Warm Fuzzies

Last weekend Sharon and I went to Lamesa, Texas, to visit some of my kinfolks. In case you don’t know where Lamesa is, it’s about half-way between Lubbock and Midland and about 300 miles west of Fort Worth.

Most people just traveling through would probably say the South Plains of West Texas are not particularly pretty. After all, there are no mountains and few trees. In fact, once you top the Caprock, there are few rises or depressions in the ground for hundreds of miles. It’s flat as a pancake.

Beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, however, I love this area. I love seeing mile after mile of land cultivated for planting, growing and harvesting King Cotton. It’s the center of an area that produces a huge percentage of the world’s cotton. It’s also the home of many of my kinfolks, and it’s where many more of them grew up.

Do you have first cousins with whom you share a closeness? I do. My mother and my two aunts who lived in Lamesa saw to it that we kids developed that closeness. They would drive for hours more than once each summer to exchange kids in order to promote that closeness, and we all feel indebted to them for doing so.

Some people I know, such as my wife, have a large number of school friends with whom they’ve stayed in touch through the years. Others, like me, see school friends only at infrequent class reunions. It always feels good to see such people, because they share the bond of common experience with us, but it’s rare to find any real depth in those relationships.

Family is different—at least it should be. The common bond of sharing parents, or grandparents in the case of first cousins, is a lifelong bond that binds us together in ways that school friendships usually don’t.

I manage to spend time with the cousins in Lamesa two to four times a year or more, but I have other first cousins I see much less frequently because of geography. In fact, I don’t usually see my own sister as often as I see the cousins in Lamesa. But with kinfolks, the bond is such that we start right where we left off, no matter the time lapse between visits. It’s a warm fuzzy relationship.

Those who read my blogs and Facebook posts regularly probably know that I like warm fuzzies. I go out of my way to engender caring relationships of some kind with people I deal with. A hug, a touch on the shoulder, waitresses and bank tellers and such using my first name.

Our world has become so impersonal in so many ways, all of that is reassuring to me. It acknowledges that I’m there and that I’m of some degree of importance to them. It makes me feel good. I usually reach out first, but that’s okay. In most cases, once I do, they reach out to me in return.

How about you? Where do you get warm fuzzies? How is your relationship with your kinfolks? What do you do to encourage interpersonal relationships with people you deal with?

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WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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16 Responses to Warm Fuzzies

  1. susielindau says:

    The world needs more David Walkers! So many people run around in their own little bubble. It is important to develop those relationships!
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! I hope you enjoy clicking back to check out other bloggers and mingle with the guests! There are a lot of great stories to read!

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  2. barbtaub says:

    I came over from Susie’s party and I’m so glad I got here in time for your wonderful post!

    I’m from a big family (ten kids) in California and we wanted our children to know each other. So every summer my sister who lives in paradise (Santa Barbara, CA) hosts Cousins Camp. Typically about 30 nieces and nephews stream in from across the US and beyond. They sleep in tents in her back yard, and (with the older kids acting as ‘counselors’) they spend the week riding her horses, surfing, hiking, kayaking, and making art projects (each family contributes materials and ideas for a few projects). Nights are for marathon card games, s’mores, and movies shown against the side of the barn. The last four days, the adults also gather to participate. Thanks to my wonderful sister’s generous spirit, our kids have grown up with strong relationships they’ve taken with them into their adult lives. Cousins Camp continues, but the past few years the younger campers are the original Cousins Campers’ children, another generation who are getting this priceless gift of family.

    I’m so sorry if this reply is too long. I’d just like to close by saying that this summer will be the first Cousins Camp since my parents’ recent deaths. But the results of all those years of getting together was never clearer to me than at their funerals. Their 30+ grandchildren may look like a mini-United Nations when it comes to the mix of ethnic backgrounds. But their shared histories and obviously close relationships mean they could never be mistaken for anything but family.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to write this, Barb. I think what your family does is great. We’ve allowed geography to prevent our kids and grandkids from having those relationships, and I hate that we didn’t give them that kinship. Keep it up. Kudos to your sister, but it also took both effort and money for those scattered across the country to come take advantage of her hospitality.

