Cure loneliness with the best gift — yourself!

Usually, La Grimm Ranchero sits quietly as the two of us age rebelliously with four cats. We could just sit and dumb down in front of the TV, but we are looking at how we want to be remembered. We’ve learned how to give ourselves away.

Truthfully, this takes planning to make this location transform from some “old folks’ home” to become alive. Periodically, we invite a few guests on various occasions such as the Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc., and spur-of-the-moment excuses to throw something on the grill or in the oil-free deep fryer.

We like people who show they held a flashlight for their dad growing up, as this influences how they’re parenting. These types we’ve noticed, as a general expectation, that their children are not Tasmanian Devils or little heathens trying to climb the walls.

Our grandchildren live in opposite directions of us in Tennessee and California, so we’ve created an extended family here, as some friends have adopted us as “grandparents.” During the hot Texas looong summers, this acreage experiences crescendos of energetic excitement amid the food, joy, and laughter, as the giggles and splashes in the pool reverberate. Of course, the A/C runs, the horde of popsicles disappears, the doors are seemingly constantly opening and sometimes completely closing amid my Grandfather Grimm unheeded shouts of “Shut the door!” with Grandma Debie adding, “The cats will get out!”
These times allow a feast on the sweet chaos of healthy children, adults with parenting sense, and endless conversations in every direction. Then, they’re gone, and the stillness gets loud.

Of course, some gatherings are special events. The missus did some stealthy, covert-operations type planning back in March to surprise me for my 70th birthday. This was no easy accomplishment, as there arrived my youngest daughter’s family from California, friends from a home Bible-study group, friends from my Texas “biker” days, my Iraq Army days, friends from another church, neighbors, just to name a few.  I want to report that it was a great success, as everyone witnessed me get older all in one day.

Now, these aren’t large gatherings like some rock concert where people can hide in the crowd. These are not gatherings where little cliques are huddled off on their own. Our gatherings may barely edge up to beyond 20 or 25. We like this size of gathering. Each time, it’s like … well … like family.

OK, you might be wondering the reason for this particular article. We all realize we are living in a time of extreme loneliness.  In this high-tech computerized and sanitized world, we’ve lost too much.  We know how to be entertained, but we have forgotten how to connect, how to show hospitality, how to be real, how to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, all the while we are bonding in mutual support.

Feeling lonely and isolated? Give yourself!  Afraid of crowds? Go to a small group! Get outta all those excuses. Get up offa that thing, and be a part of something and be a part of something other than your daily whine!

Find a small church, show yourself friendly, and before God, give yourself away!

(Across Wilson County, Texas, there are approximately 40 small churches, so why not attend one of them to be something before you can’t do anything but ring a buzzer for a nursing attendant?)

   Warning: These musings may be serious or may be humorous. Enjoy! H.R. Grimm is a self-described lovable, prone to blunt, witty, tending toward sarcastic, saved-by-grace, constantly thinking storyteller. Grimm, a military veteran, and his wife now call La Vernia home. Email