Loving Others

Valentine

Smile. It’s contagious. Photo by R. Glover

 

February is the traditional month we think about love. Our new President scares the “snot” right out of some. We need to love and pray for our government and leaders. I don’t want to get preachy, but, doggonit, smiling is better than frowning. Wringing our hands is not fruitful. Nasty, rude comments solve nothing.

Christian religion says, “Give it to God.” Sometimes that seems the only or best answer. We cannot help the angry police officer who is wiping spit off his face from an accused predator.  We cannot help the jerk who cuts in front of us on a busy highway. We cannot help the pilot when the plane is late. But…we can try more thoughtfulness before responding in a heated conversation. Helping others soothes the soul but fear brings a raft of emotions.

Subways

statue of liberty

Statue of Liberty from the Harbor by R. Glover

Before I visited New York City last year I feared conquering the subways. Would someone accost me? Rip my backpack off? Would I become confused traveling to the theater? A friend assured me the New York City subways are safe, but I should not stay out late. I looked at the subway map and nausea enveloped me.

The doorman at the hotel, where we stayed near Washington Park, helped me understand the reality of “uptown” and “downtown,” along with suggestions for taking the A-line or B-line for best results. His kindness and raucous laughter assuaged my fear. Only later did a recall managing the subways in France when I was 21 years-old.

Success

Never got lost! Had a great time. Glad I overcame my fear.

Fear

The French suffer a reputation for caustic communication. I know France is struggling with fear of foreigners. Many French Jews are moving (again) because of fear. Israel’s geography may change as the borders become unsafe for their citizens. The world is in chaos. Certainly, not the first or last time.

Eiffel Tower

Under the Eiffel Tower-Photo by R. McMichael

Love One Another

What can we do? We must love one another. We must try to understand and cope when our values are diverse. Each day let’s concentrate on kindness to others. At the end of each day where did we deposit kindness? At the very least, show respect.

It’s February. Hug a friend. Send a note to a neglected relative. Love others. Respect diversity and value difference. It can only make the world a better place to live.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Peace Be with Us.

Showing Love: the Trip to Ohio

Valentine

Valentine’s Day Is Coming

 

Since Valentines Day is two weeks away, think about the word love.  Would it include “going home” for you?  Is there someone special who needs your love “at home?”  Regardless of the physical location, you may show love in many ways.  Today we easily send e-cards or use snail mail, but think about how you can demonstrate your love.  I had the opportunity to celebrate love and friendship by “going home”  last November.

 

 

Unexpected Invitation

I received an unexpected invitation to attend an anniversary party for a special couple in my life, who live in my hometown in Ohio.  Their adult children would surprise them with the party.  I don’t particularly like going home, as I have no relatives there and I’d rather go someplace flashier, like London or Los Angeles.  But, by attending the party, I would honor my friends, as staying married is hard work.  Plus,  the invitation was a good excuse to leave town for a few days.

Should we go?  We’d need to take the dog with such short notice.  But we haven’t seen fall color for a number of years.  And it would be fabulous to see our special friends and my husband’s relatives.   We packed!

Road Trip Beauty

The trees on the trip from Arkansas through Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio glowed red, yellow, green, purple and shades of pink.  Seeing the leaves brought back fond memories of jumping in huge piles of recently raked leaves.

Fall Leaves

Brilliant Fall Leaves in Ohio

Since the dog traveled with us, we had to find a pet-friendly hotel in my hometown.  There are two.  We arrived around dusk at a dilapidated, cheap motel with no cars around it.  The hotel looked like a place for thieves and disreputably endeavors .  The man in the next room with his curtain open gave me the creeps!  The “loved one” said it looked like the previous guests washed car parts in the tub.  The desk clerk said she could not cancel the reservation, despite the filthy room.  It was downright scary!  What a mistake!

Fortunately, the not-too-distant, expensive hotel had a vacancy.  Wow!  The inn, decorated with pumpkins and mums, had nearby woods for a walk through the pines the next morning.  The amazing colors and frost on the ground overcame the unpleasant departure from the cheesy hotel.  The cost for the new inn….priceless.  The food, the service, the cleanliness, after the long drive, made the experience much more relaxing.

The night of the party was frigid but the event was warm and friendly.  We were treated as extended family. Memories flashed through my head as fast as a high speed train,  as I watched my friend’s surprise when she came through the door.

Ruth and the dog on a chilly walk in Ohio

Ruth and the dog on a chilly walk in Ohio

Not all trips can be exceptional, but showing love to special friends periodically makes “going home” worthwhile, even with the bumps in the road.  Sometimes “going home” is exactly what we need to remember who and what are important in our lives.  What a happy, spontaneous trip to Ohio!

This Valentine’s Day, make sure you tell your friends how much you love them.  Love is not just sending a Hallmark card.

A special thanks to another special friend, who babysat our dog during the party and cooked a lovely meal for us.  What a nice way to show love!