This beautiful woman, is my big sister, Jean.
We are seven years apart in age.
By the time I was 10, she had moved out of the house. By the time I was 15, and self absorbed, she had moved to California.
That age difference and distance was enormous until we grew up and I had the surly teenager you see sitting next to her. :)
She became the aunt that they make TV shows about. The aunt that we all dream of, but few of us get. The aunt that lets you eat chips for breakfast. The aunt that encourages jumping on the bed. The aunt that holds you upside down so you can walk on the ceiling. The aunt that plays with play dough and listens to up-to-date music. The aunt that is encouraging and listens. The aunt that texts you with a "I was thinking of you. I remember this thing about you....". The aunt that takes you zip-lining even though she's not too excited about heights. The aunt that comes to every single soccer game--not because she likes soccer, but because she gets enthusiastic kisses and hugs from her favorite player. The list could take all day.
I guess you could say, she's a pretty darn good sister and aunt.
Like all of us, she's much, much more than that.
Also, like all of us, she's held many jobs in her life.
In my mind, she's an artist at heart. Many of her jobs have required that creativity and vision that only an artist has.
She can build a deck, but she also build furniture out of reclaimed wood. She can put in tile and a faucet in my kitchen, but she also creates beautiful mosaics. She can paint a whole house, inside and out, but she can put her heart on canvas. Whatever she does, she puts her whole self into it. It is ever-lasting and beautiful.
Her latest creative outlet couples her love of all things artistic with her interest in the environment. She is making accessories out of recycled inner tubes and bicycle parts. Belts, handbags, satchels, you name it--she can make it. What's cool to people like me, who have very sensitive noses, is that none of her work smells like rubber.
Right now, she's set up shop in friend's spare bedroom and working on a logo for "Who's Your Rubber Mother". I think Austin is right city for her product. We're a city that prides itself on thinking outside the box, being 'green' and exercise (like bicycling!).
What's even better, she can be here for us to play with and celebrate holidays with. Hey isn't about time for Sister's Day? If you have a great sister like mine, you might want to look into it. Hallmark doesn't know about it yet. Jean has dibs on its creation.
Love you, Jean.