Today is my sister’s birthday.  She and I had eleven years together before we were joined by our next sister who was 5 years old when she (and her mom) came to the family.  We are three years different in age.  As the oldest child I remember taunting her and I also remember sticking up for her.

She was very small and quiet as a child.  She had this really unique way of sitting.  She would sit on her calves with her butt a few inches from the floor.  For hours she would sit this way.  Try it – it hurts.  Perhaps this was the forerunner of her interest in exercise.  She has taught aerobics forever.  She was a runner and a biker.  Active always.  Even after knee surgery she walks all the time and still teaches exercise classes.

She knew that she wanted to be a beautician all her life.  I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  She is now, after retiring from years of running The Grand Design Beauty shop, a successful real estate agent.  She does not stop.  Her husband and son have also just bought a Sears franchise!  The energy bunny could have her name emblazoned on it’s chest.

On top of it all she is pretty inside and out.  She would give you the shirt off her back and if it was not the right size she will go find one that fits.  She has a heart as big as all outdoors.  When her grandson was diagnosed with cancer she hurt for him and turned her world upside down to help.  When she was diagnosed with cancer she would not let it keep her down and kept on working through the whole experience.  She is heroic!

She is and has ever been her own woman.  She marches to her own drum beat with her still 60’s white toe nail polish (which is popular again) to the most current style of dress.  She is classic.  Quietly barely making waves and succeeding in changing her world for the good daily in some way by calling someone or bringing cookies or goodies to a sick friend.

She said she would never leave home and did not.  She lives around the corner from where we grew up.  She and her high school sweetheart raised their children in the same place they grew up themselves.  Her life has been lived on her own terms as much as she could plan.  Her gardens are a reflection of that.

In the spring, as early as she possibly can in Maine weather, she begins to clean out the garden spots.  She plans what is going where and through the spring and summer plants and weeds and tends them all.  They are free flowing spots of color for the whole season.  Something is in bloom all spring/summer and fall all around her house in the ground or boxes.  Even in the winter when the gardens are fallow there is the anticipation of what will come next year.  The decorative stones/rocks are still there waiting to be surrounded by beauty and even strawberries to eat!

No longer do we have the big birthday parties as we did when we were children. My sister did have the first in home dance party for a birthday.  On her 50th she decided to have a “Crystal Ball” and asked for donations and raised over $3500 for a local child who was sick.  Didn’t I say she was full of energy and heroic?  Add generous to that!

I am grateful to be able to share the joy of her date of birth.  Today in words I celebrate the joy of Paula Joyce!  As usual my gift will be late.  This year I got her a bonsai tree to prune to her own grand design as she has carved out the life she wanted to live.  If she reads this she can now anticipate just what shape the tree will take under her loving care.  I am certain it will be unique and thrive as everything else in her life has, including her 3 children and 7 grandchildren, from her love.  I wonder if this blog can count as a card???

Have the bestest day and I love you Jo!


By ktsquared Posted in Family

5 comments on “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO

  1. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She also inspired her niece to be a hairdresser!!!

  2. You have said it all and more. What a wonderful tribute. I will have to say that the comments about her being shy and quiet as a child are true. However, we all do certainly change as we get older 🙂 :). Said with love!!

  3. Nicely written and it is much better than any card. Keep up the good work with the blog. Happy birthday Paula.

  4. This “is” better than a card, John!
    So overwhelmed that I don’t know what to say! Hollie called me to tell me to read your blog today. ( I usually read a bunch all at once ~ I’ll keep working on it!). Thank you for all the praise and only wish I could always be the person you described. Ilove you!
    Jo XOXO
    PS ~ I guess the shy quiet part has definitely changed! Love you, too, Bebky! XOXO

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