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Sister Act of Kindness

For years I’ve been the daughter who organizes the closets, garages and kitchen cabinets of my sisters, performing organizing feats of genius, leaving them ecstatic with their newly systemized space. This past weekend I got a taste of my own medicine. How sweet it was.

Late Thursday my sister Jackie, the middle sister, showed up sans her two adorable children. It was the first time in ten years we had time alone. We had lots to catch up on and the conversation continued way past our bedtime, as though we were four and eight again, talking into the night until sleep took over.

Friday morning, after a six-mile walk, which included errands and buying (not enough) paint (as we had to go back two more times), Jackie got to work “cutting” my kitchen/living room while I worked in the bedroom. It took Jackie close to five hours to cut the entire room since there were so many

nooks and crannies, including reaching over cabinets and around windows. While she showered, I cooked dinner and then took her to see the off-Broadway musical “F#%king Up Everything.” (Off-putting title, great show). We got home after 10PM and as I changed into pajamas, Jackie said, “I’m going to roll the room” and changed into paint clothes.

I woke Saturday and tiptoed into the kitchen/living room just as the morning sun was bursting through the window. I immediately felt like I’d walked into a hug. The color of the room was exactly as I’d hoped. When choosing from hundreds of colors and finishes, the process can be intimidating. As I made myself a hot chai and sat down at my island and looked at Benjamin Moore’s Mount Rushmore on all four walls, a smile eased onto my face. I made the right choice; the kitchen was perfect.

An hour later Jackie stumbled in, hair askew, looking as she did a million years ago when we were little. “So?” she said, heading for the coffee maker.

“Amazing. Simply amazing,” I said.

I once read that siblings take various pieces of a “skills” pie. One child may be athletic, one academic, one organized, one messy. In our family, of the three girls, I own the organized slice hands down and always shared it by helping in their homes. Now Jackie has found her own slice, Painter Extraordinaire. And despite all the times I tricked her out of candy at Halloween or made her go to bed early when I babysat, I’m lucky she’s not the type to hold a grudge. I may want to repaint my bedroom.

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