Last year, Chalupa and I were getting ready to move into our house, and I wanted to paint the living room. Painting a living room isn’t the most complicated home improvement task of all time, but I haven’t done very much painting and was nervous that I’d mess it up if I tried to do it myself. So I did the obvious thing: I called my Aunt Tammy.

She bought some supplies and came to the house one afternoon, and together with my Grandma, our good family friend Patti, and my sisters, we got the room painted in no time.

I didn’t just call her because she’s great at home improvement far more complicated than painting a room, but also because she’s the first person who offers to help someone when they need it. I can think of so many times that she has shown up to help one of us move or paint a room or clean out a garage. She patiently teaches us whatever it is we need to do, and when we screw up, she shrugs and says, “Eh, whatever, it’ll be fine. We can fix it.”

Some people are just generous–generous with their time and their kindness. That’s Tammy. Tackling projects with her is also fun because we can talk politics the whole time, supporting each other’s points of view with, “YEAH! You’re right! How can anyone think like that?” Whenever I want to know a teacher’s opinion on whether or not Indiana is still working to steadily screw over our education system, I know Tammy will tell it like it is.

We Boltzes are lucky to have Tammy as part of our family. Tomorrow is her birthday, and I’m posting this just a little bit early to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TAMMY!