I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.
Does hugging come naturally to you? If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality? Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning. His mom and dad were not huggy folks. Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.
Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me. He came that way… and I feel so blessed. Marrying someone who was stand-offish Would have been put me to a terrible test!
Doin’ what comes naturally Isn’t the same for you and me. I reach out and hug strangers – At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.
Bob and I are huggy people We showed our kids the joy of touch But not all children are so blessed Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.
When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina, Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age, We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.” Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!
Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote A message to me yesterday. I asked her if I could share it here. This is what she had to say:
I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar. Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together.
Well here’s my mini blog for the day.
We just don’t hug enough anymore. For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.
My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality.
I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled. Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”! I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.
That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”
Hugs may not come naturally to all of us. But it is something we can learn… and enjoy… and realize how important that intimacy is.
Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug. It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them. I wrote to him afterward and said, “Thank you for going to be with your parents and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs. We all need them.“
This morning he wrote back and said, “Oh! It was my pleasure! It’s been too long since I saw them, I needed to squeeze their booooooones. Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”
(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob… It’s one of his favorites.)
Whose bones do you need to squeeze today? Go do it! Go and make hugging one of those things that is “Doin’ what comes naturally!”
Thank you, blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. Hugs to you! See ya tomorrow.
If we don’t feel safe yet Traveling to places we want to go, Then let’s embrace virtual travel. Go with me to the most beautiful country: Switzerland!!
My daughter, DeAna, lives in this gorgeous country – I’ve shown you this picture recently of them in front of their restaurant:
De & Andre’ have three boys, Mike, Nick, and Chris. This week I received photos from Mike ( I think it was him who sent them) sharing a wonderful meal they all enjoyed at Mike and Tania’s apartment.
Natalia (Chris’ girlfriend) is in Colombia, so she was not able to be there in person. Thanks to ZOOM, however, she was in the room for an hour!! There is Nick with Celine:
(That’s Mike and Tania in the middle… And Chris with Natalia on the right)
I love the internet because it allows Long-distance grandparents To be part of their grandkids’ lives. Thank you, dear grandsons, for sharing with us!
Travel with me to other parts of Switzerland!
Doesn’t it make you want to go there? It really is picture postcard perfect everywhere you look!!
We forgive you, Andre’, for taking DeDe with you to this beautiful country. If there is some place in the world where we HAVE to travel because our family is there, we can think of no better place than Switzerland!!
Thanks for joining me, dear blogging friends. Sante’!! To your health!! Have a good night.
I could have called this “Embrace Maturity,” but that would have been pussyfooting around the issue. Not everyone matures as they age, but aging is not an option.
You do it or you die.
However, I embraced this meme when I saw it:
Aging is a privilege only given to the lucky ones, you know. So, yes, I will count this year … but at 81, I sometimes forget if it is 80 or 81 and if I try to get by with the lesser number, I have an 82 year old husband who is quick to remind me.
Hah! Can’t fool him… He keeps a check on me – – – but he’s not big on donuts. Darn!
My daughter (most of you have met her on this blog in the past – DeDe – lives in Switzerland) sent me this a little while back. She particularly liked it because one of Bob’s nicknames for me is “Rocky”
Most of you also know that I have a sanctuary where I spend the first hour most every morning… and in it I have three antique rockers. Ah, yes, it’s the perfect image of me!
But the chair that brings us mutual joy is the one we put in the back of our ATV and pull out when we stop for a break. The best way to embrace aging is to find a hobby that you can enjoy with someone you love.
For Bob and me, it is joining friends and going four-wheeling on these wonderful Rocky Mountain trails. .. stopping to fish the mountain lakes. Ah, that’s livin’!!
What hobbies make your aging process more enjoyable? One of our mutual hobbies (besides four-wheeling) is teaching Sunday School.
COVID got in the way of being able to meet each Sunday morning with these two darlings and one other… and then these two moved away. As they age, their mom sends us pictures.
Getting picture from family and friends is a great way to welcome the new day and look forward to the next time you can visit.
Aging is easier to embrace if you have dreams – something to look forward to, right?
