Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Sibling to Brag On

While I'm in the mode of bragging on my sibs, let me introduce you to my other sister, who shall be known for purposes of this post as Suzy Q. She never lets me call her that in person, but since she's like a gazillion miles away in Massachusetts, I can get away with it here. And since I'm about to say some really nice things about her, I'm hoping the screen name won't bug her too badly.

Suzy Q is one of the smartest, thriftiest, handiest, and most industrious women I know. She is the mother of 4 huge Norwegian giant boys (Shout out to da' boys!!), and the wife of a huge Norwegian giant man-boy (love ya, K!). She is also a pastor's wife and works part-time and goes to school part-time. And when she's not wearing one of those many hats, she's busy creating a beautiful haven in their newly remodeled New England bungalow home. She gardens like my grandmother, cooks and sews like my mother, bakes like Betty Crocker, quilts like the Amish, and runs her home better than Martha Stewart.

I love going to visit her home, because every time I'm there, I have this incredible feeling of being transported back to my grandmother's home in NY. Not necessarily because of any similarities in the structures of the houses, but because Suzy Q has carved out a home that is warm, inviting, quaint and old-fashioned. I mean quaint and old-fashioned the GOOD way. See, Suzy Q doesn't do things the pre-packaged, quick or easy way. In fact, I don't think I've ever even seen a cake or brownie mix in her pantry. And CERTAINLY never have I seen a store-bought pie crust! She believes in doing things from scratch.

And when she does things from scratch, there is an inordinate amount of love and care poured into her end product. She plans for the time to make cookies from Mom's recipe book, plans for the time to create family favorites to share over the table, and she plans to invest herself while she is doing it. Often when I call she is also planning meals for a family in the church who is struggling, or making a big double batch of something to freeze for use another time. And if you peek at the calendar on her fridge, she has meals planned for her family for the entire month. She watches over her family finances with such diligence and care that she often knows exactly how much her meals cost her per serving. In her planning, she exhibits the love she carries for the people she's serving.

Not only has she carved out an atmosphere of "home," she also physically designed the whole upper floor of her home. Several years ago, they sold their adorable little rancher and found their bungalow-style home. It had great bones, and was chock full of potential. That's another great thing about Suzy Q - she can see potential in a bare bones circumstance. So anyway, they utilized their little math brains (both my sister and her hubby were math majors and he currently teaches math in their church's high school) and got ready to remodel. My sister created plans for 4 spacious rooms and two beautiful bathrooms out of a big empty attic space with dormers. She figured out a way to utilize every spare inch of space, and the result has been amazing to see unfold. Her boys have a huge closet that serves as a play room and extra space for cousins to sleep, and the bathroom in the master bedroom is so luxurious and inviting, I almost never want to leave that shower. I've seen the "before" pictures, and the transformation has been amazing.

I admire Suzy Q. I admire her ingenuity, her smarts, and her diligence. She is a strong, courageous, and deep woman. I also happen to think that her clear, green eyes and red hair are beautiful. We haven't always had the easiest of relationships: I was very immature and selfish for many years. But I have ALWAYS admired her. And when I read Proverbs 31, and I visualize that woman in the marketplace making deals and selling wares and creating a beautiful life for her family, that woman often has Suzy Q's face.


Classic MaMa said...

Sounds like Suzy Q should have her own "home" magazine.
Isn't it wonderful to know amazing people?

esomara said...

Amen to that! I am here in MA with the whole family (and my wife and daughter (who goes everywhere mommy goes right now due to the in utero sitz im leben)) and have already seen fresh reminders of the grace of her care for her family (even extended as she pointed one in need back to the gospel on the phone last night) and all after having cooked a wonderful meal (Indian and naan) and cleaning a house...Praise God for her gifts and how she blesses us with them...may I be more like her!

shaggy said...

Ha! Suzy Q would flip if you called her that to her face. Let's hope her internet is down! (she knows where you live)