With all my talk of sisters, have you ever wondered if I have brothers? I do, I have brothers and city sisters and country sisters, but I almost always call on my city sisters when I need help. Here’s a rundown to help you keep things straight.

No.1 Sis is a city sister, that is, she lives here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. She’s 62, divorced, has 3 grown kids and 3 grandkids. She’ll become a great-grandmother in a couple of months. Bwahaha! No.1 great-granny. That cracks me up. She’s probably about the same level of handiness as I am. That means she’s game to try and she’s on the clumsy side. Between the two of us, something will get broken or someone will be hurt.

No.2 Sis is also a city sister and she lives closest to me. She’s 61, married, has 3 grown daughters and 12 grandkids. The oldest grandkid just graduated from college and the youngest just graduated from diapers. No.2 Sis is probably about the same level of handiness as I am, but unlike me, she reads directions and takes common-sense safety precautions. For example, she didn’t let me try to trim the hard poly-something ceiling medallion on my lap. She made me put it on the counter before working on it, no doubt saving me a trip to the ER. Isn’t the femoral artery in the thigh? Anyway, her direction reading and safety mindedness puts her far above me on the Handy Ma’am scale, and I call on her the most.

No.3 is a brother! He’s 60, divorced with 2 grown sons and about to be a grandpa for the first time. He lives here in the Twin Cities and  he’s quite handy. However, between his realtor work, his art play and his intense dating schedule, it’s hard to get his help. Plus I think he hires handymen for his own maintenance and improvement jobs nowadays, so why would he want to do my projects?

No.4 Sis is a country sister. She’s married, has 1 grown daughter and 2 grandkids. She’s a fantastic quilter and held my hand through the making of my 2 quilts. I know No.4 Sis and her husband renovated their 100 year old farmhouse together, so I assume she’s very handy. Either that, or she’s very good at letting her husband know what she wants. But, as I said, she’s a country sister and she lives about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities, so I usually don’t ask her for help with my non-quilt related projects.

No.5 Bro is 56, just 13 months older than me. He’s been married only 18 months, still a newlywed! He doesn’t have kids. He and his lovely wife live in Michigan. He went to college there and decided to stay. No.5’s the only sibling to move out of state. I haven’t assessed his handyman skills, but he’s too far away to help out anyway.

I, Laurel, am No. 6. I’m 55 and I’m single with no kids. I’m a city sister, and glad to be one. How do people live in the country? There’s so much…outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, I love nature…when viewed from the air-conditioned indoors, preferably from my easy chair.

This may be a good opportunity to mention that after 6 kids in 7 years, Mom started to go a little crazy. It may have also been about this time when she started questioning whether or not Catholicism was right for her. Moving on…

No.7 Sis is the other country sister. She’s 52 and has 2 grown kids. She’s the go-to Sis for all garden questions, as she’s a horticulturist and a master gardener. She’s also got great design sense and has a beautiful home. Otherwise, I think her husband takes care of the building of things. And, she’s about 90 miles west of the Twin Cities, so a bit far for hands-on help.

No. 8 Sis is the final city sister. She’s 49, for a couple  more weeks. She’s been engaged for about 13 years with no wedding being planned. She helped “The Mister” raise his 2 kids, who are both in college now. No.8 Sis is the Queen of Everything. She’s great for financial advice, design advice, cooking advice and travel advice. She has power tools to lend,  and she’s a Handy Ma’am of superb skill. And, if she can’t do it herself, she gets absolute perfection from her contractors of choice. I try never to ask her for unskilled labor, as that would be a waste of her many talents.

No. 9 Bro is the youngest at 47. He’s married with 2 little kids. He’s not handy. He’s rented all his life, so he hasn’t had to be. He lives here in the Twin Cities, but even if he was handy, he spends all his time with his young family, as he should. I do love hearing those kids call him “Papa”. It’s so cute!

So, now you understand why you hear so much about my sisters, especially my city sisters, on this blog. I’m close to them, geographically and emotionally, and they’re my support system extraordinaire. Power to the sisterhood!

Stay tuned…