(The poem below was written on my flight back to CA after some 4: AM cuddles with my newborn grandson in Switzerland two and a half decades ago)
Two fellow bloggers wrote yesterday about their grandchildren – and how this pandemic has taken away their ability to visit and hug them. It reminded me of this poem I wrote 26 years ago… and how much I miss my hugs and cuddles with my grandkids (and the three great-grandchildren). I decided to repost my poem and give you an updated picture of my three Swiss grandsons.
Here’s Nicky, the 26 year old for whom “The 4 o’clock Cuddle” was written. I seemed to know even when he was a newborn that someday he would have a “bearded cheek!” Hah!
The Four O’Clock Cuddle
Recalling our precious time together, I wonder about Future four o’clock cuddles. Who will be there In a decade or three? Where will your bearded cheek Nuzzle in four decades?
Will your big, round eyes Remain innocent, And your heart remain pure, And with perfect trust, Will you find the world Always loves you As I do?
Wrap your fingers Around carefully chosen thumbs, My dear grandson. The world is yours, But here There will always be A four o’clock cuddle.
Nicky is in the middle of this adorable picture of my three Swiss grandsons today. Ah yes, a photo only a Grammy could call ADORABLE” … It’s a kiddie pool in the back of Nick’s new house that he’s sharing with two or three buddies in Switzerland. Here he is flanked by his brothers: Mike (28) and Chris (24)… Oh Lordy! I miss them!!
What kind of cuddles are you missing these days? Tell me about ’em!!
As the “Black Lives Matter” protests gain less and less news coverage and the reason for the demonstrations that are still happening become obscured in the face of violence, looting, burning of buildings, and disjointed opinions, let’s revisit the subject!
Black Lives Matter
A chilling thought flashed into Isaiah McKinnon’s mind the first time he watched the Minneapolis video seen around the world of George Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd could have been me,” the former Detroit police chief wrote at the start of a Free Press guest column.
McKinnon joined the Detroit city’s force in the summer of 1965, four years after graduating from Cass Tech High School and entering the Air Force. He served as chief from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor from 2014-16.
Isaiah ‘Ike’ McKinnon asked: “What were they willing to do to Black civilians?” (Photo: Facebook/2014)
A Personal Account
In Isaiah McKinnon’s vivid commentary, the 76-year-old retiree — still a Detroiter — recalled blatant racism when he entered law enforcement five and a half decades ago:
“As a rookie officer, I encountered overt and casual bigotry and routine denigration and brutality. Many white officers refused to ride alongside Black officers. Some made cardboard dividers in patrol cars — designating the ‘white’ section from the ‘colored.’ Others used Lysol to ‘disinfect’ seats where Black officers sat. Some of my white colleagues refused to speak with me during shifts, dared not eat near or with me, and frequently used the ‘N-word’ to describe me and the African American citizens they were sworn to protect.
Two years later, I felt the sting of betrayal as an officer during the 1967 rebellion. One night, after a grueling shift, two white DPD officers pulled me over. I was still in uniform, badge affixed to my chest, and a #2 pin on my collar, indicating that I worked in the 2nd Precinct. I identified myself as a fellow officer, thinking they would see me as an equal. Instead, one pointed his gun at me and said, ‘tonight you’re going to die, N….’ before discharging his weapon. I dove back into my vehicle and miraculously managed to escape. I realized then that not even our shared uniform could save me from their racism. And I wondered if they were willing to shoot and kill a Black police officer, what were they willing to do to Black civilians?
As a supervisor a few years later, I stopped a group of officers from beating three Black teens. I was finally in a position to hold them accountable for their excessive use of force. But my precinct commander yelled at me for attempting to ‘ruin the lives of those good officers.’
I witnessed this kind of complicity repeatedly. When other officers reported abuse, as they should, they were ostracized, transferred to lesser assignments and treated so poorly that many quit.”
McKinnon, known widely as “Ike,” wrapped up his account with a call for “a change at all levels.”
“Now is the time to get to the heart of the matter: There must be a major effort to fundamentally restructure police departments so that they actually do what they promise: serve and protect all people.“
Listen to the Ones Who Know
McKinnon knows what he’s talking about! He is credible. He has lived the scenes of discrimination and experienced the violence first-hand. “Ike” has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools.
