Let me tell you a little bit about my sister Terrie. (I have other sibs, too, but today’s blog is all about Terrie.)
Terrie is the oldest; I’m third, behind our brother. Growing up, my brother was my pal and partner in crime – we were two peas in a pod and played together morning, noon, and night. Terrie was in a different world – 6 years older than me, she was spending time with friends, not with us unless she had to! She was off to college about the time I entered middle school, when an older sister to help navigate the weirdness that adolescence brings would have been good, and we have lived in different states ever since.
But she is still my big sister, and has not once allowed that relationship to be anything but. Before I left for college, she bought me my first copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” from the Boston Women’s Health Collective, a groundbreaking and transformative book by and for women that was my “starter pack to adulthood” and gave me the language of feminism and women’s health and having a voice.
She queried and counseled me on college majors, boyfriend choices, and risks of drinking. She suggested I not hurry, but still celebrated with me when I married at 22. And then she gave me a nephew to adore, and a contemporary mother model to aspire to. We talked on the phone, a lot, and when I was driving for graduate school, I recorded tapes to send to her and her family. (I recently returned one old cassette to her that had her son singing a sweet song to me…) She planned family camping trips, and holiday get-togethers, even though we lived SO FAR AWAY from each other. We made it work.
The past ten years or more, we’ve traveled with our mom and younger sister on an annual Anderson Women’s GetAway, started the year after dad died, so as to not let mom be alone on that first anniversary without him. We had such a ball, we’ve gone someplace wonderful together every year since, and we have gotten to know each other better and loved each other more deeply.
Terrie arrived on May 1st to help me get the Kitchen to the finish line, and she stayed for three weeks! While away from her husband and home, she missed her blooming spring yard, a newly-installed kitchen floor, her husband and friends, and more, and I could not have accomplished everything without her! She listened to my “brain dump” of ideas, problems, half-done-things, still-to-start-things, worries, lists, projects – and easily and quickly organized our days and tasks. She made shopping lists, menu lists, recipe lists and more. She made nourishing meals for us. She painted and cleaned and tidied and organized some more. She created templates for streamlining future repeat events, like menus and recipes. She reminded me of things I forgot. She kept me laughing, and happy, and sane.
And we successfully passed our license to operate as a commercial kitchen.
Thanks to Terrie.
I love you, sweet sister.