undefined illness, Mary took things in hand, as she does, and made sure that Carol had homemade chicky soup to eat. She tucked Carol up in bed and kept her warm and feeling loved.

Carol’s diagnosis of cancer knocked Mary for a loop but not for long. She has been doing a yeoman’s job of managing Carol’s medical appointments, handling her medicines, cooking nutritious meals and just doing all the household tasks that need to be done for the both of them.

Mary is also helping Carol through the ordeal of chemotherapy, which is a nightmare all unto itself. She bears witness to the aftermath of a chemo treatment and comforts her sister as only sisters can. Oh the stories those two could tell.

She has more than stepped up to the plate and taken the hits — just like sisters do for each other and I do not want to let another day go by without thanking Mary for taking care of my dear friend and her dear sister.

Please see the Indiegogo page for an update on our fundraiser.



2 thoughts on “Sisters Who ARE Sisters

  1. I have know Mary as long as I’ve known Carol. Mary truly is one of those women who never shies away from a challenge. At any given moment she’ll turn to you and say “oh, have I ever showed you this?” and you look at an amazing sculpture or huge expanse of a stained glass ocean and you look at Mary, the most unassuming and carefree women you’ll ever meet. I’m not sure how she does it – but she does. I find much strength in watching and learning from her.

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