You think you know your siblings fairly well, until you discover something totally unexpected.
Sure, you "keep in touch" through the occasional family gatherings, holidays, phone calls, etc. and why wouldn't you? You know certain things like; what they do for employment, the names of their children, their birthdays, what they may "collect" in the way of a favorite thing, and so on, but not everything about them.
In the "old days" (like the ones I came from) you grew up together, ate the same foods at the dinner table, listened to the same music on the family car radio, and watched the same programs on the "rabbit-eared" television. However, insert the passage of time, add a modicum of distance, and stir in a generous helping of real life, and you tend to develop unique differences. So for me, imagine my surprise and elation the day I discovered that sister Lisa (200 miles to the north) and I had been pursuing the same hobby (sport, passion, crazed obsession) over the past several years, and neither one knew about the other. Of course I am referring to birds. It was a moment like finding a close-to-the-door parking spot at the mall on the first trip around the lot; you are thrilled at your good fortune and readily pull in thanking your lucky stars. I don't even actually remember how or exactly when I discovered our common bond, (and birders, you'll appreciate this) it was as if I were the only kid at the nut-free lunch table, and suddenly I had a good friend slide in next to me. I am not weird after all! (well, at least there's now two of us dining together)
What's the point of this blog entry? I'm not sure there is one other than to share with those that read it, how much more fun it can be when you find an unexpected kindred spirit. Someone who doesn't think its strange when you want to get up at 5:00 AM to catch the "dawn chorus," to stand with your neck craned upward staring for minutes at a time with a smile on your face, to interrupt a conversation with a, "Did you just hear that?" to search for a small beat-up blue trailer on the lake front because someone said they saw a pair of Blue-winged Teals there, and to put a little check mark in a field guide after shouting a whoop!
So, my advice to anyone who adopts these quirky mannerisms, is to find their own kindred spirit (or two) and share your joy. Call someone when you spot a Chestnut-sided Warbler who will care, It'll do your heart good.