Annette Hedstrom moved to Bismarck at the urging of her sister, Missy Munson. “She would always say, ‘just move here’,” said Hedstrom. “I came to help with a graduation in 2009, and I said ‘does your offer still stand?’ She said ‘yep’ and I said ‘ok, I’ll be back in two weeks’. That was a little over a year ago.”
“And then she moved in with us,” said Munson. “We lasted about six months together in the same house. We hadn’t lived together since she was 13 and I was 18.”
The two girls had an interesting upbringing. They have the same mother, but different fathers. “Our mom got divorced when I was about two,” said Munson. “I went to live with my grandparents for about a year, because my grandpa didn’t think it was good for a single mom to have a child and go to work.”
She was able to move back after her mother remarried. “I remember when Annette was born,” she said. “We were so excited to have a baby in the house. I would push her in my little toy buggy.”
Unfortunately, their mother’s marriage only lasted a few years. “She had to work two jobs to support us,” said Munson. “When I got older it was just the two of us after school. I was responsible for her and mothered her a lot.”
“After I moved here, she finally stopped trying to play her mother role and I’ve stopped treating her like a mom,” said Hedstrom. “It is developing into a healthy sister relationship.”
“We are learning how to be sisters,” agreed Munson.
Before Hedstrom moved to Bismarck, the sisters would go long stretches without seeing each other and have marathon phone sessions. “Now she comes over and I say, ‘hey, want to go to Hobby Lobby with me’,” said Munson.
“Yes, every other Saturday we go to Hobby Lobby,” said Hedstrom. “She likes Hobby Lobby. I just go so I can spend quality time with her.”
The sisters might not have a lot in common, but they are working hard at getting along. “I have my way of doing things (in food service) in the most efficient way,” said Hedstrom. “When she was making a hot dish a couple weeks ago, she had such a mess with her cutting board, it took a lot for me not to say anything. I wanted to get in there with a knife and start chopping, but I just sat back and watched.”
And Munson is curbing her desire to voice her opinion. “We see things differently,” she said. “I get pushy and let people know what I think they should do.”
“Yes,” agreed Hedstrom. “She will say, ‘I really think you should be doing this.’ But it has become more suggestive, instead of just telling me what to do.”
Their differences showed up in many ways over the years. Their mother owned a restaurant and Hedstrom was the cook. Munson would come in to help ‘when they were desparate’. “She would write up an order like this, ‘cheeseburger, no cheese’,” recalls Annette. “Or I would step out to have a cigarette and come back in to find the wheel full of tickets. I would freak out, and then find out they were empty. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could take her humor.”
Their mother was very particular about keeping house. The girls shared in housekeeping duties and apparently, one was better than the other. “Mom would always know if I dusted,” said Annette. “I never put anything back in the right place.”
The girls were your typical shake-up-pop-cans-and-spray-them-all-over-each-other children. Annette was also something of a pyromaniac, starting fires behind their playhouse, on rooftops and even in the house. “Mom did get a new floor, though,” she said.
Their mother has always been supportive, especially during difficult times. She told the girls they can always come home. “But we weren’t sure we wanted to stay there anyway,” joked Missy. “I think it’s good to go home and figure out where you came from. Within a couple days you know why you left.”
She continued: “We saw mom in each other when we were living together. We would say, ‘you just did a mom look’ or ‘that’s something mom would do’. I think it’s hard on her when we’re together because we do pick on her a little bit.”
They really are starting to act like sisters.