Knockdown, drag-out fight in Costco…Today, I appreciate my family!


We had just walked into Costco, flashing our membership cards and happy about our adventure together…

Yep.  My sister and I had no children and a large factory store in front of us.  Giddiness was bubbling up inside our carefree souls!

Costco to adults is like a toy store to children.  Except better.  Because it also gives out free samples of food!

Of course we saw Tina when we walked in, “Hello, Tina!”  Small chatter, chatter, chatter.  Tina’s one of the leaders of our Bible study that we attend.  Boy, we were off to a great start.

Sisters.  Together.  Costco.  Seeing Tina.  No kids.  Free samples of food awaiting a breastfeeding momma (in case you didn’t know, breastfeeding mommas are always hungry!).

We had our carts and our spirits of adventure.  Off we went…

Clothes.  First stop.  Look at all of those clothes!  And the prices, “Oh my!”  I felt like Dorothy on the yellow brick road.

Piling the carts with unneeded clothes was easy…and then maneuvering part two began.

Fresh fruits and veggies.  Yep.  Freezing cold.  Run in, grab produce, run out!

Oh, can we stop by the diaper aisle?  Cart’s getting full now—I have my Costco-sized box of diapers that will basically barely last a day (I can’t imagine how my mom raised 3 under 3 with cloth diapers…she must of spent her days dumping diapers and washing them to only dump and wash again).  Oh, and don’t forget the Costco-sized box of baby wipes.  All at bargain prices.

Wee…This really was fun!

Then it happened.  We entered the water aisle.

I bet you never thought the water aisle was so dark, eh?!

And then she happened.  That’s right.  My sister.  My OLDER sister.

She told me what to do.

Whoa there.  Hold back.  Stop the horses, missy!  Did you just tell me what to do?  You do realize that I am a 36-year-old mother of two with a husband.  And I have been living in a foreign country for 12 years.  Yes…you do realize that is me, right?!  The person that you feel you need to direct and “boss” around!

Uh-oh…Because then it REALLY happened.  She started to cry.  Not just a small tear.  Nose blowing, loud, sobbing, tears.  And she is a tall redhead, which means, you can’t miss her!

Shoppers were running out of our aisle, trying to get out of the way!

I took one look at my sister and realized that I had really done it.  Flew off the handle.

Sisters!  One older…One younger…Both in the water aisle of Costco.  Fighting.  And neither of us are quiet…

One offended and huffy.  The other offended and crying.

And then it hit me.

My sister is my sister, and forever my sister she will be.  Just because we are now grown doesn’t mean that she stopped being my older sister.

When we were younger, I would walk in the house after school and she would say, “Unload the dishwasher!”

And I stubbornly would retort, “You are not my mom!”

But, you see, that’s the precious thing about siblings.  There is a pecking order.  And there is an order of responsibility and care.  I see it every day in my home with my own children, Adelyne and Maxwell…

Adelyne is the oldest.  And a lot of responsibility is heaped onto her shoulders. But the precious thing is, she doesn’t seem to mind.  She gladly watches over and takes care of her brother.   And she always seems to do it with such joy.  Why?  Probably because Maxwell is her brother.  Her little brother.  She is proudly his big sister.  Just like Darby is mine…My big sister!

That day, in the water aisle of Costco, watching my sister cry, I realized one thing.

My sister didn’t boss me around to be bossy.  She bossed me around because she had my best intentions at heart.

Thinking about it now, in hindsight, telling me to “unload the dishwasher” wasn’t such a bad command either.  Part 1:  It helped my mom not have to do it when she got home (we were all assigned chores, dishwasher must have been mine).  Part 2:  If I got my chores done and out of the way, I actually had the rest of the afternoon to play.

And no matter how old we grow, how many children we have, how many years of marriage we have under our belt, how many countries we live in.  No matter what, she will always be Darby, my older sister.  She will always be looking out for me, caring for me, making suggestions that she thinks will benefit me.

Not only will she forever be my friend…but forever my older sister she will be.

And I can either learn to huff when she makes a suggestion.  Or I can learn to pause and think…

After all, she has been taking care of me my entire life.  Why should she stop now?

Yep…A snotty, loud fight in Costco brought me to reality.  And that reality is this:  family is forever.  And that’s a blessing.

Even the pecking order.  Just ask my younger brother, Casey!

I didn’t steal it…It “fell” from the sky. Thanks, God?!


“Say what, Dadda?  You didn’t!”

We moved to AZ the summer before I started the 5th grade.  The rental house that we were renting was close enough to school that we could ride our bikes or take the bus.  When it 115F outside we preferred to take the bus.  However the buses didn’t have AC so the bus was probably hotter than taking our bikes or walking.

The summer that I started 7th grade we moved into our own home.  It was wonderful and the location was great.  Getting to the Junior High meant we either were required to walk, bike, or be driven.  We were too close for the bus yet we were pretty far away.  I think the walk was at least a mile (each way uphill and in the snow) :).

One hot afternoon walking home from school I had 50 cents with me.  I stopped halfway home at the grocery store.  It was hot…hot…hot…More than 110F.  This grocery store had a Coke machine outside their doors on the sidewalk.

I put in my 50 cents, hit the Coke button, and out came my Coke and my 50 cents.

Wow!  Let me do that again!

I put in my 50 cents, hit the Coke button, out came my Coke and my 50 cents.


I was on a roll.  I couldn’t believe it.  God was blessing me!

In fact, I had to go into the grocery store and get two plastic bags so I could hold the 15 Cokes that I got out of the vending machine plus my 50 cents!

I carried those Cokes the rest of the way home and showed my parents the blessings from God.  How He, God, took my 50 cents and multiplied it and instead of one Coke I got 15.

My parents tried to explain to me that this was stealing from the man who owns the Coke machine.  I didn’t see it that way.  After all, it was a blessing from God, right?

I had to return all those Cokes to the store that day and learned a lesson about stealing.

I should have reported the broken machine to the grocery store so that they could fix it after the FIRST “free” Coke.

Fast forward a few years-to yesterday.   I was at Costco returning my unused car battery and an unopened printer.  I asked that the refund be put on my credit card.  She said no problem, “Go ahead and sign here.”

She issued me my receipt and I was about to walk away when I decided to look at the amount.  I wanted to make sure that I was refunded in full.

When I looked at the receipt I did a double take.  The amount that she put back on my card was $568.  It should have read $200.

WOW!  God blessed me again.  This time with $368!

I tried to explain that this amount wasn’t correct.  The lady tried to explain to me that it was.  She even looked at the receipt and tried to convince me.

I looked up my credit card information really quickly to check my statement on my phone.

Maybe I was wrong.  But no.  The charge for the printer was $103.48 not $450.

I could have walked away with the free money they were trying to throw at me, but I learned when I was younger the importance of not stealing-no matter if the person made a mistake or not.

I share this story with you, not because I’m perfect (Just ask my wife.  Wait.  Please don’t.  Haha)…

But I share this story with you as an encouragement to you and your children.

Look for every opportunity to teach them the right way, God’s Way.

And, secondly, look for every opportunity to be an example to your children, spouse, friends, and coworkers.

Be the example, folks.  Not the thief.

Thank you for allowing me to be the Guest Blogger.  I look forward to seeing you one more time this week.

(c. photo above Erin DeZago)