Ike began his five decade career in public service as an officer with the Detroit Police Department in 1965. He held more than ten different positions in the department including patrol operations and various supervisory, administrative, command, and executive roles, before retiring as an Inspector to start his own security firm. In 1993, McKinnon returned to the Detroit Police Department to serve as Chief. Under his five years of leadership, hundreds of police officers were directed to go into city neighborhoods and introduce themselves to residents in an effort to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. In addition to shifting the focus of the department to community-driven policing, he advocated for and implemented training programs for officers responding to domestic violence.
What to Do Now
Let’s continue the leadership McKinnon demonstrated during his tenure with the Detroit Police Dept. Let’s make sure we engage across the USA in some of the practices that will help:
Send police officers into neighborhoods to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community
Shift the focus of the departments to community-driven policing
Continue funding our police departments as we train officers to respond in appropriate ways to various needs
Advocate for and implement training programs for officers responding to domestic violence
Hire officers who demonstrate compassion – and fire those who do not!
Oh, and do not forget about ME! I am part of the problem if I do not check my “White Privilege” at the door – and examine my own heart and actions. Am I guilty of prejudice unintentionally? If so, how? And what can I do about it in my own life??
No more needless deaths! No more hatred! No more discrimination!
Reach out in love Call Unity into Action. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!! Be the change you want to see in the world!
Sermon Notes August 9, 2020 Rev. Steve Hundley Jan’s poetic notes taken while listening to Steve’s message based on John 21:15-23
“A Side-Long Glance”
Jesus was with His disciples on shore. Peter thought Jesus didn’t believe him. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. The answer failed to relieve him.
Have you ever felt misunderstood? Ever had your sincerity questioned bare? Peter told Jesus, “You know I love You.” Jesus had asked him three times there.
Was Jesus expecting too much of Peter? Does He expect too much of us? A tithe is a tenth of what you make. The visible return’s not much to see – why fuss?
Well, Jesus expected even more than a tenth. “What about him?” Peter asked. Like Peter, we question others’ faith. We want Jesus to take ’em to task.
There has to be a difference between Faith and foolishness – so it’s not fair Those rich folks don’t seem to give – They don’t seem to do their share.
We cast a side-long glance across the aisle, And we ask, as Peter did, “What about them?” And Jesus answers us as He did Peter, “What is it to you?” From where does fairness stem?
Jesus says, “Feed My sheep -just love!” Your side-long glance has no place here. You do your fair share and don’t worry about What others do. Give, love, and have no fear.
No side-long glances allowed. Look ahead at the One who stands Before a hurting world and says, “Feed My sheep in all My lands.”
Just follow Jesus – And what will happen today? To tell the truth, I don’t know! Just do it anyway!!
After church today we had a barbecue. It was the kick-off of the fiscal year’s drive for finances to fund the Pastor Search Committee and to consider our pledges for the 2020-21 church budget. Jesus said, “Feed My sheep!” and these sheep were fed in grand style out on the church lawn.
After the church BBQ, we went to my friend, Sue’s. Her birthday is tomorrow. We needed to sing “Happy Birthday!” while we socially distanced. She and her husband are being really careful around this COVID-19 … especially with Montana’s case numbers rising. They are being kept really busy at their beautiful home. Just look at their gardens!
Sue and Jerry joined the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church on the same Sunday Bob & I did nearly 15 years ago. We have been fast friends ever since. The two of them built this gorgeous house themselves! Just this summer they added that deck outside their bedroom window on the right.
Here is the front of the house:
Yes, we are blessed. We live in the gorgeous Madison Valley. We have a terrific church, a wonderful pastor who gives great sermons, beautiful friends, and a picture-perfect setting with glorious August sunshine and enormous “BigSky” drama. Ah, my friends, life is good!
No need for side-long glances. Keep your eyes on your own blessings, your own giving, and your own business. No need focusing on what’s “not fair!” Remember while you’re counting your blessings to share your love with others with your whole heart!
Do have a fantastic week ahead.
Thanks for visiting and for sharing with me the sermon and our visit with Sue. Happy Birthday, Sue!!
