How I met her | What does SHIWO stand for | Conclusion

After 45 years in NJ I'm on my way home (Davis, California where 5 generations of my family lived).
I'd wanted to share a little insight with some mutual friends about SHIWO, my best friend and adopted kid sister.
It will serve as notes for a couple of chapters in my memoirs.

SHIWO was a private nickname until it got outed last year.

How I meet SHIWO:
SHIWO and I first got acquainted when we were in the same small group at a Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church disciple class about 15 years ago.
In 2012 she had a serious heart operation. She didn't live far away and she was very attractive with a charming personality, so I offered to help her out during her recovery πŸ˜‰ .
She returned the favor when I got my stent.
We trained together for three half marathons.
We helped each other out on a variety of home projects.
We got along and since I didn't have a sister and she didn't have a brother we decided to adopt each other as brother and sister.

What does SHIWO stand for?
Smart/Sexy/Sporty/Sensitive/Sincere/Spiritual …, Handy, Iron WOman. The O in woman was included so you could pronounce it, "She Whoa!"

S - Started out as a single word but evolved to the list above.
These are obvious to people who know her, however I have to expand on "Smart"
After working with her on a variety of projects around our houses and sharing some joys and concerns in our lives I've learned that smart is not just some encyclopedic knowledge of a bunch of facts, but includes super analytical skills, ingenuity and practicality in a variety of areas from home projects to relationships. Wise may be a better word. A contrast to people my age where stodgy inflexibility starts to overtake wisdom.
She has a MS in Computer Science from The Stevens Institute of Technology, and worked at Bell Laboratories.

Handy - The only woman I know who will crawl under her sink with a pipe wrench and finish the plumbing job when her helper gets a sore back.
Yep, I'm a sexist. Women can make just as good plumbers as men, but in my limited experience most would prefer to patronize men by letting them show off their prowess with tools. πŸ˜€
She gets hi [sic] on a ladder to fix woodpecker damage.
She also does electrical work and other handy woman jobs.
She frequently frequently embarrasses me with better ways to solve household problems than I came up with. She could have been any kind of engineer instead of a computer software engineer where she ended up.

If I was marooned on a deserted island, she is the one person I'd like to have with me; Not just because she's sexy. πŸ˜ƒ

Iron WOman
I decided to start rating her exploits on a scale from 1-5. I am only listing threes and above.

Cajoles her running partner into going out at 10:30 PM to run/walk 4 miles in the ice and snow, so we won’t get off our training schedule.

src="../images/gold-star.gif"> In 2015 SHIWO, her daughter and sister finished the Savannah half marathon with above average temperatures and 99% humidity, putting conditions in the red zone on the "Heat Stress Danger chart". One runner died.

In the 2016 Philadelphia Half Marathon she wanted to beat Jean, but Jean had pulled ahead out of sight at the halfway point. At the 12 mile mark SHIWO thought she saw Jean's pink sox way up ahead and with a little over a mile to go, SHIWO pored on the steam and caught Jean at the finish. Did I mention competitive?
Speaking of competitive, don't ever bet on ever beating her at cornhole.

2016 was a year that would have driven most people to their wit's end. SHIWO was hit with the loss of her job and a series of family catastrophes, that were particularly upsetting because of the closeness of her family. She maintained a stiff upper lip throughout and was pilar of strength for her kids, demonstrating an emotional strength and fortitude matching her physical tenacity.

She drove a truck full of furnature from the sister she had recently lost straight thru, 450 miles, from North Carolina to New Jersey at night, competing with 18-wheelers which take over the interstates then. She arrived after midnight completely spent mentally and physically and needed to go to the ER.

After a record snow fall, over 2 feet, in 2016 she decided to clear her 185 foot driveway by hand with the help of her son and a friend. I calculated the weight of the snow moved from the water content and area cleared was 13 tons.

She cleared the leaves from her yard with a dozen or more large trees by herself this Fall.
This would have been a 4-star effort for most people, but the bar is set higher for SHIWO.

At the end of a 6 mile hike up a mountain (we call them hills in Califoria) and across bolder patches in Norvin Green State Forest we were all pooped but SHIWO was in a hurry to get home or the first pub we could find or just get away from some big snakes we saw. She took off like a gazelle, leaping big bolders in a single bound leaving us in the dust.

Cleared snow from her 185 ft. driveway again in 2018, this time without help in 5-10° temperatures with 45 MPH wind gusts driving the wind chill to -10 to -20. Finishing late at night. Even though there was less snow, she get's an extra star for tackling the job alone in blizard conditions. One thing we've discovered is having some company on a project makes things easier.

Lest you think this is encouraging reckless behavior let me remind you that "Smart" is the first word in SHIWO. I have seen her back down when she gets too close to the edge. Or maybe she's afraid she's pushing her old helper too close to his edge. πŸ˜ƒ

She is also an Iron Willed Woman - Resolute when she decides on a course of action.
Her perfectionist qualities are evident in all she does.

One of her friends offered "Super Hot and Intelligent WOman" as what SHIWO stands for, so that has become an alias.

This is only a definition of the acronym; SHIWO has many other attributes to numerous to list.
I've started an alphabet list of traits.

You-all already knew she was an impressive person, but I just had to add my two bits.

(Some images below are clickable to enlarge)


Well I can't resist adding a few individual thoughts.
Just being a single mom requires an iron woman. Her kids may not have thought she was the perfect mom while growing up (I don't know of any teenage kids who thought their parents were perfect), but I've had the privilege of getting to know both her daughter and son and can see the love they have for her and the exemplary character traits she's instilled in them.
I've also seen her struggle with letting them go now that they are young adults, but she has found her adopted big brother still needs some mothering. πŸ˜€

Despite all of her SHIWO exploits, raising two outstanding and talented young adults is the thing she's most, deservedly, proud of.
As I was writing this Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Teach your Children" played on my Spotify. (See Meanings".)