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One story, regardless of how good or bad, begets another.  And to tell “the rest of the story”  — to borrow that well-worn but never boring signature phrase of fellow Oklahoman Paul Harvey — of what transpired in my living room after my dear sister’s and aunt’s arrival on Saturday is better accomplished with camera than word:

Isn’t order a beautiful thing? 

Two days later, the change is still hard to absorb, especially given how quick it happened.  One might think it’d take a good eight hour day to achieve these results, but instead, it was closer to two; all total, Auntie and Sis were here four, with half the time spent at lunch and shopping at one of Sis’s favorite home furnishing stores.  Of course, Sis didn’t buy a thing but both Jane and I walked out with arms full of purchases.

Sis’s decorating process is hard to describe; but I can report she’s not timid about it.  She begins with big bold changes, attacking trouble spots first; at the top of her list was what to do with the hulking French armoire my husband and I do-si-doed around the room, the night before I called her.  No small piece this, it could only fit in three spaces.  A quick scan of the room led to instant decision and minutes after she walked in the door — I kid you not — the problem child was put in its place, just a few feet down the wall, providing immediate balance to the overall room.  I didn’t even realize the south side was heavy until Sis balanced it with a few big shoves.

Sis made the rest look as easy:  she centered the couch on the fireplace, traded a sofa table with a blanket chest and sent two chairs north toward the dining room to balance the armoire.  Then there was an hour of fine tuning with accessories — Sis selected from candidates I produced, placing each carefully into the scene, like pieces on a chessboard.  Her objective was to make whatever she grouped look attractive from all angles.

Watching the makeover reminded me a little of that familiar scene in the movie Mary Poppins, where Julie Andrews restores order in the children’s nursery with quick snapping of  fingers while singing “A Spoonful of Sugar.”  Of course, Sis didn’t snap or sing but made her snap changes with good old fashion heavy lifting.

Yet, I don’t think Sis fully realizes what a gift she has and is.  What for me is easier “said” than done — for Sis —  is easier done than said.  Isn’t’ that the beauty of working with others — even leaning on others when need be — since we become more balanced by borrowing strength from another?

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