We dream of next October – when COVID-19 will be controlled and it will be safe to travel to see our daughter, De, and her husband, Andre’ – and stay in one of the hotel rooms above the restaurant.
As we age, some of the benefits outweigh the struggles that come with aching joints and lowered energy levels.
One of them is, when your grandkids act up and get on your nerves, you can just send ’em back to their folks!
Couldn’t do that when you were younger and they were your own kids!
Gotta look for the perks in this aging process!
Another advantage of aging is that we have time to reminisce about the “Good Ole Days” and the songs we used to sing that these youngsters with their guitars and drums don’t seem to understand anymore.
And if those songs and the memories they bring aren’t enough to make you feel good about still being on this earth, try singing this one:
Another way to “Embrace Aging” is to relish the extra time you have to just find a good book, pour yourself a hot chocolate or a glass of wine, curl up in front of a warm fire, and spend some uninterrupted quality time.
When you were younger, that luxury was seldom yours, right?
Now, if you are a youngster (under retirement age) reading this blog, you are probably thinking that I am a dreamer. You’re right. I am! And each day I dream up all kinds of things to keep me exuberant about life.
Yesterday it was effervescence. The day before it was … oh, do I have to go back that far?
Nope! A trick to aging gracefully is to remain playful. Keep your hobbies, and make up ways to keep the sparkle alive. Take those boots that were left at the front door and get creative!
If you can’t get out because you’re snowed in – and you’re longing for sushi, but the nearest place is an hour away, send money to your kids and tell them to go out for sushi on you. But make sure they send you a picture… and drool all over the computer screen when they send it!
Ask your friends to send you a picture of the table they decorated for some recent holiday – and then marvel at their creativity as you sit down for the 10th night in a row at your kitchen counter… thanking God for your life, your food, your kids, and your kitchen counter.
A trick to embracing aging is to always remain thankful for your blessings… even if they aren’t at a yacht club!!
Embrace Aging by feeding your mind Hope, Truth and Love on a daily basis.
Don’t let your mind tell you you’re OLD. That’s a state of mind for the senile. It’s not for you!
Tell your mind that aging just adds to your story… and you’re not finished telling it yet!
Have fun, my friend. Make room for sunsets.
Look forward to sunrises.
And believe in miracles… Because you are one!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow.
Let’s embrace blooming – Both the blooming of flowers As well as ideas.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of plants and ideas As well as people.
Let’s embrace blooming – Blooming of people today; The world needs blossoms!
One is fully bloomed – One is on its way to bloom – A couple are curled.
To fully open, We must face toward the Son Light. Do not turn away!
Blossoms need sunlight. We need the light of the Son In order to bloom.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”
Your soul will sparkle; It will bloom and grow in love If you walk humbly.
As long as Christ leads We can make it all the way; We can bloom and thrive.
Let your blossoms dance! Follow in obedience. Let your spirit shine.
Your smile’s contagious When you blossom from inside. Let’s Embrace Blooming!
Your blogging sparkles And your face reflects the Son. You’re brilliant and bright!
Fertilize others With words of encouragement. Continue to bloom!
My heart bubbles over with gratitude for God’s Bright and Brilliant Light. May it continue to bubble over in our hearts and lives. “Open up your heart and let the sunshine in!” Listen to the sunny song below – It’s a favorite from my childhood.
Do you ever wonder what’s real and what’s not? Do you wonder what’s truth and what’s fiction? Do you wonder why certain things happen? Do you wonder what tomorrow will bring?
What if you grew up with a dad Who was a Special Effects Artist? What would the world seem like To you if this was your daily reality?
Ever wonder what life would be like If you had not met the person who Is front and center in your life now? Who would be with you instead?
Ever wonder how God created The beauty of a rainbow or sunset? The colors of the variety of birds? Or every zebra’s stripes unique?
Ever wonder how He could make Each snowflake different? Each eye unique – unlike any other? Each voice to sound like no other?
Did you ever wonder if our eyes grow over our lifetime? When we’re born, our eyes are about two-thirds smaller than they’ll be when we reach adulthood. People’s eyes stop growing in length by the age of 20-21, when they reach about 24 millimeters. But the weight of the eyes’ lenses continue to increase over time. Isn’t that a wonder?
