Since we’ve gone “contactless” because of COVID, I want to touch now. That’s what happens when you tell me “no”.

I’m a hugger and I know that makes non-huggers cringe, but you just might want a hug after the COVID hibernation. When we get the go ahead to touch random people again I am going to shriek and run toward anyone I see and hug them!

Get ready.

If you see me running toward you, you only have nanoseconds to decide on “fight or flight” because if I catch you, I’m hugging you. And shrieking.

And I am going to wear lipstick when I hug you because no one has been able to see my pink lipstick that I have loved for decades because you cannot see my lips behind my mask.

And as long as we’re sharing, I am most definitely going to go in and out of the store aisles both ways numerous times.

Ahhh…the good old days.

The things we love.

February is the Love month because of Valentine’s Day. We all have differing opinions on that holiday and that’s what makes us all so special. My opinion changes each year because I go with the flow and the season of life that I am in. This year, I am feeling full of love, lots of love, overflowing love. That’s why you should run if you don’t like hugs.

I have decided that this year, I want to celebrate the whole month feeling the love for anything that I can feel the love for. People, places and things. Verbs too.

And myself.

Traditionally for me, February is my winter month to chill and veg out a bit from my busy season in life. January is full of family celebrations right through the end as well as cleaning up from the holidays. So, February has a happy note to it for me in the sense of lightening my load for a bit.

For some reason, the usual colors of Valentine’s Day, red, pink and white, have a meaning to me this year. Red is for love, all love, not necessarily just romantic love. Pink is for kindness (and hugs). White is for grace, the kind of love and kindness we show ourselves and the people around us that allows for our imperfections. Giving grace assumes we’re all trying our best. Giving grace means cutting ourselves, and the people around us, some slack on the days when we are not all doing our best because we’re still good in spite of our mistakes, cranky moments and poor choices. Grace is the kind of love that allows for do-overs.

Catching up on my love letters (The color red)

I have tried to write love letters to my kids every year and I keep them in their “treasure boxes”, a container that holds their momentos through the years. The plan is to give them to them at some older age (which I have not defined yet) so they could read about my love for them all along. I have not always kept up yearly, and I think I may be behind about two years now, so it’s a good time to let them know my loving thoughts.

I also have a couple of gal peeps that we tend to catch up through the written letter versus other avenues. I am long overdue there, as well, and need to send them a letter. Nothing like sitting down with a long letter that came in the mail to hear about someone’s world.

Paying it forward (The color pink)

There are many ways to pay it forward and showing kindness when the opportunity arises is a great way. You never know what kind of a day someone is having and my small act takes nothing from me and may give someone the love they need in that moment.

During COVID, the kids and I have enjoyed paying it forward at the drive through. It started when someone paid for one of our rather large drive through meals and my kids were surprised and delighted. So, we in turn paid for the next order. It was a dollar. So, I said we’d pay for the one after that. It was about three dollars. So, I said we’d pay for the one after that. It wasn’t much more. At that point, holding up the line was going to negate our good efforts so we left it at that and decided we would make an effort to pay for other people’s orders more often. It’s a treat that we enjoy and I love to hear the conversation between my kids about the reactions of the people in the car behind us.

Love to me, myself and I (The color white. And red. And pink. I could use all of the colors!)

I’m not always good at letting myself slack off unless I really need a rest. But this is a great month to do just that. The gift of grace since the to-do list is ever-present so I don’t have to worry about losing it. I can take advantage of sitting in a sunbeam when I am supposed to be doing something else. I can treat myself to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup as an impulse buy at the counter. And then eat it right away in the car.

February is for fun. February is for frolicking. I can fritter away in February because it is a short winter month and is followed by a long winter month. I don’t feel bad frittering in February. March is a different story. March is a long month, and some years it is a very long month, and if I fritter in March, I feel like I have wasted about two thirds of the year. Plus, April comes next, which in my mind means spring and spring means I don’t have much time left to do what I was supposed to do over the winter months that I slacked off on. Frittering in March is bad.

Exercise is love, kindness and grace to myself. I love walking and even though it is way more fun to walk in nice weather, I like my winter walks too. Some days are tough and I want to weenie out, but I’ve been a walker for so many years now that it really is one of my fave things to do.

A windy day can be brutal but I was facing a few days of not walking as a snow storm was approaching, so I piled on the winter clothes and soldiered on. It’s more than exercise, it’s mental kindness. I love and need to be out in nature. I wear my distance driving glasses walking when it is windy, and too cloudy for sunglasses, to keep the wind out of my eyes. They tear up and drip and that drives me nuts. Because of my fluffy face wrap thingy, one lens was constantly fogged up from my breathing. I considered my options and opted to keep breathing and just deal with a foggy lens. A bit of a winter pirate, arghhhhh.

The love for others (and pancakes…def the color red)

I love Eugene. He doesn’t know I exist but he needs a love letter. Our lives are infinitely better because of Eugene. For years I have tried homemade pancake recipes and each one fell flat. (Get it? It’s a pancake and pancakes are flat!) Seriously, though, I could not find one that delivered fluffy pancakes and had fallen into homemade pancake despair. When COVID first hit our world and I was out of food that my picky kids would eat, ’twas the night before our first grocery order pickup. I decided to try, once again, to find a homemade pancake recipe and the Good Lord led me to Eugene and his online pancake recipe.

(Most recently, PB and chocolate chips, ya know, like a Reese’s.) The angels sang that night and since then, the excitement that rings through our house when it is homemade pancake time is paralelled by no other.

The love for cracking myself up (The color red, of course)

I’m not ashamed to tell ya that I think I’m funny. There’s no wit like your own wit. When I was trying to think of the image I wanted to use for the main pic on this post, I wanted some kind of a hug. Not a real serious hug, a silly hug. I thought about using a Barbie. But then I remembered the “self hug” that one of my classmates used to do in high school that always cracked me up. The one where you can trick people that you’re kissing and hugging someone but it’s really just you, yourself and you. Well, after all these years, thinking of that still cracks me up. And I still covet the long curly hair he had when I spent a lot of time and energy getting home perms to have his hair. Boys. Hair and tans just came naturally to them. It was the 80’s. That’s what we cared about then. And again at 49.

So, I had myself a good ole time making the featured pic for this post. Thanks for the love Micah! And the laugh.

Who needs a hug?