Author of Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey through Africa and Asia


The three sisters at a family reunion.

Let’s hear it for the three Noble sisters…Anne, Cary, and Meg…an exciting piano trio back in the late ‘40’s, beloved for their famous renditions of Mozart minuets. They also did a great Christmas day performance for the Noble family every year until they graduated from college and got married. Thus began the proliferation of grandchildren numbering fourteen.

I hasten to add another sister speciality. All three of us took tap and ballet lessons as young girls. What endured, well into our seventies, was a lively tap version of In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, danced with locked arms, high kicks and much laughter!


Here is Anne in her 90‘s, without a trace of gray hair (I swear, scout’s honor) with Frank, her adoring husband of 68 years…and with me, her adoring sister, outside their home in Peterborough, NH.

This was my beloved older sister, Anne Elizabeth Noble Magill, 97, who left us on April 26, for a freer, more peaceful space that none of us yet knows, but all of us will discover. Anne knew when to go, and she was ready. The whole family loved her intensely, as did a myriad of others who had known and worked with her. The memories are deep and will not go away. Nor will she. Ever…

I remember when I was about eight and I threatened to jump out a second-story window if Anne didn’t give me her new dress. She always got the new ones and I got the hand-me-downs. She shook her head ‘No,’ so I put one leg out the window. In an instant she handed the dress to me. Was she angry? No, she was so gentle to me and seemed only to be relieved that I was OK. I hope I was ashamed, but can’t remember that part. I also remember when she visited me in Germany just after I was married, and we went to magnificent Florence, after which I put her on a ship returning from Europe, and guess what? She met Frank.

Anne was always kind, always the peace-maker, until the time I tried to win over Bud LaFlash, a favorite college boyfriend. That was a tiff I lost big-time!

Years later, when I was living in New Jersey, we binged on New York Theater, using my $3.50 Audience Extra tickets. Hard to believe, eh? Those were the days when we bummed around the city, experimented with oddball restaurants, and even stayed for several nights at a midtown hotel after being given comp tickets. We walked and walked and walked….

We found adventure everywhere. We were each other’s foils. That was special.

And we had been walking places together as far back as I can remember, starting with kindergarten. Miles to school, with Anne protecting me, her younger sister, and making sure at one point that I didn’t get eaten by a cruel man I was told captured and ate children in his old garage on Ridgewood Street. I was not afraid when I was with her.

And then there were all those hiking trips in the White Mountains, not far from our cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, NH. But the highlight for me was a weekend in Acadia National Park, Maine. Mountains, ocean, blue sky, sunsets, cricket serenades and a small tent anchored deep in the woods. We loved to swim together in the Maine lakes, but screamed with the cold, which was part of the fun. Yes, Anne was fun, a good companion, and eager to try new things.

Over the almost ten decades of our lives together, we played music, climbed mountains, fished, camped, went swimming morning, noon, and night, attended weddings, welcomed babies, raised children…It has been rich and it has never been dull. Nobody could have had a better sister with whom to share all of this. How lucky we were to have had each other for so many years.

Anne, I love you.

Anne, Cary and me with our mother, Grace Kepner Noble, on her 80th birthday.






  1. Jwalant

    I must say your family’s got the best genes.

  2. Heidi

    What a treasure to have had such sisters in your life! You are indeed blessed dear Meg! I love you to the moon and back!

  3. Susan Smith

    Dear Meg. Sisters are so special and you remember them forever. With special memories to treasure for always until you meet again. xx

  4. Awesome .

    Such an incredible family .

  5. Lu Ann

    May her memory be eternal. Sending love, from Luba too.

  6. Judy Wyman

    Lovely tribute ❤️❤️

  7. Rebecca Magill (the other middle sister)

    So wonderful to read about your experiences with mom. Heart warming! Love you Aunt Meg!

  8. I love you Meg! You had a good run together. So sorry for your loss.

  9. Tamara

    Oh Peg, what a wonderful post. You are so blessed with family. Great memories

  10. Nancy Quickstad

    What a beautiful tribute to your dear older sister, Anne. I think of you often and look forward to talking with you soon and getting together.

  11. Lee T Compton

    Thank you for sharing memories about your many years with Anne. You and your kids were blessed to have such a special sister and aunt! You will always be the Megster to me…… LOL, Lee

  12. Bill

    Wow! What a bunch of gals!

  13. anne

    thank you Meg!
    you are the best!!

  14. Doug

    Such a lovely reflection Meg. The smiles perfectly capture the joy of time together well spent! Also solidifies the the influence of DNA… 🙂

  15. Anna

    Beautiful, Meg..what a lovely life.❤️

  16. Martha Peterson

    Such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful sister – and my Aunt Anne – whom I dearly loved. She and Uncle Frank were always so welcoming of my children when they would visit in Peterborough. I’ll never forget their generosity. Ah, she was so lovely.

  17. Carolr

    What a beautiful family you had and such a terrific older sister. I want to hear more stories about your times together!

  18. Oh Megs. I have been blessed with your Anne and Cary stories – and those of your mom and dad – throughout our decades of friendship. I feel I know them through a vicarious sisterhood due to your sharing joyful anecdotes of your lives. Much love to you and your family, Lynn

  19. Barry Hamilton

    A beautiful tribute, Meg. I’m sure that the three of you were always a force to be reckoned with. My love to you and all the Noble clan.

  20. jerene

    Dearest Meg….how did I miss this post when it first came out? Well, never mind, I deeply savored your delicious memories and am grateful that you wrote and continue to write and share them. Treasures…each story rich with family heartiness. Keep ’em coming please. Greatfully, your neighbor on the hill above the grave yard.

  21. James Jay Wilson

    Your “specialness “ is genetic.

  22. Joyce Cornell

    Hi Meg,

    This post is beautiful and how wonderful for you to have these sisters. I love that your mother‘s last name was Noble. What a great name to have in your family. If I had known you back in your younger days, I would have been camping, swimming and fishing right along with you and your sisters. How great to have experienced New York back in those days. What a nice tribute to your sister Anne.

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