This is the “chalet” where our daughter, DeAna, is spending this weekend with her friend, Kade. While they are enjoying the hot tub, lovely meals, and the fantastic scenery, Andre’ and his brother, Roger, are out on a motorcycle adventure.
Don’t forget to Dream Big! My friend, Terry, and I have been studying Bob Goff’s on-line Bible Study titled, “Dream Big” – and this is one of my dreams: To return to Switzerland To visit DeAna and her family and to rent a “chalet” like this one and have all kinds of friends come and stay with us.
Are you on? Dream Big!
Keep Unfulfilled Dreams Alive
Don’t forget to keep Unfulfilled Dreams alive and well in your heart. It makes tomorrow ENCHANTING!
This 12 minute video shows mainly city areas, but it gives you a great idea of the diversity of Switzerland’s landscape and architecture. (I hope you are not interrupted by Montana political ads like I was)
My Favorite Swiss Places
My favorite places to visit in Switzerland are not the cities… although Geneva and Lucerne, are indeed lovely spots. My daughter lives in Sierre, a much smaller city, and I love to go there in the Rhone River Valley, to that “sun city” because people are more important than places to me.
The “Swiss Weekend” pictures are from a little village outside Geneva. I want to go there! Also. De & Andre’ have purchased a restaurant in a village called Vissoie. It is up the mountain from Sierre. I want to go there!
What Are Your Favorite Spots?
After visiting the 10 top spots via that You.Tube video (if you had 12 minutes to view it), do you have a favorite spot you might want to visit in Switzerland?
Have you ever been to Switzerland before? If so, I know why you want to go back. If not, I know why you want to put it on your “Bucket List.”
We’re unreachable When we are unteachable. Let’s check our mindset.
Is our mind open To attentive mindfulness? Live expectantly?
Anticipate good? Humbly work for improvements In self and others?
Develop ideas – Hopeful and doable ones In a right spirit.
We close open doors When we are unteachable. Let’s check our mindset.
Keep your mind focused On the good that you can do. Let’s be teachable.
Let’s be reachable. Let us reach out to others With humble mindset.
Pray with me: “Lord, help us to develop a heavenly perspective to look at life’s trials and difficulties through the Truth and Hope of God’s Word. Peel away all barriers to Your wisdom, Lord, And make us teachable and reachable! Amen!”
Bee kind to yourself – You are a special person. You “moose” treat yourself with love.
Bee kind to yourself – Wrap yourself in perkiness. Smile in the mirror.
Bee kind to yourself – Find the most perfect head wrap. Wrap yourself in love.
There’s where I found those beautiful head wrap pictures. I may have to “Shop Now” to find that perky, beautiful fabric. Will you teach me to tie it that way? Will they make me a gorgeous as those lovely ladies?
Bee kind to yourself – Hug your sweetheart every day. Don’t let life skunk you!
Bee kind to yourself – And share your love with others. Reach out to loved ones.
With today’s virus, Social distancing’s a must. Don’t let it stop you!
Sharing’s essential – And loneliness is rampant. Kindness is two-way!
Share kindness with friends. ‘Cuz what you give blesses you. Imitate Jesus!
Kindness lifts others. Just as Jesus lifts you up, Imitate His love!
Be kind to yourself – Go find a beautiful spot, And share it today.
Julie and Lisa Shared with each other the view And walk in the park.
Beauty’s more lovely When shared with one another. Who might walk with you?
Or who might visit, Enjoy the flowers and porch? Reach out to someone.
Let your love brighten The life of those around you. Be kind to them, too.
Share your gorgeous views And notice how your love shines And kindness returns.
Love and prayers sending your way. Bee well … Bee Safe … Bee Kind!
What did you do to “Bee Kind” to yourself or others today? (Or what do you plan to do?) Live intentionally.
You can be a point of light. You can make the difference in someone else’s life.
Shine light into someone’s darkness. Be the “Someone” who helps another cross the street. Be the first person who really SEES someone!
My New Year’s Resolution for 2020 was to “Walk the Talk.” Little did I know on January 1, 2020 how many opportunities I would have to do just that!
You, too, have the chance every day to be the Point of Light for someone. You have the chance to be what God made you to be, “A Point of Light.” Someone is just waiting and listening… knowing you’ll be there.