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.
On this day in the year 1937, Walt Disney’s animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was introduced to a delighted American public. My sister was one day old. I was born a year and a half later.
Yesterday I posted a poem about God whistling through the trees – and added some other whistlers to the post. Here’s one of my favorite tunes to whistle:
The drawings that created the animation for the movie were mostly done by Bill Peet. I met Bill Peet in the late 1960’s at a California Teachers’ Association Reading Conference. What a delightful man! Bill worked for Walt Disney as an artist most of his career. In his early 50’s, he retired from Walt Disney Studios and began publishing children’s picture books. This was one published in 1967, the year my daughter, DeAna, was born.
Have you ever heard of him? Are you familiar with any of his books? I think many of the more than 30 books he wrote and published for children are available today on Amazon Books… especially in the Used Books section. I don’t think any are still being printed. But, I should research that. His home page lets you see this creative author/illustrator: http://www.billpeet.net/
Many of my Bill Peet books were autographed. I bought them at the CTA conferences and had the author personalize them to me and put his signature on them. I have given most of those to my daughter-in-law, Monika, who home-schooled our four California grandchildren.
Looking at that list, I remember hearing Bill read to us “The Wingdingdilly.” I remember his infectious laugh. That”s such a cute story! Here are a couple of his books that I still have. All his books have a wonderful moral to them. Many of them are written in poetic rhyme. His wonderful sense of humor comes through, just as it did when he produced the drawings for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Another of Bill Peet’s books that I still have is Fly Homer, Fly – copyrighted in 1969, its pages’ edges are mouse chewed – don’t know how that happened – but not so bad it ate into any of the words! Homer is a simple farm pigeon who lives in an abandoned barn. Homer befriended a bedraggled sparrow who was blown by a storm into the barn. The adventures begin when Sparky, the Sparrow, convinced Homer to fly off to Mammoth City with him in search of Pigeon Park where every day was supposed to be a feast day.
And then on this day in 2020…
You just gotta try to find Fly Homer Fly… The pigeon & sparrow adventures reminded me of my youngest grandson, Chris, who arrived today in Colombia from Switzerland.
Yesterday Chris flew via Geneva – Madrid – Miami. And then he realized he had forgotten his American passport. He could not fly on from Miami to his next scheduled stop. So he had to go back to Geneva and have his brothers drive there from Sierre (a two-hour trip) to deliver his USA passport to him… and 52 hours later he finally got to his destination. Whew!! Can you imagine?? Might even beat Homer’s adventures!
I introduced you to our grandson, Chris, back in November of 2018 when he came to live with us for awhile and joined the Job Corps in Anaconda, Montana. Then COVID-19 hit and the government threatened to close the Job Corps centers that were run by the Forest Service. Anaconda was one of them. That was right about when Chrissy’s parents were here visiting. So, he decided to go back to Switzerland. He’s now studying to be a nurse. He met Natalia on-line… and I told you about their romance back in early 2019. Refresh your memory: https://janbeek.blog/2020/02/23/love-on-the-internet/
A Day to Remember
Our grandson will remember this day forever… and someday he will laugh about it with his grandkids, just the way his grandparents are enjoying the story today. It was a surprise to us that Chris made this trip! I hope you are enjoying the story, too… and like us, I hope you are saying a prayer for those crazy kids who choose to fly across the world in this COVID environment. Ah, love knows no barriers! God bless them!
And God bless us all. Bee safe this Christmas week, my friends. Do yourself a favor and go check out Bill Peet! See ya tomorrow. Keep your sense of humor alive. It’s vital!
I have told my WP friends this story before, but it was a while back… and since then, many of you are new to JanBeek, so it bears repeating:
My friend, Bob Jorgenson, born with Cerebral Palsy, was bright as a tack. His parents brought him every Sunday to church in his wheel chair. They sat mid-way up in the sanctuary with him. They stayed after church for fellowship. They helped people understand what Bob had to say – because Bob’s speech was compromised – but he had so much to say!
Homer and Ruth knew their son would not live a long life, but they packed ten life-times into Bob’s 35 years. They took him to Europe, to Disneyland, to Asia, to the Holy Land. They built a train track and a miniature train in a circle around their wooded property, and fixed up the engine so that Bob could run the train and give train rides to various groups of kids who came to experience the wonder of it.
When Bob was on his last breaths, lying helpless and speechless in his hospital bed, Homer sat with him. He had Bob’s favorite hymnal. As he turned the pages, Homer asked Bob to blink when he came to a song Bob wanted to hear.
Homer was singing “It is Well With My Soul” to his son when Bob breathed his last.
I never hear this song without welling up inside. My heart smiles.
My friends, Terry and Jim Groshong, are hiking in the area of the Tetons this week. It is such a gorgeous area. I need to share some of their photos with you.
Don’t these photos make you want to take a trip to Jackson Hole, WY, and on to the areas around? Terry and Jim did some hiking… You may want to plan on that, too.
Bob and I worked at the manse (church parsonage) today. He painted the area above the garage door where the paint was chipping due to years of snow and sun bearing down on it. I stayed with Bob while he did this project yesterday and today. Not a good idea for an 81 year old to be up on ladders and scaffolding. But, it had to be done.
While Bob painted, we had an audience:
With a little noise, she got up and spent about a half an hour munching on the lawn.
Meantime, Bob completed his job. The manse looks refreshed!
That was the gray base coat. I’ll show you the finished product tomorrow. Time to go now and listen to our Presidential Debate between Biden and Trump. I pray for honest exchange and civility.