Embracing the notion of a day of hugs

The Crescenta-Cañada YMCA’s Nancy Turney, who writes the weekly “Senior Living” column for us, reports that this past Monday was National Hugging Day.

There are a host of national days and weeks devoted to all kinds of causes. January, in fact, is also set aside for National Blood Donor Month, Financial Wellness Month, Poison Prevention Awareness Month, National Birth Defects Prevention Month, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Thyroid Awareness Month, National Radon Action Month, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Women’s Self-empowerment Week, National Thank Your Customers Week, Customer Service Day (that was Jan. 17, by the way — hope you enjoyed particularly good service around town last Thursday), Get To Know Your Customer Day (conveniently enough that was also Jan. 17, allowing businesspeople to kill two birds with one stone), and this week is Hunt for Happiness Week, an elusive goal for some, but worth any efforts put forth.

There may well be more than the aforementioned; I stopped after looking at three websites devoted to listing such things. All days and weeks given over to concentrating on improving the human condition by raising awareness are to be lauded, but I have to say I’m rather smitten by the thought of a National Hugging Day. Until Turney mentioned it in her column I had no idea it existed.

My husband once heard it said that for general well-being a couple should share at least 12 hugs a day. I don’t think he made it up, but regardless, it’s been to my benefit that he embraced the idea. The only hitch is that he’s on the go from before the dawn breaks until he collapses, completely exhausted, at the end of the day. So when we do meet up, he insists 12 hugs be smushed together into one long event with a dozen major squeezes. I am not kidding you. He literally counts them out loud: “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12!” before he releases me.

OK, we’re both a little odd. But late next month, which has its own list of special events — not the least of which is Groundhog Day — Gil and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. I’m rather proud of that fact and attribute it to a patch of good luck that brought us together, plus patience, perseverance and plenty of hugs.


Speaking of hugging, there was a good deal of that going around last week when the new Miss La Cañada Flintridge, Taylor Segal, was crowned during the 96th annual Installation and Awards Dinner of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce.

The La Cañada Junior Women’s Club members who oversaw the 2008 Miss LCF competition admitted it was difficult to choose a winner among the outstanding court, which includes Segal, Megan Bartine, Iman Khan, Emily Michael and Olivia Tucker. I could see why: They are filled with poise and grace and any one of them would wear the crown well. I wish Taylor and her court all the best as they step into the shoes of the outgoing court, 2007 Miss La Cañada Flintridge Liah Zirler, Amanda Bungartz, Abigail Chang, Lisa Leyda and Melissa Woodhouse. Congratulations all the way around: to Taylor and her court members, who have much ahead of them, and to Liah and her court, who did a terrific job this past year.

Congratulations, too, to Barbara Marshall, the chamber’s new chairman of the board. We have a well-run chamber office, under the direction of Pat Anderson, but the board also deserves much credit for the work they do for the business community. Hats off to Joe Thompson, who served as chairman for two years running, as well as to the many volunteer directors who have served and are continuing to help guide chamber activities.

CAROL CORMACI is editor of the Valley Sun. E-mail her at ccormaci@valleysun.net or call her at (818) 790-8774.

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