It is Susan's birthday today. Susan is a psych nurse in a hospital ward which helps people from rural areas. She is a mother of three boys who have all completed school. Two are starting university and one is working. Her husband Michael is an aeroplane mechanic.

Susan is my sister, as is Linda. Both my sisters are golden and blue like a Summer day. My brother, Peter, is dark and wry. I am short grey and round, like a mushroom. We are all very different. Lindy and Andy are at home again after being evacuated during the Victorian bushfires. Susan is in Adelaide, near me. Peter and April are in Melbourne city.

We grew up on a farm with cattle, donkeys, chooks, ducks, dogs, cats and occasional sheep. Rolling down hills and making mysteries and battles between the olive trees and creek beds. Making up languages and hiding mischief.

Susan once made a 'rubber' chocolate cake which was very bouncy. She survived an epic bike prang and was stoic about blood noses. She went to Europe with Dad when we were younger to learn about music. She still plays violin and an interest in music is shared by the rest of her family.

Susan is a peace maker. Funny and gentle, but also clear in her thinking and goals; steady.
We have had great times making patchwork quilts with mum. We sent a butterfly quilt to Linda, and made a tangram quilt for the 2008 Linux Conference in Melbourne. Sue likes cottagey rose patterns and has a secret garden.

This year especially I am thankful that Susan is my sister, that I have the family I do.
Sometimes the mesh of family is more explicit than others, 2008 was one of those times for me.

Sassed I wish you every good fortune in 2009.

The E2 Connection, Again

My mother had an older brother from whom she hadn't heard since shortly after my birth, I think when their father (my maternal grandfather) died in 1963. It's funny that my father also had a brother who "disappeared" (we said that dad's brother "went off to join the circus"). Talk would occasionally come up at the dinner table of the two "lost uncles."

Yesterday I received an email from my cousin, daughter of mom's brother Leslie. Boy, was it a shock! Mom never bothered to tell me I had cousins from Leslie.

It turns out that this woman read Aunt Tootsie Dies, right here on ol' E2, and by doing a bit of detective work, found out that it was I who wrote the piece.

Everything2 is read by far more people than actually sign up for an account. This recent contact is just one of many contacts made or renewed because of my membership and contributions to this website.

Boy, the world is really getting much smaller!



It's president's day today in the US. One of the big icons being celebrated especially this time around is Abraham Lincoln with his 200th birthday last Thursday.

Four Score and seven years ago...

A lot has changed in 200 years, but one thing a local school district wants all students to remember, is Abraham Lincoln. They had involvement from the army, orchestra, contest winners from Abe-Essays, and even the infamous speech Lincoln gave.

"He's one of our most beloved president's, I think it's the fact that he embodies the American Ideals of democracy, unity, inclusion, charity, and those enduring ideals last, and that's why we're celebrating him," said Geoffry Thomas.

I asked a mother what leadership qualities Abraham Lincoln had that she hoped her son would have too?

Amy Leatham answered, "That maybe you have to go against the popular opinion, you might have to do something very difficult, even at great risk to yourself."

And that's exactly what Lincoln did, saving an almost divided nation, and making it united.

In another school a couple miles away, they made quite the creation.

A snow sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. It took them two days to bucket snow, piling it just right of their front door. They then hired a sculptor to come in and make it look precisely like the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

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