Anyone who knows me will know that I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with hugging. I’ve written about it before, but me and hugs –we just do not get along. As I’ve gotten older and realized that hugging is just a fact of life that I will have to accept, I’ve done my best to overcome whatever issues I have with them.

I’ve come to accept that some people like to be hugged -and like it or not -they will hug you too. The only thing I can do is make it as less awkward as possible and since I am all about eliminating those awkward behaviors -I have given it my best shot. I now will hug someone without turning completely weird. It’s taken some time, but I have gotten there. I now will hug my friends, a random person in church, and as a recent event proved -I will even hug complete strangers.

Let me explain.

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December 2018,
Belgium Bruges

People say I post far too few pictures of my trips and lately perhaps that is true. The ‘problem’ with these short trips is I wan to soak up as much time as I can with these people and not have to worry about perfecting the photo or living life behind the camera. I want to be present.

The things I take pictures of are the beautiful things, the scenic things, and the breathtakingly amazing things –and while my camera will capture these things –there are other aspects of life, of living and traveling –that make the trip complete.

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When there is a break in the weather, you take advantage of it. Even if there isn’t a break in the weather -you don’t wait for it to stop, you just go for it. But this particular weekend there was in fact, a break in the weather -and some friends and I hit the trails for another hike.

Destination: Perseverance Lake.

I’ve been up there before, and it isn’t an especially treacherous trail, it waffles on a bit, but I guess that helps keep it more doable and enjoyable. Regardless, it’s about a 6mile trail that ends out at, as the name suggests -Perseverance Lake.

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The tears. They always come. Whenever I see him in the hospital, laying on the highly uncomfortable beds that don’t allow for any decent rest. Sometimes they come as soon as I leave his room, unwilling to wait until I make it to the elevator before I have to stop the sobs from taking over. Other times, like today, they wait. They hold off on the elevator ride down, they don’t come on the car ride home, they let me finish lunch and a few cups of coffee -and then in the not so silent afternoon sun, they come.


My mind races with questions and thoughts from the past few days, the past few years, the past few lifetimes, it would seem. All piling up, willing to be heard, unwilling, however, to wait their turn. The overwhelmingness of thoughts that pile in faster than I can unpack them brings the tears today.


The thing is, I just have no answers. So the thoughts. They just keep spinning. And the tears. They just keep falling.


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After preschool is out, the older kids arrive on the bus from a different school. Once everyone has had their snack we head out to the gym to play. Normally there is someone else out there who takes over once our numbers drop below ten, but circumstances had me out there this day.


One of the little boys is always lamenting that no one wants to play with him and while I see the alliances being built with other kids, I see him being left out a lot. If I can help it, I try to get him involved –giving him an in, a door, an answer, a nudge –and if all else fails I listen to him chat about his day or the latest greatest video game. Or I encourage him to show me his latest tricks.

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Categories: Life