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Hugging it out at the farmette

We experienced some wild weather at the farmette this week. Slogging through nearly two feet of snow Monday. Walking over bare grass Friday morning. Back to two inches of snow cover and freezing our butts off by Friday night. Crazy, I say, crazy, crazy climate change. The mercurial way of the thermometer was matched by the ups and downs in the Trump administration, as well, with the president revealing how truly racist he is by calling African countries and Haiti "shitholes". Swell. There's a leader to be proud of. But back to the tranquility of the farmette, and the fact that I've been thinking lately about hugging. They say that regular hugging can relieve depression and anxiety, stave off disease and help you heal from illness. It's also a darn good way to show and receive affection.

We aren't what you'd call an especially 'huggy' family, but once in a while my niece Erin slaps on a squeezer, and when she does it, you know you've been well and truly hugged.

Here she is on Christmas eve encircling her mother. Look at the full-on neck embrace and the rapt expression on Erin's face!

Sandy was caught a bit off-guard and probably had a million, million things going through her head, since this was taken before dinner was served. Still, I know she loves all the hugs she gets from both her girls.

There are different varieties of hugs. There's the utilitarian hug. When you need to keep the baby from falling off your lap. Doesn't make it any less sweet.

Here, I've got my newly-minted grand-niece Evelyn. We were having a Greek dinner with my brother's family in advance of my nephew's wedding out in B.C.

Notice the full wrap-around technique, which wasn't really necessary. But the wee girl was extremely huggable - to the point where her mother practically had to get the crowbar to get her back. But seriously, there's nothing quite like latching onto a sweet-smelling little one to make you feel great!

Then, there's the goofy, pose-for-the-picture hug. This one's with the three Harris sisters out in Prince Edward Island about eight years ago. Sandy had rented an amazing vacation house near Summerside, and we were visiting friends who live right on the beach.

Note the proximity of each sister, and the intertwining of arms behind the eldest. Barb had just turned sixty so we thought it was time to do some celebrating.

Not sure Maya was all that impressed with the howling harridans. But we certainly had fun.

Finally, we have the I'll-love-you-forever hug. Like this one, in which Rob and I got close in with a conspiratorial look, a twinkle in the eyes and a grin.

This was about 14 years ago at my nephew's wedding. We were soooo much younger and slimmer. Rob could actually get his arm all the way around my back! Since then, the girth has grown but the affection hasn't faded. We still hug - a bit more sporadically, but with the same intensity.

So the point is we all need to hug more. They're free. You can't give one without receiving one. It feels good. And in this topsy-turvy world, we can all use a little more feel-good, right? Until next week.

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