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  3. Sharon Walker says:

    I too have wonderful memories of family and friends throughout the years, and I hope these pleasant memories continue to be made for the rest of my days. They are the icing on the cake of life.

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  4. Hi, David: You’ve given each of us a warm and fuzzy blog plus its content to read and contemplate on this icy winter day.
    I always went ‘home’ while both my mother and father were living and we always made it possible for them to visit our home and spend quality time together a couple time each year. Tom fell in love with all of my family plus extended family. He’d never been exposed to my type of family before. After my mother passed, each time my father visited (all it took was a phone call and an airline ticket from us – dad loved to travel) and we’d meet up wherever I was working (normally places he’d never been and frequently outside of the United States). Dad was my best friend, after Tom of course, and we all had a great time together.
    I have one older brother remaining that I see when possible and that’s the only remaining family I have. I do have lots and lots of warm fuzzes with friends I’ve made since retirement and those friends I made during the years I worked all over the world. We stay in touch and frequently have unplanned house visitors and that’s okay. We have great times reminiscing and laughing about how few Christmas cards we get due to our profession. (When you are responsible for putting the bad guys in the Federal pen–they don’t normally like you much).
    I’m with you on knowing the names of individuals you do regular commercial business with and we make every effort to know Doctor’s support staff along with our dog groomer and her staff, hairdresser & staff, and the list goes on – we consider it our responsibility to know their names and to also remember them with something they’ve mentioned during the year that they especially like. It all makes for great fun. Friends tell me that when you tip well all year long, Christmas gifts aren’t needed but I’ll not stop my mother’s tradition of doing Christmas gifts (normally homemade candy and her famous from scratch cinnamon roles) for not only the mail-man but the guys that delivered the cattle feed, the crop sprayers and their crew, and on and on.

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  5. Jane Merrick says:

    David, I feel the same way, I’m so thankful that we have the relationship we do, and very thankful to our mothers for developing this. I loved yours and Sharon’s visit. Love, Jane

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  6. Lynn says:

    I wish I saw more of my first cousins. I thoroughly enjoyed spending a few hours with 2 of them in November and realized how much I really like them 🙂 – and the common bond of sharing Gam and Granddad always makes for fun conversations.

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    • When you were growing up, Lynn, I always hated that I wasn’t able to give you the kind of closeness I had with mine. At least you and Jim have a couple of memorable visits in St Louis and Denver.

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  7. Barb Estinson says:

    Of course I love this blog, David. I greatly admire your way of engendering warm fuzzies and caring relationships with people in your life …. waitresses, bank employees, and others. And of course your family relishes the warm fuzzies that you so willingly share. You have done marvelously by keeping up to date with not only our first cousins, but their kids and grandkids too. I wish that I could see my family more often … but I also know that there are gifts in the fact that we got spread out …. think of the adventures that traveling to see each other has given us. I loved going to San Francisco and learning so many things that I’d never have known any other way. I know that you love the northwest, especially the Canadian Rockies. You might have discovered them even if you hadn’t come to Spokane to see me …. but it is neat that we have done some of it together. Love you.

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  8. Carole McKee says:

    I have very few kinsfolk left, but I was always very close to my two cousins, Jimmy and Janet. They were my favorite cousins and still are. My brothers were close to them, too. We are scattered around the country now–Janet in Long Island, NY, Jimmy in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while my brothers and I reside in San Diego, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Florida. When we get together, which isn’t very often, we take up right where we left off the last time we saw each other. I wish we could see more of each other, because when I see them I definitely get the warm fuzzies.

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    • Thanks for your comment, Carole. I wish you could see your cousins more often, too. When my younger brother and sister were alive, they lived much of their lives in San Francisco and central Missouri, and as I mentioned, my older sister lives in Spokane, WA. We were rarely all four together as adults. Sadly, that seems to be the way of things in our society today.

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