Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

The ‘Let’s be neighbors’ sign in front of Get Some Groceries, in our little village, gives me hope.  It is acknowledged worldwide that now is absolutely an extremely hard time for our nation.

The hopefulness in the banner simply comes from seeing each other as human beings. For all our differences we are all people living on this earth, in this country, in this little mountain village – or wherever you live.

Encouragement means to be inspiring, to give support, so that as each of us shows kindness, we cause a ripple effect. Small changes in attitudes can indeed occur in the hearts of thinking, growing, openhearted people and maybe, finally, this can really be the beginning of authentic, lasting, kindhearted change in our souls and in our history.

If we don’t want people to judge us – we cannot judge. Remember the Golden Rule? And to all Christians: Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Genuine change can happen with valid relationships. Real relationships assume the best, kindly question and show love. And where there is love there is no judgment.

Lake City neighbors, like your own, are quite diverse. Our little mountain village is very unique in its location. The draw is the mountains but we can be as different as the seasons of summer and winter as to why we like the mountains. There are environmentalists and not. There are couch potatoes and active folks, same-gender couples, single folks and married folks. There are people who work and not. There are blue and white collared folk, artists, musicians, firefighters, atheists, clergy and agnostics. There are Republicans, Democrats, and folks who don’t declare. There are residents from birth and transplants.

There are people of color and not. There are people with physical challenges and people who have challenges that are harder to see. There are people who live in large and expensive houses and not. There are people of all ages. For different reasons, we are all drawn to these mountains – or to wherever you live.

If our goal is to move our nation in a healthier, kinder direction, we need to do that at home first. We are neighbors.  Let’s be part of a positive change. In the words of loveable Mr. Rodgers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”  So, neighbor, what will you do with your life to make the world a kinder place to live?

 

Make your thoughts known in the comments section below. As always, I prefer if you post your comments and questions here rather than send them to me by private email. By putting them here, you share with other readers, not just with me. I read all comments and try to respond to all  useful questions. Sign up at the top of this post to be notified of new ones. Thank you!

Living in the Mountains

Today is the Birthday of My 1st Born

JulieAndBabyDavid

Julie, 38 years ago today, with her 1st born child, a son, David (biblical name) Bruce (Bruce after his dad and his dad’s dad)

 

For me, this has been the most life altering experience ever. There’s nothing to compare to growing a person inside of your body, giving birth and being responsible for molding another person’s life, especially with everything happening for the first time.

 

At 25 I had quite a bit of experience with babies and children. My parents had been foster parents and I was expected to babysit. I’d babysat for neighbors too. I had been a preschool teacher, Girl Scout leader, children’s swimming instructor – but – there’s NOTHING like having your own child that you are completely responsible for, not to mention the physical aspects of being pregnant, giving birth and nursing, all while your hormones do whatever they like…

Trying to be good environmentalist, we weren’t going to use disposable diapers. We started with the diaper service we were given as a baby gift and kept it. Pick up was every two weeks. The diaper pail was as tall as an average 5-year-old. The smell…well you can imagine. Nursing baby’s poop is…well let me just say that rubber pants did not keep the poop contained. There was a lot, a lot of laundry, all the time which had to be attended to as soon as possible if I had any hope of getting poop stains out of baby clothes, my clothes, baby blankets…

But I loved nursing. From the very beginning nursing came naturally, for both of us. It was also what was best for both of us. It felt emotionally satisfying to be doing the very best by my baby. David didn’t get anything but my breast milk for the first 6 months of his life and he thrived. It was so easy too – always handy, the right temperature, no bottles or any of that paraphernalia to deal with and a baby blanket was always handy for my privacy.

We took a car trip when our son was a few months old and we used disposable diapers. OMG!!! No diaper pens, no rubber pants, no leaks, no diaper pail and not nearly as much laundry! We never looked back.

As much as I loved nursing, at a year I was done. By that time I was no longer food. We were nursing first thing in the morning and the last thing at night for routine and comfort. I didn’t want to be a pacifier and knew how important it is for babies to be able to comfort themselves. David had always fallen asleep nursing but Bruce stepped up and sang and walked his baby son to sleep, until finally we could put David down awake and our little son could get himself to sleep! There was great rejoicing!

Autumn (our favorite Lake City season) David, (about 20 months) my towheaded toddler and me, his mom, in Lake City, throwing rocks in the river near our cabin. I can still feel the sweet coziness of the moment. I remember him calling Lake San Cristobal, “Crystal Ball”, and falling on a rock that gashed his little cheek. First time parents, we didn’t think to bring David a jacket. This little yellow jacket from Wal-Mart got a lot of wear and being a light color that was worn outside, a lot of laundering. We had fun. I remember a lot of joy.

Proud mom with my son in his engineering office at Notre Dame University (where he earned his PhD in aerospace engineering on a complete scholarship and stipend) and he is a kind person too.

Happy birthday David!

Much Love,

mom

“May you live all the days of your life.”  J. Swift
julie@handsbestrong.com

Living in the Mountains

Happy New Year

Celebrating New Year’s Eve

 At Climb in Lake City, CO

 Instead of the red sauce being over powering, this light red sauce has a gentle blending of complimentary flavors. The aroma was mouthwatering and the colors – a celebration! 

This isn’t just going out to eat, Climb is a dining experience ~!  Linda is the chief and her husband Jerry,  the ‘everything else.’ Not only is the food really good, the restaurant is lovely and Jerry greets customers by name, with pleasure, as if you were gracing his home by accepting a party invitation. He spends just the right amount of time conversing at your table and letting you take everything in to enjoy your time.

The pretty presentation and gentle aroma are a given at Climb. My husband plucked the mint leaf from the chocolate and suggested I take a whiff ~ chocolate and mint, yum!

It was fun to dress up for the evening and go out together, celebrating the past year. Over dinner, I shared with my husband my ‘gratitude jar.’ For the past year I’d been writing down, with the date, something that touched me in a positive way, something I was thankful for. Some of my entries were as simple as a stunning blue sky day, my son calling me just because he was thinking about me and having an especially fun, satisfying day with my little pal Elsa. Of course this past year I overcame osteoporosis and we went to Italy too!!!

We are taught in psych 101, as well in life, that it takes numerous good things to overcome a negative one – something like 5-1. So, being more aware of the good in our lives helps insure we are living a more positive life!

***If we aren’t making a point to dwell on our blessings, we might as well not have them –

The New Year is the perfect time to start living a more positive life!

Happy New Year! Make it your best lived life ever!

What are you grateful for? What’s good about today?

“May you live all the days of your life.”  J. Swift
julie@handsbestrong.com

Living in the Mountains