Ever wonder how I knew that? Used to be we had a huge set of encyclopedia that we bought from a door-to-door salesman. Encyclopedia Britannica. Outdated by the time it was published. Ask Siri today. Ask Alexa. Carry your encyclopedia in your pocket. Ever wonder how our kids could survive without their cell phones?… And about those voices:
Ever wonder what life would be like If the only thing we bothered to talk about Was the good that we see in others? This is a poem my mom had memorized:
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say “I know something good about you,” And then treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp warm and true Carried with it this assurance, “I know something good about you”?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me! I know something good about you.
(Louis C. Shimon)
Mom posted that poem along with many others on a cardboard that she had hanging inside her kitchen cabinet door. She gathered the poems as a new bride in 1937. They were cut from the weekly newspaper. I have that cardboard posted inside my kitchen cabinet door here in Montana. It’s fading fast and becoming harder and harder to read… but I have most of them memorized now, too!
Ever wonder what your life would be like If you were born to a different mother? You wouldn’t be you, would you? What if your mother had different attributes?
My mother loved poetry (obviously) – And so that love of words well spoken Rubbed off on me – and I wonder What would life be like without poetry?
“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
Wisdom is not relegated to the aged. Daniel was a boy of 17 when he was chosen. You are chosen today to tap into The wisdom God has for you!
“Walk with the wise and become wise.”
God gives us true friends Who are wise and wonderful. They are His gifts to us To help us EMBRACE WISDOM
He has chosen friends for us Who are wise and full of grace. They walk into our hearts And leave their footprints all over it!
In today’s Daily Guideposts, Ginger Rue wrote, “…you become like the five people you spend the most time with.” She told a story about how her husband, “Sweet Dwight,” is a person she wishes to emulate. “I hope someday to have a heart like my husband’s: wise, and full of grace… and always looking for the best in people.”
Who is a star in your life, an example of wisdom and grace? Are the five people you spend the most time with people whose lives you wish to emulate? Can you name them?
How do you define adversity? It is symbolized by tough times. It is exhibited by disagreements. It represents challenges.
How do we deal with adversity? Why should we embrace it? Misfortune means misery, right? Calamity and distress are its partners.
But the Bible says, “The Lord is A stronghold in times of trouble.” The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed. “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10b)
So let us embrace adversity By understanding it is a vehicle That strengthens us just as fire Tempers steel and hardens it.
We are called to share each other’s burdens. That is one of the purposes of church: Congregations are called to care for, Encourage, empathize, and strengthen one another.
“The church is a network of shoulders Supporting the collective weight Of everyone’s troubles, lifting burdens, Helping others find rest for their weary hearts.” (Charles Stanley, In Touch Ministries)
God often uses hard times to get our attention. When things are going great, we are not so quick to turn to Him. But trials drive us to our knees for answers and comfort.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
The adversity that I faced recently was the death of my “favorite student,” Ty Stiles. The picture above could easily have been him. His early death was “misfortune” to the highest degree! I have told you about him in several recent blogs. Yesterday was his Memorial Service at Monte Vista Chapel, his home church in Turlock, CA. I was blessed to be able to attend it virtually because the church recorded it on a YouTube broadcast.
How do we face the “misfortune” of such a loss? Only by our faith! Only by knowing God keeps His promises and Ty has gone to Heaven. We will go there some day, too. We will all be reunited. In the meantime, adversity turns to adventure. We are invited to live our lives with thankfulness for the privilege of knowing one another. We are asked to change our perspective from “I can’t handle this,” to “”I can’t handle this on my own, but I can with Jesus’ help.”
Let the adventure of today’s challenges bring strength when we feel weak, safety when we feel danger, comfort when we feel distress. Let us be the ones who stand tall and say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Be ever ready to leap for joy and with your song, ever praise the Lord who is our strength.
Pray for his comfort and strength, rather than praying that he’d simply remove difficulties. Embrace Adversity. Be the shoulder others lean on. God will bless you!