I hate the two hour drive to the Columbus area down 71; I'd much rather run two hours than drive two hours, but my sister offered to take my two children, adding them to her tribe of three little girls, and entertain the whole bunch while I go back to Akron with 30 hours of kid-free time to do as I please. This is an offer I can't refuse. Also, I finally get to see my sister's palatial new home, custom designed and built by her young handsome CEO husband. I knew it was going to be gargantuan, since I've already seen it mid-construction, but I wasn't prepared for how totally beautiful this artfully constructed home was going to be.
I knew it was going to be beautiful; my sister doesn't do anything half assed. Let me briefly describe the little sister of Sensationally Red. We look alike, talk alike, have similar interests, likes and dislikes, but there are distinct differences. Imagine that you take all the essential ingredients making up Sensationally Red, but you replace the curly red tresses with artificially blond ones, and then you remove the following components; high strung emotionality, impatience, bad tempered moodiness, and the definite naughty streak. This would be my sister. She is like a deep blue placid lake compared to my choppy unpredictable Atlantic. She's the Stepford sister. She likes all the same things I do, only she usually does them better. My sister is even a runner. Boiled down to honest objectivity--I'd say she's the more attractive one, but I'm a hell of a lot more fun! Don't get me wrong here--I adore my sister, but every once in awhile she gets the green-eyed monster within me all stirred up. I'm normally not a jealous person; I enjoy surrounding myself with beautiful talented women and gleaning all the knowledge I can from them. It helps me deal with some of my more negative attributes.
OK, so I walk in the front door and I'm immediately taken with the rich terracotta color she painted the great-room. It's a color I'm very fond of...the whole main level was bathed in warm terracottas and rich browns. I walked into the kitchen and I know my mouth dropped open. I felt my salivary glands activate; I had to squelch a trail of drool ready to emit from my dumb-struck mouth. What better way to describe her kitchen. It was as though my sister had crawled into my brain, and sat in on one of my kitchen design fantasies, taking notes, and then had gone out and recreated my fantasy kitchen. There was absolutely nothing I disliked about her house. Shit...she just moved in two weeks ago, and it's already furnished and decorated down to the matching scented candles for each of the four bathrooms off each of the four bedrooms. Wow!
Now, I know my sister and her husband are very ambitious and have the placid personalities to deal with the extreme stress of designing and building your own home. Her husband was burning the candle at both ends to pull this off, my sister dealt with some major hassles transporting the kids back and forth from the temporary apartment they lived in. I recall some really strained conversations from her during the more heated phases of construction; had I been in her shoes, I would have had a nervous breakdown and divorced my husband.
She really is amazing and no wonder she can counsel juvenile sex offenders in her job as a counselor. It makes me mad sometimes how reserved, cool and collected she is. Sometimes I find myself getting snippy with her just to see if I can rile her up, but she doesn't and looks at me with her placid counselor eyes, just searching for the right diagnostic label to attach to her emotional sister. One time..during my all time worse temper tantrum involving my sister...I threw a glass of ice water in her face and she didn't flinch... merely walked away. I've been ashamed of this one vile act on my part for years. It happened when I wasn't in a very good place mentally, at a cross-roads in my life. I will never ever do anything like that again.
In fact, for all that she does better than me, I know she still looks up to me and admires me like she did when she was a little girl and I was the wild red-headed older sister, getting her in trouble with my parties, and other such teen aged non-sense. In hindsight, I feel like I was a real rotten influence on her, but she told me once, she doesn't see it like this at all; she thought I was the coolest.
And there is one thing I do better....I can kick her butt in a race--I'm faster and can run much farther. She got up to the half-marathon distance, proclaimed the after-math of pain not worth it, and hasn't done too much running lately. There is the "crazy" component to running and she just didn't get that particular gene.