Friday, November 12, 2010

Gratitude Challenge ~ Day 12

Today I am grateful for my sister.   She's two years younger than I am.  We shared a bedroom until I was about 12 years old.   If you ever really want to get to know a person, confine yourself to close quarters with them for a decade or so.  :)

We grew up at a time when we were sent outside to play all day.  We all had bikes, some sports equipment,  a jumprope, we could scratch a hopscotch into the dirt, but we mostly had our imaginations, and lots of acres to explore.   So, we came up with a lot of strange and interesting ways to pass the days away.  We have some stories that will still leave us both on the floor crying from laughing so hard when we retell them.  Like the time I rode her down a huge hill in the middle of an apple orchard on my bike handlebars.  (It was all well and good until I lost control of the bike.)

She has always been a perfectionist.  She would come home from school with big piles of books and study all night.  She played oboe, but she didn't just play.  She was first chair.  She made her own reeds, she practiced for hours and took private lessons from a the best teacher in the area.  She was the captain of the BOYS swim team. (and kicked butt, too!)   This was a very nice compliment to my laid back attitude about things.

She has turned into a really cool grown up.  She has an awesome sense of empathy.  She feels very deeply, especially for people's pain or suffering.  She always wants to help.  When I was diagnosed with lupus, she arranged for me to have testing done with her nutritionist so I could optimize my health.   She's helped me do a lot of the heavy lifting I can't manage anymore.  She is also quite transparent.  Anything she is feeling comes out like a geyser.  (okay, so that's not always a good thing, but it's better than trying to guess how people feel)    She's a great friend.  We can talk about almost anything, and we have each other's back.  All we need is one look, and we know exactly what the other one is thinking or feeling.

She's a great aunt to my boys, too.  She totally gets them.  She doesn't try to fix them, or make them do things they don't want to.  She just lets them be themselves, and loves them, quirks and all.

Still a perfectionist.  She has a pretty little house that's  just right for her and a nice career as a librarian.  Libraries suit her.. everything is in order.   She is the person to go to if something needs to be done right.  When she first learned about the problem with bees leaving their nests, she did some research and started a hive in her back yard.  She set up a website which makes a little bit of money to help local beekeepers.  Then she started setting up other people with hives.  She was diagnosed with celiac -sprue before the world caught on to the gluten free movement.  She learned what she needed to do, and set to work making a gluten free home.  She has several children's books that have been published.    She DOES things.

She is also an excellent mother.  She helps her daughter, who is a very talented artist, find and pursue the avenues to make the most of her gifts, but also makes sure that she is well adjusted and takes time away from the art to do teenager things.   Right now they are down in Florida visiting Mickey Mouse.

I really do love my sister.   I didn't realize it when we were younger (it's kind of hard to see clearly through teenage drama and angst) but she really is the best girlfriend I've ever had.

The gratitude challenge is being hosted by Brenda at Garden of Learning.  Click over to join in, or to read.