It’s my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday today! I’ve always thought that she’d be the one to have around in the apocalypse–her skill set is vast and varied and covers everything from making rockets to growing medicinal herbs. She can grind wheat into flour, bake you bread with it, and probably set a bone if you needed it. My grandmother once said, “She’s a hard worker” and from a Midwestern farm woman, there is no greater praise.

She’s teaching her son all these skills but she’s also teaching him how to be a compassionate, rational human (like herself), and that’s wonderful to see. Being on vacation with them really gave me a chance to see her interact as a parent; watching someone you’ve known for a long time expand to fill the role of “Mom” is pretty incredible, especially since she’s doing such a good job with it.

She’s dry and funny and loves oddball stuff like I do, and is just so fun to be around. Happy birthday, Altair!